As you will know, we began the process of electing new ruling elders within our congregation at the beginning of this year. It seems like a long time ago but back in January I had to read from the Code and then I preached on the eldership.
Our process was halted, however, because of the pandemic. We had completed one voting Sunday – that was the 15th March – but churches were closed the following Sunday – 22nd March. Advice from Ballymena Presbytery in March was that the process should be paused.
In recent weeks guidance has been produced by PCI regarding holding an eldership election in the current circumstances. The guidance allows congregations to restart at whatever part of the process they deem most appropriate.
Kirk Session met in early September to discuss the restart of our eldership election and agreed that we would restart at the preaching stage. So, this week and next week I am going to preach again on what the Bible says about the role of an elder. The reason Kirk Session wanted to go back to this stage was to help us get back into the mindset of thinking about who would able to serve our church family in this role.
However, the decision to go back to the preaching stage means that we are required to vote again for new ruling elders. Kirk Session agreed that previous votes cast should be destroyed and that the voting process should be restarted. So, the votes cast on 15th March have been discarded and destroyed. The ballot boxes weren’t even opened in fact.
Due to the circumstances we find ourselves in, voting members will be asked to vote by post. In the coming weeks we will be sending out a letter, the Voter’s List, a Voting Paper and a stamped addressed envelope so that voting members can cast their vote by post. I will share a few more details about the postal method of voting closer to the time.
Let me say that Kirk Session and I are delighted that we are able to resume our eldership election rather than having to restart it from the very beginning. Let me encourage you to pray for our church family at this time. We want to pray that the Lord will raise up godly leaders among us who will shape our congregation in the years that lie ahead.
Yours in Christ,