What Does It Mean To Be An Elder?

Presented as the Leadership Track at the UUA Mid-South District’s Healthy Congregations Conference
October 9, 2010. Auburn, Alabama
Presenter:  Eunice Benton  District Executive of the Mid-South District
Eunice Benton – view the video recording here.
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Description: What does it mean to be an ‘elder’ in our religious tradition?  (Hint: it’s not just about being old!)  Where did this notion come from in our history, and how can we use it well and appropriately today?  How can we ‘raise up elders,’ honor them, and invite their wisdom to guide our congregations? 

Notes from our conversation are attached, along with both of the PowerPoint documents we talked from. 
CambridgePlatform - PowerPoint presentation
The area we didn’t really get to in much depth was what we can do to ‘raise up elders’… and, in short, what we can do is to give attention to leadership development, especially in encouraging rising leaders to get education and training (district events and General Assembly and, especially, ‘Leadership Experience’ weeks in the region) in addition to the experience they get in the congregation — and remember to appreciate them for their efforts!  We can also encourage those in whom we see real potential for professional roles — faith development (teaching elders) and clergy (preaching elders) and other work as religious professionals. 

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