Ever since Susanna Ogden was in third grade, her parents served in leadership roles at HP Pres. For many years they were involved in various ministries, and she quickly learned by their example. Her father served as an elder, and to Susanna at the time, this meant he wore a dark suit, served communion, sat in the front row with the other older men, and went to a lot of meetings. When women elder started to be elected, it was a welcome change to the Session inviting women to be a part of the leadership team.
Our church is governed by the Session, twenty-four men and women who are elected by the congregation to provide spiritual and visionary oversight of our ministries and mission. When Susanna was first elected two years ago, she was pleasantly surprised that the six-week elder training was centered around servant leadership and humility rather than administration and authority. The course deepened her love for Jesus as she saw how he led through service.
“I expected more sitting around a table making managerial-type decisions,” Susanna describes. “It’s been so much more creative and reflective than I’d imagined. We each come together with our own experiences and strengths to follow God’s leading for this body and speak as one voice.” Seeing each individual contribute themselves has been a gift to her and allowed her to value how God works among his people. More than anything, she says that being an elder has been stretching for her spiritual life and humbling as she’s had the privilege to serve our church in its vision to grow God’s kingdom.
Her involvement in the handbell choir, women’s ministries, and Sunday School allows her to enjoy interacting with lots of members outside of the leadership team. She’s excited for all God has in store for HP Pres and cannot wait to see members grow in their relationship with him along the way.
Find a complete list of our elders and how you can contact them at hppres.org/elders.