When people speak about "the Presbytery" they may be thinking of it as a regional governing body, as a group of churches sharing the same faith tradition, as a geographic area, as an agent of mission, or as an office with a staff serving the congregations and clergy within its bounds. The Presbytery is all of these things and more.
The Presbytery of the Western Reserve is a geographic area encompassing 39 churches, about 8450 members spread across nine counties in north-eastern Ohio. The Presbytery is also a regional mid-council of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), consisting of all the churches and approximately 116 ministers serving in churches, institutions, and specialized ministries. As a council it has certain decision-making powers which are carried out by the clergy and representative elders from each congregation. This Presbytery supports over 15 Mission Partners which include; the United Protestant Campus Ministry, mission groups and agencies working for justice, and outdoor ministry for all ages. Through its elected representatives and staff the Presbytery provides a variety of services to congregations from assisting with the search for a new pastor, advising about building and financial concerns, leading church officer training, and supporting efforts to face changes in our community and society. The Presbytery office serves as a vital communication link for congregations, pastors, agencies, other Presbyterian entities, ecumenical and interfaith colleagues, and friends of all kinds. The Presbytery of the Western Reserve seeks to be a community of ministers and representative elders, and a community of congregations, joined as partners in Christ's service.
How the Presbytery Responds
Here's how the Presbytery of the Western Reserve responds:
- By helping local churches to carry out their ministries more effectively.
- By assisting congregations to cooperate in mission projects that cannot be accomplished alone.
- By providing resources for member churches.