Dear Church Family,
Earlier this week, you should have received an email with an attached letter of invitation for the men in our church to attend the officer’s training class that I will be teaching this fall. That letter is available online; you can find it here. I won’t rehash the contents of that letter, but I will give a reminder that we would like for men to sign up for the class by August 16th so that we can have all of the materials ready. Also, if you have any questions about the schedule (of this class or any other activities in the church), you may contact me personally, or visit the online church calendar: http://providencemidland.org/calendar.
I would like to give a special plea, however, for the men in our church (young and old, members or visitors) to sign up and attend this class. There are several requirements and steps required in order to become a church officer (an elder or a deacon): taking the officer training class, meeting the Scriptural qualification set forth in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1, undergoing a written and oral examination by the session of the church, and being nominated and elected by a majority vote at a congregational meeting.
All of this can sound very daunting, I know! However, to the men in the congregation, I would also say: even if you do not feel called or qualified to serve as an officer in the church – or if you are on the fence – this class is a great opportunity to study the Scriptures, the Westminster Standards, our denomination’s Book of Church Order, and various other topics pertaining to the doctrine, practice, and leadership of our church. I have found this kind of class to also be a means to help discern a calling to serve as an elder or deacon in the church.
As is outlined in the letter of invitation, the first half the course will consist of an overview of the Scriptures and study of Presbyterian Church in America’s Book of Church Order. In the second half of the course, we will study the entirety of the Westminster Confession of Faith. Over the course of the sixteen weeks, we will also have assigned articles to read and discuss in class. The articles and subsequent discussions will cover many topics, including things like the history of Presbyterianism, the regulative principle of worship, infant baptism, philosophy of ministry, principles of leadership, and others.
If you’ve ever taken an online or home-study course, you know that it is very different from interacting with other people in a classroom environment. That’s one of the great benefits of this class. You could probably go and read all of the materials for this class and study on your own, but there’s something uniquely beneficial about studying, learning, and interacting with others in community. I’m looking forward to this class and hope you will join us on Sunday evenings this fall!
The Lord be with you!
- Pastor Peter M. Dietsch