Both motions passed unanimously.
January 21, 2024, 10:05 a.m.
The Session of Ward Church has called a special meeting of the membership for Sunday, January 21, 2024, 10:05 a.m., for the purpose of calling Rev. Terence Gray as Associate Pastor and calling Student Ministry Director Mark Ordus as Ruling Elder. Ward Church members are asked to attend in person at either the Northville Campus Sanctury or the Farmington Hills Campus conference room. A video link will allow full participation at either location.
MOTION #1: To Call Rev. Terence Gray as Associate Pastor
Pastor Terence has been on our staff since July 2021 as an “Assistant” Pastor. Assistant Pastors are called by a vote of the church Session. “Associate” Pastors are called by a vote of the congregation. While in most circumstances “Associate” and “Assistant” are used synonymously, within our denomination (The Evangelical Presbyterian Church) there are some important distinctions. Only Associate Pastors are voting members of Session. Only Associate Pastors can moderate Session in the absence of the Senior Pastor. Only Associate Pastors are eligible to succeed a Senior Pastor, and this still requires a vote of the congregation and Presbytery. Calling Terence as an Associate Pastor will not change his job duties. It does, however, change his relationship with our Presbytery and with our Session. It also communicates our confidence in Terence as a senior leader in our church.
MOTION #2: To Affirm Mark Ordus as Ruling Elder
Mark Ordus, our Director of Student Ministries, is working toward ordination in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. He is currently enrolled in Heartland Theological Seminary and takes one class online each semester. Ordaining Mark as a non-Session Ruling Elder would grant Mark a new level of accountability and recognized authority while he continues his long road toward traditional ordination as a Teaching Elder.
In the EPC, there are “Teaching Elders” (pastors) and “Ruling Elders” (not pastors in the strictest sense, but godly men and women). All Elders are “ordained by the laying of hands and prayer” and share in the spiritual duties of the church. While ordination is for life, active service on a church Session is for a specified term, usually three years. Non-Session Ruling Elders continue to serve the church as Elders and may be called upon to conduct membership interviews, to distribute the elements of communion, to participate in the ministry of Elder prayer, and to serve as commissioners to Presbytery and General Assembly. In the absence of a lawfully ordained minister, Session may authorize a Ruling Elder to administer the sacraments. It is possible for a Presbytery to examine and call a ruling elder as a “Commissioned Pastor” for specific work, such as church planting or missions.
Your Session recommends the congregation affirm Mark as a non-Session Ruling Elder. Ordination as a non-Session Ruling Elder does not make that person a board member, but can serve as an affirmation of their ministry, provide a sense of spiritual weightiness, and bring them under the authority of Session and of Presbytery.
2023-2024 Session Members
- Baird, Matthew
- Bird, Dan
- Currie, Rill
- Gray, Terence
- Hatmaker, Deanna
- Hurd, Darcie
- Martin, Rick
- McKee, Scott
- McKinnie, Steve
- Morris, Troy
- Richards, Gene
- Stratton, Adam
- Sutherland, Gerri
- Wainright, Jaymes
Questions? Contact Clerk of Session, Steve McKinnie, at firstname.lastname@example.org.