In the Presbyterian Church (USA), we believe that every person is called to ministry. While we share one common ministry in Jesus Christ, specific forms of ministry may emphasize special tasks and skills. Our church invites both laywomen and laymen into ordained service and leadership, through the offices of Elder and Deacon, both of which are chosen by the people.
Together with our pastors, elders exercise leadership, government, and discipline and have responsibilities for the life of the church, both locally and globally. They serve as members of the session, our governing board, and often chair our various committees. Elders are eligible to serve in any office in the denomination.
It is the duty of deacons, first of all, to minister to those who are in need, to the sick, to the friendless, and to any who may be in distress both within and beyond the community of faith.
(adapted from 2009/2011 Book of Order)