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 Elders Notes 

December 2014

Jim Prorok will become the chair of Elders, effective after the church's Annual Meeting.  Jim Ottarson will be working with him over the next few weeks to get him up to speed and turn over the various resources needed for the job.  We really appreciate Jim stepping up to take on this responsibility and look forward to his leadership of the Elders.

Work continues on developing a skillsbank for our church.  If you have knowledge, skills, time, etc. that you would like to share with your fellow South Siders, just get a skillsbank form, fill it out and return it to the church office.  Put those spiritual gifts to good use by helping others!

Reverend Tim drafted a procedure for recogizing retired Elders, Deacons and Trustees by conferring Emeritus status on them.  The Elders discussed the procedure and adopted it for use should we desire to recognize someone in the future.

November 2014

We continue to receive your skillsbank forms and appreciate the time and effort you have put into them.  If you have not filled out a form yet, please consider doing so.  Someone in our congregation needs your skills and knowledge and it's a great chance for you to use your spiritual gifts to further the work of God's kingdom.

Rick Robinson did a great job of training and educating the Elders on fire and other emergency procedures for our church building.  He showed us where to find extinguishers, how to use the fire alarm system, reviewed evacuation procedures and left us feeling much better about being prepared should an emergency occur.

September 2014

The Elders have completed their training manual.  This will be given to anyone who comes on as a new Elder.  The manual provides information on how to perform the various duties required of an Elder, a job description and other educational materials.

The Elders are continuing to work on developing a skillsbank for our church.  This will be a database that will contain information on the various skills and talents of our congregation.  The intent is to be able to have access to people who can provide assistance (consultation or project work) to our Board, Committees and members.  Watch the Friendly Visitor and upcoming Sunday bulletins for more details.

August 2014

The Elders will resume their monthly Bible study breakfasts on August 24th.  Having finished the book of Mark last year, we will now start on Luke.

Sue Chivington and Greg Douglass got the Elders up to speed on Young Disciples for the coming year.  We got our teaching schedules, curriculum outlines, and teaching materials.  Due to Sue and Greg’s hard work, the Elders are all ready to go with this class for this fall.

The Elders were asked to submit tips for making the teaching of Young Disciples easier, more effective and more fun.  This “tip list” is the last piece of the Elder’s training manual.  The manual will be completed next month and will be used to help orient new Elders and as a reference for current Elders.

The Elders reviewed vacancies that will need to be filled at the church election in January.  We generated a list of potential candidates and passed it on to the Nominating Committee.

Bev Driver polled the Elders concerning what Pastoral Care topics we would like to cover over the course of this coming year.  A number of ideas were generated and we will cover those starting next month.

May 2014:

The Elders finished their study of the Gospel of Mark at their April breakfast meeting.  The study included many interesting comments, insights and learning opportunities.  The group will start a new book of the Bible when the breakfast meetings resume in August.

Pastor Tim and Board Chair Cheryl Nagy presented the outline of a long range plan for our church.  The Elders identified several items of particular interest to them.  This outline will be used to develop the full plan which, in turn, will be used for both guiding the work of our congregation and as an aid to the Pastor Search Committee in their efforts to develop a congregational profile as part of the search process.

The Elders have almost completed the development of a training manual for new Elders.  The manual contains information related to the duties and responsibilities of an Elder.  It also contains background reading materials that go into more depth on subjects such as pastoral care, serving at the Table, doing home communion, etc.

A group led by Rick Robinson has completed policies and procedures related to our sound system.  The document will be given to the Trustees for their review and consideration.  The purpose of this effort is to ensure that system operators have been trained and that we have consistent operational procedures for using the system.

April 2014:

The majority of our April meeting was spent hearing from Reverend Toni Bynum from our Regional Office.  She gave the Elders a clear and comprehensive overview of what to expect during the process of calling a new Senior Pastor to South Side.  There was a fair amount of discussion and questions, after which everyone felt that they had a clear picture of what to expect during this important process.

The Elders also finalized plans for Holy Week services including serving schedules and responsiblities on Palm Sunday and Easter for Elders who have Young Disciples being baptized and joining the church.

The Elders continue to work on some time intensive projects such as creating a training manual for new Elders, assisting in developing policies and procedures for use of the sound system and creating a skillsbank to enhance opportunities for our congregation to more fully and effectively utilize the talents and Spiritual Gifts within our church.

March 2014:

The Elders discussed the Listening to God program and were very pleased with the results.  Some of the groups really bonded during the process and are planning to continue meeting from time to time for study and discussion.  If you are interested in being part of an ongoing group, please contact Jim Ottarson.

The Elders continue to work on a training manual for teaching and operating the Young Disciiples program.  This is a unique program and we are proud of all the time and work that has gone into it and the results it has produced.  A training manual that includes teaching tips, logistics of running the class and the curriculum itself will hopefully ensure the continued success of this excellent program.

Thanks go out to Jennifer Murtaugh for taking pictures of our new Elders so that the picture board in the narthex is now up to date.

February 2014:

Most of the Elders meeting dealt with housekeeping issues such as assigning new Elders to people who need Home Communion, discussing the Listening to God program (which is going very well!), planning our monthly Bible Study Breakfast, starting preparations for Lent, etc.

We did, with regret, accept Peggy Miller's resignation due to her time restrictions.  We filled her position with Keith Boyd.  Keith will be working with Rick Robinson to get trained on the duties of an Elder.

Bev Driver presented another excellent installment of her Pastoral Care training.  She discussed the many aspects of grief.  The training was very thorough and will help the Elders perform their pastoral care duties more effectively.

January 2014:

The Elders recognized the five Elders who are retiring:  Sue Chivington, Betty May, Terry Miller, Cheryl Nagy and Peggy Miller.  These people have been good and faithful servants of their Lord and our congregation.  If you get a chance, please thank them for the many hours they have devoted to this important job.

The Elders also recognized Sue Chivington for the incredible job she has done over the years with our Young Disciples.  Most churches do not have the in-depth Christian Education program that we have for our young people as they prepare to join the church.  Sue has scheduled teachers, prepared teaching materials, held parent meetings, encouraged the youth and provided recognition to them for their efforts while they are in the program.  She has volunteered to continue on even though she is retiring as an Elder.  Many thanks, Sue, for all your wonderful work.

You may soon see some information on the skillsbank we are trying to create.  It is our hope that we can identify the talents and skills of the people at South Side so that we can get help, information and support when we are doing projects.  If you see a request asking you to list your skills and talents, please take a moment to complete it.  Stewardship is not just about money, it is also about sharing our talents and spiritual gifts with those in need.

December 2013:

If you have any people or situations that might benefit from prayer, please feel free to contact the Elders and they will activate their prayer chain.  You can call or email the church office with your request and the chain will be activated from there.  You can also contact Jim Ottarson with your request.

The same applies to home communion.  Elders make visits to hospitals, care facilities, and homes to bring communion to people in our congregation that cannot come to church to worship and receive communion.  Just let the church office know who needs to be served and an Elder will be assigned to that person.

The Elders are actively participating in the Listening to God program that South Side is using to develop a long range plan for our church.  Elders are leading discussion groups and also participating in those groups.  The Elders strongly encourage everyone to take the time to be a part of this important program.  We cannot hope to be effective in calling a permanent senior minister if we do not know where we are going and what we will need from our clergy staff.

November 2013:

Pastor Tim presented information on a long range planning process called “Listening to God”.  It is a Bible based method for doing planning for churches.  The Elders fully support this idea and will be participating as group leaders during the process.

The Young Disciples curriculum for this year is posted on our website.  Take a look and see the all lessons they cover in the course of just one year.

Bev Driver and Todd Cosart led a session on how to assist those who are grieving.  The material was excellent and will help the Elders as they do funeral home visits.

Wanda Werking gave the Elders an update on Home Members and made sure we have an Elder assigned to each one.  If anyone knows of someone who needs to receive communion at home, please contact the church office and an Elder will be asked to visit them.

October 2013:

We continue to work on a skillsbank in an effort to identify the talents and skills of our congregation.  This is a way of helping people at South Side find meaningful work.  It will also help those in need of assistance by providing them with a list of people who have the skills needed for a particular project.

The Elders reviewed their responsibilities as included in our emergency plan.

Jim Ottarson will continue as Chair of Elders for 2014.

Ever wonder what the Elders do?  The Elders have finalized a job description for that position and it appears below:


South Side Christian Church

Job Description


Job Title: Elder



Must be a professed believer in and follower of Jesus Christ

Must be a member of South Side Christian Church


General Duties:

The role of Elders in the church is Bible based and goes back to the very beginning of the Christian church.  Elders helped their church with a variety of functions and their role continues to this day.

The Elders in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) are called to be spiritual leaders of their congregation.  The Elders act as resources and consultants in all spiritual matters of the congregation and also assist the Ministers with various duties as requested.

Elders are expected to function as active members of the church board and take such actions as necessary to ensure that the Board’s decisions, policies and actions are carried out. 

Elders are expected to serve on various committees as asked or as they feel called to serve. 

Serving as an Elder is a three year commitment.  An Elder may serve two consecutive terms. 

Specific Duties:

Attend monthly Elders meetings, currently held the second Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m.

Attend monthly church board meetings, currently held the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m.

Serve Communion, as scheduled, which includes the Offering, the Cup and serving the Sunday School Department

Serve home communion to homebound members when assigned or as requested

Teach the Young Disciples class one month each year

Provide spiritual guidance to our Ministers and to our congregation

Provide extra prayers when called or emailed by our Elder prayer chain

Attend educational events (e.g. Elders breakfast, Retreats, etc.)


Mentor Young Disciples

Attend funeral visitations (as time allows)

Maintain confidentiality of any information that is shared with you regarding our congregation, church board or ministers

Other duties as assigned or requested by the church board or our ministers


Revised 10/13 J. Ottarson



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3300 South Side Dr. | Lima, Ohio 45807 | PH: 419-225-1606 | Fax: 419-222-4507 | e-mail: