The Session meets monthly, and consists of the pastors and active ruling elders. Elders are elected to Session for three-year terms, though the office of elder is ordained and perpetual. The Session exercises leadership, government and discipline of the congregation. It supervises the management of financial, legal and property affairs of the local church, as well as the Board of Deacons. Elders have responsibility for the life of a particular church as well as the church at large. At First Presbyterian Church of Libertyville, the Session has 16 members, and is organized into ten general management committees.
ELDERS CURRENTLY ON SESSION
Debra Alexander, Jerry Brann, Kirk Ergang, Vanessa Griffin, Anna Groebe, Sally Kowal, Jon McGormley, Rich Monahan, Becky Nelson, Esther Pochron, Dave Potts, Carol Turnbull, Fred Ulanday, Elizabeth Wagner, Liz White, Gail Starr (Clerk of Session)
A standing committee is a committee which stands, or continues, over time, although its membership changes. Chairs of standing committees are chosen by the Pastor and generally serve for two years. A vice-chair prepares to take over the chair when terms are completed, or in an emergency.
The membership of standing committees is comprised of ruling elders and members of the congregation.
A special committee is a committee appointed for a particular responsibility. Like a standing committee, it may continue indefinitely, with members serving for a variety of terms, but its focus is generally more singular than that of a standing committee.
A task force is much like a special committee, but with a shorter life. It is appointed to accomplish a single task, or a described set of tasks. Once its work is accomplished, the task force is dissolved.
The Pastor has ex-officio membership (membership with vote) on all Committees of the Church. Committees are to check with the Pastor whenever (s)he may be involved in any plans on which a Committee is working.
BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS COMMITTEE
The Buildings and Grounds Committee serves the congregation by maintaining the Church and its properties. The Committee’s goal is to make the Church’s worship, education, and fellowship spaces welcoming, comfortable, and safe. The Committee advises the Manager of Building Operations, oversees building expenses, and prioritizes future capital expenditures.
BUSINESS AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
The mission of the Business Affairs Committee is one of fiduciary responsibility, advising the Session on financial matters related to the congregation. While falling under the Administration Section of the Session’s responsibilities and principally focused on the everyday business of the congregation, the Committee remains keenly aware of God’s presence, in attempting to discern His will.
The Endowment Subcommittee of the Business Affairs Committee consists of two members of the Session and four members-at-large from the congregation. Its mission is to oversee the First Presbyterian Church Endowment Fund, which is designed to support, in perpetuity, the mission and ministry of First Presbyterian Church of Libertyville.
COMMITTEE ON ANTI-RACISM AND EQUITY (CARE)
The Committee on Anti-Racism and Equity (CARE) works: to help the members of the congregation become more aware of the systemic racism that exists in our community and our country; to develop opportunities for members of our community to engage in anti-racism work through learning, prayer, and action; and to deepen our congregation’s commitment to becoming an anti-racist institution. The committee is comprised of Pastoral Staff, Session members and members of the congregation. The goals of this committee are addressed through three work groups: GROW (creates educational opportunities), ACT (offers opportunities to build relationships with our brothers and sisters of color) and CALL (oversees administrative actions and communication with Session and the congregation).
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION COMMITTEE
The Christian Education Committee is called to plan for the provision of educational programming to the entire Church family. Staff leadership, Session liaisons, and members of the congregation work together to provide spiritual growth opportunities from infancy into adulthood. Areas of ministry include children, youth, parents, adults, and our Church’s library.
CONGREGATIONAL CARE AND EVANGELISM COMMITTEE
The Congregational Care and Evangelism Committee works to engender a spirit of hospitality, fellowship, support, and evangelism to all Church members. The Committee’s primary areas of ministry are: membership assimilation, care, fellowship, sponsorship of events and activities, and evangelism, where they seek to create enriching and challenging opportunities for faith-sharing, as well as education about evangelism for our members.
LONG RANGE PLANNING COMMITTEE
The Long Range Planning Committee is entrusted with the responsibility to guide and support First Presbyterian Church to live its vision: to be a joyful people who INSPIRE by sharing life in Christ. In this role, the Committee works with the Session to fulfill our mission statement. The Committee also reflects on challenges facing the congregation, prayerfully seeking wisdom and guidance from the Holy Spirit to discern and propose solutions.
The Mission Committee helps to channel the congregation’s desire to share a portion of our many blessings and resources with others. The Committee works through the focus groups of Health and Hunger, Shelter, Proclamation, and Kairos (God’s time) to execute its mission plan.
The ongoing responsibilities of the Personnel Committee include the following:
oversee all employment matters related to employees of the Church, including performance reviews, job descriptions, and staff development;
review Church personnel policies and recommend new policies and revisions as appropriate; develop, recommend, and administer the annual personnel budget;
provide, support and counsel to staff as appropriate.
The Stewardship Committee coordinates a year-round program of stewardship education. This includes providing information about the ministries of our congregation and the resources needed to support those ministries.
The Worship Committee includes the Music, Liturgical Arts, and Sanctuary Guild Subcommittees, all of which work to make our worship spaces inspirational and contemplative. The Committee seeks to praise and glorify God through inspirational music, artwork, worship, and the sacraments.