Consistory Meetings
(What's a "consistory"?)


What's a Consistory?

Each local Reformed church, including this one, is governed by a "consistory." The consistory is made up of members of the local church, who are elected by its other members to serve as "deacons" and "elders." The pastor presides over meetings of the group. Together, they make needed decisions and set direction for the church.

Each deacon or elder is responsible for one or more committees that carry out the work of the church and report their plans, results or problems back to the consistory. Consistory member terms are 3 years long, and they may run again only once before stepping down for at least 1 year. Newly elected elders and deacons who have not served in those offices before are ordained in a special ceremony during a Sunday service following the election, reminding the new officers, as well as the congregation, of their duties and seeking God's guidance for their decisions.

Traditionally (and at risk of over simplifying), it has been the task of elders to deal with spiritual concerns of the congregation, while deacons were charged with more earthly matters like building maintenance, handling the money, and any life-sustaining needs of church members. But in our small church, many tasks overlap and distinctions between elders and deacons are more blurred.

Most consistory meetings are open to members of the congregation who may wish to attend.

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