I learned, from the encylopedia of knowledge that is Facebook, that today is Clergy Appreciation Day.
Of course, in the PC(USA), that means it's Teaching Elder Appreciation Day.
I emphasize often how important is our denomination's emphasis on the parity between ruling and teaching elders in both our governance and our spiritual leadership. But I also know that I, as a ruling elder, wouldn't be who I am today as a Christian and Presbyterian without the teaching, support, encouragement, and sometimes prophetic butt-kicking from teaching elders.
It's not an easy time to be a teaching elder: calls are scarce, the pay isn't great, society is moving further and further away from Christianity, and the church we've grown used to is changing, morphing into a new being whose shape and structure we don't yet know.
But it's my hope and prayer that each of you recognize that you possess something beyond what the world measures as success: you have the priceless opportunity to transform people's lives. You have the priceless opportunity to proclaim the Gospel, to preach Christ crucified and risen, whether it's from the pulpit, or in a coffeeshop, or beside a hospital bed.
I don't think you teaching elders alone are sufficient to lead a congregation, a presbytery, or a denomination. But without you, the rest of us would be lost, in every sense of the word (and Word). So, to all teaching elders, thank you. Blessings on your continued ministry.