Deacons and Elders

Deacons and Elders


The word “deacon” is derived from the Greek verb diakonein, meaning, “to serve.” The ministry of our Board of Deacons includes visiting the homebound and those in the hospital; coordinating meals, transportation, and other services for the ill and homebound; sending care packages to out-of-town military and college students; and coordinating funeral receptions that are held in Conway Hall.

The Board of Deacons 2020:

Class 2020

  • Sarah Lein
  • Debbie Munson
  • Lamar Turner

Class 2021

  • Judy Kelly
  • Kim McKenzie
  • Gail Mungalsingh

Class 2022

  • Jane Barry
  • Carolyn Castagno
  • Minnete Mullings
  • Mary Widick

Contact Information:

If you are in need of any of these services or are interested in serving on the Board of Deacons, please contact the church office at (407) 898-6571.


In the Presbyterian Church (USA), the congregation elects Elders from among the membership to serve a three-year term of “active” service on the Session. Session is the governing council of the church. Elders who are actively serving on Session have responsibility, together with pastors, for leadership of the church.  Elders who are actively serving on Session may also chair a standing committee or serve as a liaison to a committee or in some other significant capacity. Once their three-year term is over, Elders roll off Session. They remain Elders for life, serving in a “sustaining” capacity in a variety of ways furthering the mission and ministries of the church. Newly elected Elders take their place in “active” service on Session.

Session 2020:

  • Clerk: Kristen Stieffel

Class 2020

  • Barbara Baker
  • Kathy Gallagher
  • Jane Heppner
  • Don Lein
  • Jim Pate
  • Tracy Umpierre

Class 2021

  • Paula Craig
  • Diana Ibarra
  • Bruce Johnson
  • Michael Kest
  • Bruce Lampman
  • M Waddell

Class 2022

  • Laurie Feddon
  • Tom Kelly
  • Sally Kest
  • John Tracy 


To reach an Elder please contact the church office at (407) 898-6571.

The Session is our governing council and is made up of elders elected by the congregation (ruling elders) and the pastor (teaching elder). Session meets on the third Thursday of the month at 7 pm in the Conference Room of John Calvin Memorial Hall. Meetings are open and members are welcome to attend  (Guests may be asked to step out when a sensitive or confidential matter is taken up.)  

Session takes action, for the most part, on matters that are brought on recommendation from committees. Ideas and suggestions are best brought to the committees. Call the church office for information about when committees meet and who to contact.   

Moderator of Session:  Rev. Melanie Ruta

Clerk of the Session: Kristen Stieffel


The Administration and Personnel committee oversees the various administrative and personnel matters of the church. Administrative matters include oversight of general office administration functions and reviewing agreements and contracts prior to execution or renewal by church officers.  Personnel functions include the initial interface for personnel requirements and issues and subsequently assessing and preparing recommendations to the Session for final approval and disposition. Other specific duties include: review and revision of the Personnel Manual each year, participate in the annual performance review process, review employee compensation and make recommendations for change to the Session annually, review the terms of call for all pastors and make recommendations to the Session annually.


The Buildings and Grounds Committee is responsible for the maintenance and preservation of physical property owned by Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church including the grounds, buildings, furniture, fixtures and equipment. 


The Christian Education Committee plans and oversees many areas of ministry that as a whole strive to present a program that provides an environment in which the faith of the members of Grace Covenant can grow and be enriched.  It is also the goal of the committee to offer opportunities for members to grow in community and relationships while learning together.  


The Congregational Fellowship Committee seeks to promote the sense of community within the congregation and hospitality welcoming all who worship with Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church. 


The Stewardship and Finance Committee is responsible for the oversight of all financial activities and pledge generating activities on behalf of Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church.  Financial matters include reviewing and assisting in the preparation of the monthly and annual financial reports, responsibility for an annual independent financial review, developing recommendations for the investment of the church’s reserves, assisting other committees in the identification of funding sources for various projects, and assisting the church treasurer with resolving financial issues.  Stewardship matters include reviewing campaign materials, soliciting budgets from committees and preparing and distributing pledge mailings, as well as preparing the annual budget for presentation to the Session. 


The Outreach Committee is involved with the planning and administering a portion of the church’s financial resources for benevolent programs within our local community and world as well as organizing service opportunities. The Outreach Committee oversees the Evangelism program of the church with the purpose being to bring persons into a saving grace of God in their lives.  This includes finding ways to attract and encourage individuals to our church; finding and encouraging ways for members to be welcoming to visitors; publicizing services and activities to the surrounding community; welcoming and assimilating new members into our fellowship


The technology committee oversees the various computer, office equipment, sound systems, software, web pages, email systems and other systems of technology to keep them updated and functioning.


The Worship Committee is responsible for weekly and special worship services.  The Committee recommends dates for the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, preparation of the elements, obtaining church officers to serve communion and extended communion, recruitment and training for liturgists, acolytes, greeters and ushers, bulletins and sanctuary flowers, choirs, music, pew hymnals, Bibles, along with brochures and envelopes.  The worship committee also provides the content for the power point slides and seasonal sanctuary decorations.


The Youth Committee is responsible for nurturing the faith of students in Middle School, High School, and College, through studies, fellowship and fun.