Applications, including letters of reference,
are due by March 15, 2019.
Applicants are sought for a one-year 1001 New Worshiping Community residency in Braddock, Pennsylvania and the Greater Mon. Valley, in partnership with the New Worshipping Community Commission of Pittsburgh, Presbytery and This Generation Connect, Inc.
The Mon Valley is collection of communities where empty churches share a block with other empty buildings, and community centers struggle to stay afloat. They are the places that our society finds hard to look at because they remind us that the American Dream is not the deepest theology at work in our world. These are the communities where it is easier to close a church than to start one—yet we are committed to maintaining a presence and a witness to what God is doing in the Mon Valley. Indeed, love for the people of the Mon Valley, and faith in what God is doing there, is bubbling up from pastors around the Presbytery, students at the seminary, and even local politicians and restauranteurs. Despite its struggles, there is a buzz about Braddock, one of the small towns of the Mon Valley. There is energy around the communities nestled there along the riverbed and there are gifted, faithful people who are anxious to be involved with God’s work there.
To thrive here, a resident in this community would need to bring a love for the community and its people, an honest belief in the community’s worth and charisms, and a vision for what God might do in its midst. The resident would need to be one who works connectionally—someone who crosses boundaries, connects well across difference, and is able to love deeply without being easily discouraged by systemic brokenness. The resident would work in partnership with Pastor Nate, and work collegially with supervisor Rev. Ayana Teter as both a supervisee and a colleague, gaining feedback, insight, and experience in starting community-based ministry from the ground up. Right now, the ministry includes a small group meeting at Pastor Nate’s home, deep community connections in the non-profit, church, and business communities, and a vision for multi-cultural church and polycentric leadership.
As this residency placement comes together, the team includes a varied of experienced stakeholders. Pastor Nathaniel Carter is the leader on this project, in large part because of his desire to do multi-cultural ministry in a city full of segregated churches and his deep roots and broad connections in the neighborhood. And, of course, there are multiple elders and staff people from other faith communities that have been carrying a vision for ministry in the Mon Valley for years. In addition to this team, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary would offer additional connection and support to the resident through monthly lunches with church planting students and practitioners, programing around spiritual practices and training, and a local learning community. With the guidance and support of these leaders and communities, the resident will find themselves doing the early work of planting alongside Pastor Nathaniel—exploring the community, connecting with people of peace, and convening community conversations.
A discernment team selects candidates for the program. In addition to possessing the qualities described above, an ideal candidate for the NWC Residency will possess an interest in journeying with a community to see them grow in awareness of God’s work and presence in their lives. She or he delegates and equips people to take responsibility for their faith practices and has excitement and enthusiasm about starting things from scratch. He or she is an unapologetically Christian leader who is savvy about loving and meeting people where they are.
The total package available for support of this residency is $40,000 for the year, to include salary and at least a $1500 health insurance reimbursement. We will work with the successful candidate to organize the package to be most beneficial to the resident. Residents also will take part in an advanced national training (costs covered by the Presbyterian Mission Agency) with 1001 apprentices and other residents this summer in Kansas City. Applications, including letters of reference, are due by April 15, 2019.
This is an opportunity to start a new worshiping community in an underserved community, and it is certainly an opportunity that could go beyond the residency year. The New Worshiping Communities Commission of the Pittsburgh Presbytery promises to welcome, connect, and support the resident in their work and life in Pittsburgh, to pray for their ministry, manage their organizational finances until such a time as the community might incorporate, support the ministry financially as deemed appropriate, and maintain a close connection with both the resident and their supervisor.
Residents will report directly to Rev. Ayana Teter, the supervisor for the residency and experienced church planter, and will take part in our leadership team meetings. There will be weekly meetings to discuss short, medium, and long-range goals for the community
For more information about 1001 New Worshipping Communities follow us on Instagram @1001nwc and contact Sara.Hayden@pcusa.org.