Our church government is by a Consistory of elected elders and deacons who work in concert with the pastor to administer to the spiritual and physical needs of our congregation.
The three offices of minister of Word and sacrament (Pastor), elder, and deacon are brought together in consistory. As the liturgy claims, by gathering the three offices, “the consistory continues the full ministry of Christ in our day.” This gathering of officers is the governing body of the local congregation and is chosen periodically from the membership of the congregation. It has charge of all the spiritual and temporal affairs of the church. The minister is always the president of the consistory. Normally it meets as one body to plan and guide the various matters relating to the welfare of the congregation, since it is often very difficult to separate many matters which arise into temporal or spiritual categories.
The Consistory is made up of the Pastor and two orders, the Elders and Deacons.
- Rev Stephen Eckert, President
- Holly Kowalenko, Vice-President
- Lynne Diehl, Clerk
- Our Pastor is Stephen Eckert. “Pastor Steve” began serving our congregation in 2003, and his leadership has been instrumental in the continued growth of our congregational family.
- Pastor Steve received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Hope College in Holland, Michigan and his Masters of Divinity from New Brunswick Theological Seminary.
- Prior to coming to South Branch Reformed Church, Pastor Steve served the Reformed Church at Finderne in Bridgewater, NJ from 1998-2003.
- Pastor Steve is also very active within the community as he volunteers with the Hillsborough Fire Company #1 (Flagtown) as Firefighter Chaplain, the Hillsborough Police Department as a Chaplain, and various other organizations.
The term Elders, sometimes called “presbytery,” comes from the Greek word “presbyteros.” Elders are not ministers. But, their duty is to assist the ministers in the guidance of the spiritual life of the congregation. Therefore, for such matters as the admission of new members or the administering of spiritual discipline, the elders meet as a separate body with the minister. At all other times, they meet with the whole body of Consistory. The currently serving Elders are:
- Danielle Burt (2017)
- Jean Evers (2017)
- Jannie Johnson (2017)
- Robyn Friedlander (2016)
- Holly Kowalenko (2016)
- Joseph LiBrizzi (2016)
The other order in Consistory is that of the Deacons. The special charge of the deacons was originally the care of the benevolences of the church, both in the parish and beyond its bounds. Today they fulfill their responsibilities through serving the poor, sharing mercy, and working for justice. The currently serving Deacons are:
- Tina LoSardo-Christie (2017)
- Cynthia Sheridan (2017)
- Mary Nunn (2017)
- Irene Foley (2016)
- Lynne Diehl (2016)
- Tyson Stramaglia (2016)
In support of the Consistory, there are eight standing committees to meet the needs of the Church and congregation.
- Fellowship and Church Life – Tyson Stramaglia, Chair
- Congregational Care – Holly Kowalenko, Chair
- Mission and Social Witness – Jean Evers, Chair
- Church Growth and Outreach – Danielle Burt, Chair
- Christian Education – Tina LoSardo-Christie, Chair
- Administration and Finance – Robyn Friedlander, Chair
- Property – Joseph LiBrizzi, Chair
- Worship – Jannie Johnson, Chair