Officer Training Workshop a Success

On Saturday, March 23rd, from 9am-11am, the Congregational Resourcing Team (CRT) put on an Officer Training Workshop. 73 Elders and Deacons gathered at Westminster Presbyterian Church to gain more insight in their roles and responsibilities at their churches, the Presbytery, community and beyond. We started off the day with some coffee and goodies for breakfast, socializing and meeting new people.

Shannon Langston, the Chair of CRT introduced the workshop, Rev. Peggy Hegeman, the Chair of CRT’s Leadership Training Sub-Committee opened us in prayer. With everyone still gathered together, Rev. Gale Watkins started the workshop off with information on Presbyterian Distinctives. How the Presbyterian church came to be and what it means to be Presbyterian. And of course the infamous question, “How many of you can spell Presbyterian?” Quite a few hands went up, whew! He also introduced the Book of Confessions and gave a brief description of it. Then discussed the Book of Order, the 4 parts, what they mean to us and how we use them.

The Elders and Deacons then parted into delegate workshop spaces. The Elder workshop was lead by Rev. Gale Watkins, Pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church. Rev. Watkins went over what the word Elder comes from, what the roles, responsibilities and gifts of an Elder are. As well as citations in both Scripture and in the Book of Order. A lot of comments from our surveys said how knowledgeable Gale was and how much applicable information was given, from new and seasoned Elders.

The Rev. Mary Saylor, H.R., lead the Deacon’s workshop. I was able to sit in on some of it, I thoroughly enjoyed the examples Rev. Mary gave about different situations and where to find the answers in the Book of Order. She then had the Deacons break up into groups to share ideas on the different ministries they provide at their churches. Again, this was a mix of new and seasoned Deacons; including one person who has yet to be ordained and one person who’s been a Deacon for 20 or so years (taking the usual year off now and again of course). The comments from the Deacon surveys were also positive, mostly wishing for more time for the group discussions.

Both surveys had several comments to have yearly Officer Training, each year expanding on the previous year’s information to get more in depth. Having more time was also a top suggestion, most stated having 3-4 hours. The last question on the surveys was, “Are there any other workshop topics you’d like to see in the future?“ The top ones were: Conflict Management, Christian Education (several different topics pertaining to, Curriculum choosing, VBS, growing your youth program, etc.), more in depth Clerk of Session Training and Grant Writing. If you have any ideas on other topics you’d like to see us have workshops on, please contact the Presbytery office.

CRT has put on several workshops in the past few years, this was by far our biggest turn out. We feel so blessed to have been able to host a workshop that touched on a topic so many were in need of learning. CRT provides various workshops 3-4 times a year, 2 of them being Grant Writing workshops to teach how to utilize the Mission Priority Grant Application. There are held in both the Spring, for the August granting period and the Fall for the January granting period. Information will go out to your Pastors, Clerks, Secretaries, will be on EFocus and posted on the Presbytery’s website under the Congregational Resourcing tab.

We hope to see you at future workshops!


Shannon Langston
Chair – Congregational Resourcing Team
Presbytery of the Grand Canyon

“With God all things are possible “
– Matthew 19:26

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