Elders are ordained United Methodist clergy who are ordained to a ministry of Word, Sacrament, Order, and Service. This means elders preach and teach the Word of God, provide pastoral care and counsel, administer the sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion, and order the life of the church for service in mission and ministry.
The servant leadership of the elder takes place both in parish ministry as well as in extension ministries, like chaplaincy. Elders itinerate, which means they serve in ministry settings (appointments) where the bishop assigns them.
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