The duty of ruling elders as members of Kirk Session is to work together with the minister in the oversight and government of the congregation, for the upbuilding of God’s people in spiritual fruitfulness and holy concord, and for the extension of Christ’s kingdom among all people. In exercising this leadership, the Kirk Session shall oversee and work along with other members who have leadership roles in the congregation.
Ruling elders, by their calling, share equally with ministers in responsibility for practical witness both within the congregation and in the wider world.
In the discharge of their duties each elder should be assigned by the Kirk Session pastoral responsibilities and/or other leadership roles in the congregation.
The Kirk Session, along with the Minister, should seek to ensure that all elders are equipped to fulfil their duties.
To be chosen for the office of the eldership in a congregation a person must be a voting member of that congregation and a regular attendant on its ordinances. He should be circumspect and exemplary in his conduct, both in the Church and in the world, of acknowledged piety, endeavouring to maintain the worship of God in his family and held in esteem by the people. Women shall be eligible for election on the same conditions as men.
A ruling elder shall not hold office in more than one congregation at the same time, except as a member of an interim Session.
Sub-paragraph (2) shall not apply to retired ministers who may be members in the congregation
Voting members in the Church are communicants on the roll of the congregation who are listed, whether by name or number, as having contributed to the stipend or weekly freewill offering of the congregation in the last financial year.
In addition to those so listed the following shall also be qualified, if themselves communicants on the roll –
(a) A wife shall be qualified on a husband’s contribution, and vice versa, where both are communicants. This shall also apply should the contributor himself or herself not be a communicant. If neither husband nor wife in such circumstances is a communicant, then their contribution shall qualify the eldest child, residing in the family, who is on the communicants’ roll.
(b) Should a contributor, who is not a communicant, be a member of a family residing together, then his contribution shall qualify the eldest member residing in the family who is on the communicants’ roll.
(c) Those who have been added to the communicants’ roll of the congregation since the close of the last financial year, upon confirmation by the treasurer that they have contributed during the current year, shall also be qualified voters.
(c) Should any member of the congregation who claims to be a voting member desire to make an objection regarding any name on the list, or omitted from the list, he shall lodge his objections, with his reasons in writing, with the Moderator of Kirk Session within a week of the first publication of the lists by any of the prescribed methods; and the Kirk Session shall give its decision thereon or refer the matter for decision by Presbytery.
(d) Should any member objecting be dissatisfied with the decision of the Kirk Session with respect to his own or another’s qualifications he shall have the right of appeal to Presbytery within seven days. The same right belongs in such cases to any member of the Kirk Session, including any assessors that may have been appointed by Presbytery.
(e) When the voters’ list has been finalised by the Kirk Session without appeal or reference, or by the Presbytery after appeal or reference, it shall be dated, signed and certified as correct by the presiding Moderator, who shall forthwith have it lodged with the Clerk of Presbytery, with a certified copy being retained by the Moderator or interim Moderator of Kirk Session as the case may be. This procedure must be completed before proceeding to the election.