The elders have called a congregational meeting on November 13, 2022 to present Nagib Hermes and Woonny Kim as associate pastors – and to formally release our former associate pastor Jason Kriaski. If you’re not sure what that means, keep reading!
TWO KINDS OF ELDERS
In the presbyterian form of government, every local church is led by a board of elders, which is called a Session. There are two kinds of elders: teaching elders (pastors) and ruling elders (laymen). Both are formally ordained, and both have an equal vote on the Session.
TWO CLASSES OF PASTORS
Presbyterian government also has two classes of pastors: Assistant pastors are hired by the Session, so they are not voting members of it. Senior pastors and associate pastors are hired by the congregation, just like ruling elders, and are therefore members of the Session. Assistant pastors may be hired and fired by the Session, but senior pastors and associate pastors may only be hired or fired by a vote of the congregation.
ABOUT WOONNY KIM
Woonny joined Westside as an assistant pastor in December 2020, after serving churches in Texas for more than a dozen years. During his time as our Pastor of Care, he has greatly expanded the reach and effectiveness of our systems for member care, including the recently launched Care Advisors Program. He has also counseled multiple engaged couples and officiated several weddings. Woonny and his wife Hanna have three boys: Owen, Milo and Levi. If you elect Woonny as an associate pastor, it won’t change his role; it will just make him a full voting member of the Session.
ABOUT NAGIB HERMES
Nagib and his wife Becca have been members of Atlanta Westside since 2011. They have a daughter named Mina. Along with Becca, Nagib earned his Masters of Divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary Atlanta in 2016 — the same year that the members of Westside elected him to be a ruling elder. In 2021 Nagib decided to leave his job in business and join Becca on the staff of Cru City. Cru City allows Nagib to devote 10 hours a week to serve the local church, which he has already begun doing at Westside, leading our ministry to couples preparing for marriage. He was also approved for ordination last year by the Metro Atlanta Presbytery. In order to be ordained as a teaching elder (pastor) and also keep his status as a voting member of the session, our Book of Church Order requires him to be elected again as an associate pastor. If you elect him, his role will not change, but he will be able to administer the sacraments and perform other pastoral duties.
Jason served as our associate pastor for youth from 2017 until this past summer. He has already accepted a call as an assistant pastor at Grace Presbyterian Church in Lexington, Virginia, and he and Christy and Jonathan have already moved there. Releasing Jason from his role at Westside is a formality.