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Year of Leader Formation: Investing in Ruling Elders and Deacons

Not just a pastor’s job

In the late ’90s, Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri became a member of a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregation in Puerto Rico with a membership of fewer than 20 people. The congregation, the co-moderator of the 223rd General Assembly (2018) recalls, had gone through a schism, and her spouse, the Rev. José Manuel, was called to be its redevelopment pastor. When the couple arrived, they discovered that there was no session, no deacons, no Christian education programs and no musicians. “Church” consisted of Sunday worship only. An administrative commission appointed by the presbytery served as the session.