Posted in: Once an elder, always an elder?
From an RCA pastor serving in a CRCNA church, learning the differences...
Joshua, maybe we could educate the CRCNA people in the form of the thank you to Elders and Deacons when they finish their term of service.
1. have clear language when we bring someone onboard (they are ordained every time because, even though they were before, that ended when their term of service ended and so they need to be ordained again. If this is not the case, then the ordination remains and thus they are still in some way an "Elder", just not on Council, which is how the RCA handles it)
2. When we are ordaining a new batch, we also remove the ordination from those who are completing their term. We can have in the liturgy a time when the outgoing Elders/Deacons are recognized and we both thank them for their ministry and relieve/release them from their ordination. The mantle is taken off.
We are installing (and ordaining) new Elders and Deacons this Sunday, which is why I am on here doing research. I am thinking about having a symbolic passing of the torch, where the outgoing Elder/Deacons have a towel (thematically pointing to foot washing) that is passed on to the new Elder/Deacon. The idea also comes from the Elijah/Elisha passing of the mangle/ministry and the vestments of the levitical priests that were passed down. The new elder/deacon would keep the towel during their time of ministry and then present the same towel at the end of their service to be passed to the next office bearers.
Is there a committee that does updates/revisions to liturgies that i should suggest some form of thankyou/celebration and removing of the mantle from exiting office bearers be incorporated into the liturgy?