Deacons are the hands and heart of the caring ministry of the Church. As stated in the PC(USA) Book of Order: “The office of Deacon as set forth in Scripture is one of sympathy, witness, and service after the example of Jesus Christ. Persons of spiritual character, honest repute, of exemplary lives, brotherly and sisterly love, warm sympathies, and sound judgment should be chosen for this office. Deacons are responsible to minister to those who are in need, to the sick, to the friendless, and to any who may be in distress both within and beyond the community of faith.”
Deacons are responsible for seeing that members who are homebound, in assisted living and nursing care facilities, hospitalized, or recently discharged from the hospital are visited on a regular basis. Deacons also provide transportation for members who wish to come to Sunday morning worship or other church events but cannot drive themselves. As resources permit and needs arise they may also provide transportation for the elderly of the church for special needs such as doctors visits or therapy sessions. Deacons maintain correspondence with our college students, participate in the serving of Communion, and assist in community mission outreach events including South Oakland Shelter. They may also refer members who are in need of a more intensive caring ministry to our Stephen Ministry.
The Board of Deacons usually meets once a month. In August of each year, new Deacons join the Board to replace those Deacons who have completed their third year of service. If you are interested in serving as a Deacon, or if you know of a church member who could serve as a Deacon, please contact the chair of our Nominating Committee. Our current Deacons are listed below.
Class of 2020: Barb Hayes, Kay Rediers, Melissa Ross
Class of 2021: Alex Bastian, Rick Dusenbury, Matt Sanders, Shirley Gillham
Class of 2022: Ellen Burns, Elsa Jorgensen, Candace Rieck, Peter Tanaka
Session consists of Ruling Elders chosen by the congregation and a Teaching Elder (Pastor), who serves as moderator of the Session meetings. From the PC(USA) Book of Order, “Elders should be persons of faith, dedication, and good judgment. Their manner of life should be a demonstration of the Christian gospel, both within the church and in the world. It is their duty to strengthen and nurture the faith and life of the congregation. Together with the pastor they should encourage the people in worship and service of God, equip and renew them for their tasks within the church and for their mission in the world, and visit and comfort and care for the people, with special attention to the poor, the sick, the lonely, and those who are oppressed.”
Ruling Elders serve the congregation for three years, with new Elders joining the Session in August of each year to replace Elders who have completed their third year of service. Elders usually serve on two committees and starting in their second or third year serve as chairperson of one of their committees. Elders also participate regularly in the serving of Communion. Additional responsibilities of Session include approval of the yearly budget, approval of baptism requests, and approving new members to be received by the congregation.
Session meets once a month, with occasional additional special meetings as required by the affairs of the church. If you are interested in serving as an Elder, or if you know of a church member who could serve as an Elder, please contact the chair of the Nominating Committee. Our current Elders are listed below. Kevin Ball serves as the Clerk of Session.
Class of 2020: Sandy Belanger, James Hanks, Bev Moss, Scott Rieck, Marilyn Sutton, Jennifer Ward
Class of 2021: Chris Klein, Scott Kortlandt, Nancy Lambert, Eileen Taylor, Edie Watson
Class of 2022: Cassie Coates, Ruth Goode, Theresa Henige, Kevin Schnieders, Lauren Ball (Youth Elder)
Trustees are responsible for the day-to-day and long term physical maintenance of the church building and grounds. These responsibilities include soliciting bids from outside contractors for necessary repairs to the church building and grounds, which are then taken to Session for approval. Trustees are also responsible for periodic audits by an outside auditor to determine the long term needs and projected costs of repairs to the church building and grounds, which may then be used as the basis for occasional capital fundraising campaigns. The House Committee, responsible for maintenance of the church building, and Grounds Committee, responsible for maintenance of the property around the church, are filled entirely by Trustees. Together with Session, Trustees members also serve on committees for Finance and Investment, Stewardship, Nominating, and Personnel.
Trustees serve the congregation for three years, with new Trustees joining the Board in August of each year to replace Trustees who have completed their third year of service. The Board meets once a month, with occasional additional special meetings or joint meetings with Session as required by the affairs of the church. If you are interested in serving as a Trustee, or if you know of a church member who could serve as a Trustee, please contact the chair of the Nominating Committee. Our current Trustees are listed below, with committee chairships indicated in parentheses.
Class of 2020: Beth Egan DeGuise, Derek Helenberger, Ginny O’Brien
Class of 2021: Norm Dell, Tamara Shepard, Ted Wodepohl
Class of 2022: John Bashur, Ron Coleman, Tere Ryan
The committees that oversee FPCRO are chaired by and composed of members of our Session and Trustees and a member of our staff. Congregation members who are not currently on Session or Trustees are welcome to serve on our committees except for those committees limited to Session and Trustee members as indicated below. If you are interested in participating in one of our committees, please contact the committee chairperson for more information.
Christian Education: This committee explores opportunities for growth and interest in our Christian Education Programs for preschool through fifth grade children and for adults. The committee also reviews candidate applications seeking financial assistance in education through the Kirkman Scholarship Fund.
Communication and Evangelism: This committee promotes an attitude of a welcoming congregation that attracts people to our church, invites them to join, and encourages them to become involved church family members. The committee oversees the series of Inquirers classes for those interested in exploring FPCRO membership. It promotes communication within the church (i.e., the Church Bell newsletter) and to the outside community via advertising in local newspapers and the internet. It also oversees development and maintenance of the FPCRO website.
Finance and Investment: This committee oversees the finances of the church including the development of yearly budgets and long range budget plans that are presented to Session. The committee meets quarterly with the outside advisor overseeing the FPCRO Endowment Fund and decides on its investment allocation. This committee is made up of selected Session and Trustee members only.
Hospitality: This committee oversees the calendar of fellowship events at FPCRO, including the Sunday Coffee Hour, receptions after special events, funeral luncheons, and more. They also identify and encourage groups and/or individuals to host church-wide receptions and social activities. For more information, please visit our page for Greeting, Ushering, and Hospitality.
Mission and Benevolence: This committee explores opportunities for local community outreach and works to strengthen the commitment of FPCRO members to the programs it identifies. It also researches national and international mission opportunities for our church and suggests where our mission dollars are spent.
Nominating: This committee identifies well-suited congregational members to serve on the Session, Board of Deacons, and Board of Trustees and seeks their permission to present them as candidates for those positions at a Congregational Meeting in May of each year so that they can be elected and begin serving a three-year term the following August. They also are responsible for forming special committees such as the Pastor Nominating Committee.
Personnel: This committee oversees the programming and general staff of the church. The committee is made up of selected Session and Trustee members only.
Stewardship: This committee works to promote better stewardship throughout the membership on a continual basis. Their major task is the development and implementation of the Spring/Summer Stewardship Campaign. This includes three Minute for Stewardship presentations at Sunday morning worship services in the weeks preceding Pledge Dedication Sunday in May, and giving Results Reports to our congregation on our progress towards meeting the financial target of the Stewardship Campaign. The Stewardship Committee is also responsible for ordering pledge envelopes for the congregation.
Worship and Music: This committee suggests formats and opportunities for our Sunday and other worship services, including anthems and special musical worship services.