Fort Washington Collegiate Church is inter-denominational, representing both the United Church of Christ and The Reformed Church in America. The Reformed Church of America--our singular denominational home prior to the official merge with the United Church of Christ in 2017--has a Presbyterian form of government. This means that each local church is governed by a board of elders and deacons drawn from within the church. Elders encourage spiritual growth in the church and help oversee ministry. Deacons help with ministries of mercy, service, and outreach. Together, the Elders and Deacons of a church form the Consistory. A Consistory governs each church, and is in turn governed by a Classis.
A classis is comprised of minister and elder representatives from congregations. Most Classes (the plural of classis, pronounced “class-ease”) are grouped by geographical proximity. The classis supervises the congregations and ministers within its bounds. It exercises judicial power over the decisions of individual consistories; receives new churches into the denomination; ordains, installs, and dismisses ministers; and oversees students of theology.
In other words, no congregation is on its own. Each is committed in its ministry and its life to a common expression of faith and to mutual support.
The next assembly is the Regional Synod, which is responsible for all the classes in a particular geographical area. There are eight regional synods in the United States and Canada and each has three to eight classes within its jurisdiction. The regional synod also creates programs to further the work of the gospel and the denomination in its area.
The highest assembly and judiciary is the General Synod. Its membership is made up of minister and elder representatives from each classis, as well as from each regional synod. In its annual meeting each summer, the general synod sets the direction and tone for denominational ministry. It has authority in all matters relating to denominational program and policy. It also has general responsibility over all lower assemblies (regional synods, classes, and consistories).
Elder Beverley Sheares, Chair
Elder Victoria Dillard
Deacon Lorenzo Alsberry
Deacon Johanna Garcia
Deacon Brian Plane
Deacon Wendy Sealey
Deacon Zoe Reyes
Intersections Deacon Abigail Ruane
Intersections Deacon Devora Jones