The session is the ruling council for the congregation. Together with the installed pastor it is composed of persons elected by the congregation to active service as ruling elders. All members of the session are entitled to vote. The pastor acts as moderator. The session has responsibility for governing the congregation and guiding its witness to the sovereign activity of God in the world, so that the congregation is and becomes a community of faith, hope, love and witness. (G-3.0201)

Ruling elders are men and women elected by the congregation from among its members. As there were elders for the governing of the people in Old Testament times so the New Testament church provided persons with particular gifts to share in discernment of God’s Spirit and governance of God’s people. Accordingly, congregations elect persons of wisdom and maturity of faith, having demonstrated skills in leadership and being compassionate in spirit. Ruling elders are so named not because they “lord it over” the congregation, but because they are chosen by the congregation to discern and measure its faithfulness to the Word of God and to strengthen and nurture its faith and life. (G-2.301)