The Office of Elder

In the Presbyterian Church (USA), the office of Elder is the highest office that can be entrusted to a member of the church.  Elders, acting together as members of the Session, have total responsibility for the life of the congregation.  Under the headship of Jesus Christ and led by the Holy Spirit, they are, together with the Pastor and Associate Pastor(s), the spiritual leaders of the church.  The Session is responsible for the conduct and mission of the church; except for those limited responsibilities pastors exercise by virtue of office.
            Elders are spiritual leaders.  The Book of Order stipulates they…
should be persons of strong faith, dedicated discipleship, and love of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.  Their manner of life should be a demonstration of the Christian gospel in the church and in the world…
They are to…
lead a life in obedience to Scripture and in conformity to the historic confessional standards of the church.  (G.6.0106)

CPC Elders:


Ron Abbott

Ron Abbott (Class of 2017)  

Stewardship Elder

Ron’s faith experience started at Sterry Memorial Presbyterian Church in Roswell, Idaho. He was ordained as Elder there MANY years ago!  He transferred his membership to Covenant Presbyterian 20 years ago. He has served on several committees of the Boise Presbytery, most recently the Committee on Ministry.  Ron has served on numerous committees and activities at Covenant and is currently serving as Covenant’s treasurer.
Janet Calinsky (Class of 2019)
Fellowship Elder
John Dzwilewski (Class of 2019)
Adult/Family Ministries Elder
I have worshiped at Covenant for 21 years. My wife Tammy and I have two adult children, Marc is 28 and Eric is 25.
Vern Foster (Class of 2017)
Buildings and Grounds Elder
I attended church growing up at First United Presbyterian Church in Woodbine, IA and remember my involvement in their youth group.  Polly and I met through work in Omaha, NE and have been married for almost 33 years.  We have two children, Mary who is married and lives in Eagle, ID and Richard who lives in Houston, TX.  Jack and Kate are our twin 2-1/2 year old grandchildren that attend church with us often.  We moved to the Boise area in 1992 for my work and after several weeks of “trying” churches we landed at Covenant because of the friendly greeting we received.  In 2002 we relocated to Batavia, IL for six years and returned back to the Boise area and Covenant in late 2008.  I am hopeful that we are here in Idaho to stay and can enjoy seeing our grandchildren on a regular basis. 
Scott Ritchie (Class of 2018)
Personnel Elder

I grew up on a farm in the Magic Valley area with 3 brothers.  The farm taught me the values of hard work and getting the job done that have served me well the rest of my life.  I graduated from BSU with undergraduate/ graduate degrees in business administration.  I started out of school with Hewlett-Packard and worked there for 18 years.  Our highlight from that period was a 2 year assignment in Guadalajara when our children were young. From there I worked at Extended Systems for 5 years as Operations Manager. From there I went to a start up called Positron Systems to work at business development.  That didn’t work out so well.  After finding myself unemployed, I started (along with my wife and partners) Lawn Equipment Company (sales and service of outdoor power equipment) in early 2008 just as the economy went into a tailspin.  Through early struggles we’ve grown the business and in 2012 purchased our current facility on Fairview Ave in Boise. 

I’ve been married to my lovely wife Cindy for over 40 years now and we have 3 grown children and one grandson.  We are very proud of our kids and the awesome adults they have become. And being a grandparent is way more fun than raising your own kids.  We started attending Covenant back when services were held in a local grade school.  I’ve been on Session a couple of times in the past and though I am busy like everyone else, I felt the Lord was nudging me to step up and help out in this time of transition. 
Tracy Sauerwein (Class of 2018)

 Worship Elder


Tracy moved to Boise in 1988 with her husband, Jeff Larsen, so she considers it home.  Tracy and Jeff raised 3 children, Katrin, Kaz and Kyle, who are now graduated from high school and pursuing education and careers in other states. God has slowly revealed himself to her since childhood, but she still has much to learn.

Tracy has a degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, and works for HP as an engineering manager. She enjoys working on teams toward common goals, finding the positive side of a situation, and serving others. In her spare time, she enjoys outdoor activities (road cycling, mountain biking, downhill and skate skiing), reading, traveling, and researching healthy nutrition.
Toni Smith (Class of 2019)
Fellowship Elder

Doug WaskiDoug Waski (Class of 2017) Missions/Evangelism Elder

Doug was raised in Louisville, KY and made his way to Idaho through a friend he knew in the Navy.  He is married to Tami and they have 2 children:  Ethan (10) and Scarlett (7).  He enjoys camping, hunting, and reading (most anything historical).  He is looking forward to the challenge of being an Elder, being a worthy servant, and strengthening his own spirituality.
CindyClerk of Session – Cindy Tyree (Class of 2018)


Cindy met her husband Steve during their sophomore year in college.  They married their senior year and then in the summer of 1979 Cindy and her husband Steve transplanted to Idaho from California.  By October they found themselves transferring their membership from one new church development to another – and Covenant was born!   It has been a tremendous part of their faith journey.   Being part of this congregation has been a continual blessing in their lives.  They raised their son & daughter in this church and now enjoy bringing 2 of their four grandchildren with them on Sunday mornings.  They have tried to faithfully serve the church both at the congregational and presbytery levels.  Cindy is soon to retire from school counseling and Steve is a retired school administrator.   Although native Californians they both call Idaho their home!