Our Connectional Presbyterian Structure
The word “Presbyterian” comes from the Greek word for “elder” (presbyteros). As such, a Presbyterian Church is one that is governed and led by elders–Teaching Elders (or Pastors) and Ruling Elders (church members called to leadership). The structure and polity of the Presbyterian Church had a significant impact on the Constitution of the United States as many of the framers were Presbyterian!
Our congregation is governed by the Session, a council of twelve Ruling Elders moderated by our Pastor (Teaching Elder). The Session members serve as the spiritual leaders of the congregation, discerning the will of Christ in matters of worship, fellowship, mission and education. Our Session also sends commissioners to Presbytery meetings to participate in the work of the greater Church. As a congregation of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), our congregation is a member of the Shenandoah Presbytery and the Synod of the Mid-Atlantic through which we participate and are held accountable to the greater ministry of the church.
WPC also has a Board of Deacons who are tasked with ministries of compassion and care to our congregation and community. Our fourteen Deacons (including two youth Deacons) are tasked with serving as the hands and feet of Christ for our congregation–leading us in ministries of compassion and service to the community.