The first thing you have to keep in mind is there is a real difference between “congregational” churches and Presbyterian churches.  In a “congregational church” the congregation makes the decisions regarding the day-to-day operations of the church.  In a Presbyterian Church the Congregation elects a Session to oversee the spiritual life of the Church and take care of  the day-to-day business of the Church, similar to the way the United States elect Representatives and Senators to run the day-to-day business of the Government.  Some churches have a separate Board of Trustees to take care of business but most smaller churches give both responsibilities to the Session.


The Session is made up of members of the Church.  Their number and term of office are set out in the Church’s by-laws which are approved by the congregation.  At Granite, there are nine Session members who are elected to a three year term of office.  The terms of office are staggered with three members being elected each year by the Congregation.  The Pastor of the Church serves as Moderator of the Session and runs all meetings.  In addition, the Deacon Moderator attends all Session meetings.


The Session normally meets on a monthly basis to review reports from the Church committees, decide on special requests for buying things for the church and provide overall guidance on the spiritual life of the Church.  The responsibilities of the Session are laid out in great detail in the Presbyterian “Book of Order” and anyone who is interested can find a copy in the church’s library. 


The Session is responsible for the life of the Church.  It has a profound effect on how the Church operates and whether it is healthy and remains strong.


At Granite, there are really only three defined jobs for Session members.  The Moderator as previously stated is the Pastor; the Deacon Moderator also serves on Session.  Finally, the Clerk of Session is regarded as the “chief” elder who is responsible for ensuring that all church records are accurate and up to date.  The Clerk also must keep an accurate record of all Session and Congregational meetings.  All Session correspondence is signed by the Clerk as are all official reports to the Presbytery.   In addition to these jobs, there is a President of the Corporation who serves as the secular head of the non-profit corporation which is the official business required to be established by the laws of the State of Maryland. 


Every Session member is also expected to take a leadership role in one of the many Church committees and teams.  This includes Administration, Stewardship, Discipleship, Worship, and Facilities. 


 At present Session has only eight members.  This was due to the resignation of one member and the decision of Session to wait until the next Congregational election.