OUR CURRENT ISSUE — OCTOBER 2018
The changing face of rural ministry
Presbyterian pastors are learning that small-town America isn’t what it used to be. Racial and gender diversity, drugs, hunger and a host of other big-city challenges have come to Main Street U.S.A. In this first installment of a three-part series, Presbyterians Today explores how rural churches are navigating this new reality in their communities. Read digital edition
Featured Stories from this Issue
Rural ministry — white and straight no more
Diversity leads to ministries of peace and unity.
Why you should consider a senior living community while you’re still fit
Today’s communities offer amazing options and amenities for older adults. It often makes sense to plan a move when you’re healthy and can take your time to investigate the communities that appeal to you.
Birthday singer’s ministry
Meet the 99-year-old (!) church member who phones you to sing “Happy Birthday.”
Building a mission village
A dwindling church revives with a vision of creating a mission village, offering everything from affordable housing to medical care and schools.
Are we meant to be happy — or does God have something else in mind?
Happiness is so overrated! Troubling texts reveal God’s joy.
New! 2018 Advent Devotional from Presbyterians Today
God Lifts the Lowly
This Advent, pray and contemplate with Mary in her Song of Praise found in Luke 1:46–53.
Original paintings and poems are the work of Andrew Weatherly, a young Presbyterian man born with Down syndrome, who uses his gifts to raise awareness of the capabilities of those with special needs.
There are reflections, prayers and Bible verses for every day of the Advent season written by Donna Frischknecht Jackson and Krin Van Tatenhove.
Bulk discount pricing available. Now in stock.
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Presbyterians Today, the award-winning magazine of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), is published bimonthly (6 times a year). Every issue is filled with inspiring stories about people and congregations … highlights of church news and mission … a Christian perspective on issues of the day … Bible study and practical tools for life and ministry … and much more!
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GIVE YOURSELF A NEW JESUS, NEW JOY Start your day with meditations focused on the bedrock of love, joy and peace which integrate modern findings on psychological vibrancy and Scripture. Author is experienced Presbyterian pastor and therapist. More details on Amazon. ($12.95)
COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGIST FOR PC(USA) The Presbyterian Mission Agency, based in the PC(USA) national offices in Louisville, Kentucky, seeks an experienced communications pro to develop and implement communications strategies and marketing/communications plans for the assigned ministry areas that raise public awareness of the work we do. Excellent benefits plan. We are an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer, and we strongly encourage applications from persons of color and individuals living with disability. Additional details and application.
SOLO PASTOR First Presbyterian Church of San Rafael, California (20 miles north of San Francisco), seeks a solo pastor to lead our downtown suburban congregation to grow in faith, hope and love. This person will help us celebrate 150 years of service to the community and the wider world as well as challenge us with creative forms of worship, spiritual practices, congregational nurture and service to our diverse community. Church website: fpcsr.org. View our MIF #00680.AEO on the PC(USA) CLC website.
DIRECTOR OF CHILDREN’S MINISTRY First Presbyterian Church (www.fpcspartanburg.org) of Spartanburg, SC, is seeking a full-time Director of Children’s Ministry to oversee the ministry with children, birth to fifth grade, and their families. FPCS is a 2300-member downtown church actively involved in mission and serving the surrounding community. A Bachelor’s degree, at least 2 years of experience in Christian Education, and the ability to recruit and equip volunteers are required.
Qualified candidates should send a cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, see fpcspartanburg.org/dcm.
PART-TIME SOLO PASTOR The Finger Lakes area of Upstate NY is considered to be one of the most scenic and beautiful locations in the country. Tucked away in one of its valleys is the small, rural town of Big Flats and the historic First Presbyterian Church of Big Flats. Founded in 1827, we are seeking a part-time solo pastor to guide us and work with us on the next phase of our church’s rich history. We are seeking someone who will appreciate our traditional family style of worship while helping to introduce us to more contemporary styles of worship in our quest to attract new families and diverse people of all ages. The pastor will have a broad and deep understanding of theology and help guide us spiritually in our daily life as well as in our outreach to the surrounding community. We are seeking a pastor who is warm and caring, is a good communicator and who has a love for children of all ages. Please review our website at bigflatsfirstpres.org and view our MIF #05888.AA0 on the PC(USA) CLC (clc.pcusa.org). Please contact Pat Seem, PNC chair at Shamrockpat@gmail.com to submit resumes.
PASTOR First Presbyterian Church of Odessa, TX (fpcodessa.org) is a small congregation committed to building a community of believers who will love and serve all. They are searching for their next pastor. Requirements include being a team player, PCUSA ordination, and 5–10 years of pastoral ministry in the Presbyterian church. Salary and benefits are commensurate with experience. Please submit your resume and cover letter to Wynesia Jackson at email@example.com.
SOLO PASTOR First Presbyterian Church of Coldwater, MI, seeks an enthusiastic solo pastor to help a receptive congregation grow in faith and carry out its vision. We are searching for a minister who will lovingly challenge us to see new ways to worship, grow spiritually, engage in mission and witness to God’s Kingdom. We hope that you hear God’s call, leading you to us. May we all feel God’s blessing as we navigate our living faith together. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Kirkmont Center, Inc. Dynamic, seasoned leader needed to continue to transform a beloved facility in southwest Ohio and its dual ministry of faith formation and outdoor science education. Please refer to: kirkmontcenter.com/staff-employment.
DIRECTOR, PUBLIC THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, Ga. We seek a founding director for an exciting new program to help us partner with congregations, denominations, NGOs and other institutions to make excellent theological education available outside of traditional degree structures. Full details and online application at faculty-emory.icims.com/jobs/25383/job. Kindly apply by October 1. Anticipated start date: January 2, 2019.
PASTOR/HEAD OF STAFF Grace First Presbyterian Church in Weatherford, Texas, is seeking a pastor/head of staff who will provide spiritual leadership and compassionate care in our growing community. This congregation is eager to continue to worship, witness and work to meet the needs in our community and beyond while finding new ways to share our joy and our gratitude for God’s presence in our lives. View our MIF #08758.AC1 at pcusa.org/clc or send inquiries to email@example.com.
FULL-TIME ASSISTANT PASTOR/DIRECTOR OF YOUTH MINISTRIES First Presbyterian Church of Houston, Texas (fpchouston.org), a large, thriving, Gospel-centered church is seeking a dedicated full-time Assistant Pastor/Director of Youth Ministries. The ideal candidate will be Christ-centered, have a college degree, possess five to ten years of experience, and have a contagious faith consistent with the principles and beliefs of the ECO denomination. Please submit your resume and cover letter for to Aly.Eaton@MinistryArchitects.com.
SOLO PASTOR First Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) in Leesburg, FL, is seeking a solo pastor to lead our church as we continue to grow in this expanding area. We are mission-oriented including both hands-on mission work and financial support of domestic and international missions. Staff includes a multitalented Director of Worship and Music, who puts together a choir/praise team/musician group of 25 to 30 each Sunday to lead an energetic and vibrant blended service with average attendance of about 150. We are about 40 miles northwest of Orlando, near the fast-growing community of The Villages. See our website at firstpresleesburg.org, see our MIF number 20086.ABO on the PC(USA) CLC website or contact our PNC at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at https://e3consultingnet.wufoo.com/forms/1st-pres-candidate-form/.
BIBLE FACULTY POSITION McCormick Theological Seminary invites applications for a tenure track faculty position at the Assistant or Associate Professor level beginning July 1, 2019. We seek candidates with a research doctorate in Bible, with a specialty in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, who are able to teach Biblical Hebrew, are familiar with traditional as well as innovative biblical scholarship, and have the capacity to relate scholarship to faith communities. Candidates should demonstrate excellence or the promise of excellence in scholarship and teaching, should have a commitment to preparing people for leadership in ministry, should be open to interdisciplinary teaching, and should have facility and experience with hybrid and/or online technology.
Strong preference will be given to candidates who can engage a diverse community of students and/or scholars, who can teach in Spanish and who have an expertise in LatinX biblical interpretations. Applicants should submit a letter of interest that includes a statement on teaching philosophy, curriculum vitae, two syllabi (actual or proposed), and a writing sample, along with the names of three references. Applicants should upload materials at http://mccormick.edu/content/applications-faculty-positions. Questions should be directed to Jennifer Ould, Assistant to the Dean of the Faculty, at email@example.com.
The Search Committee will begin reviewing applications on October 14, 2018, and continue receiving applications until the position is filled.
Located in Chicago, IL, McCormick Theological Seminary is a seminary of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) with Reformed, ecumenical, cross-cultural, and urban commitments. We are committed to building a culturally diverse faculty. We strongly encourage applications from women/womyn and persons of color. McCormick Theological Seminary is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity employer.
FULL-TIME PASTOR/HEAD OF STAFF Lakeside Presbyterian Church in Storm Lake, Iowa, seeks a full-time pastor/head of staff for its congregation. We are a welcoming, diverse community of faith sharing the grace of God through worship and music, mission and outreach. Nurturing our current membership while developing our ministry to young families is a priority. Pastoral competencies should include possession of a dynamic preaching style, an ability to challenge and inspire, compassionate and skillful pastoral care, and strong, creative leadership skills. See our website (stormlakepresby.org) for information about Lakeside and view our MIF ID 02661.AD0 at clc.pcusa.org. A PIF may be sent to Barbara Wells at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Presbyterians Today
Presbyterians Today is the award-winning, general-interest magazine of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Published 6 times a year, it explores practical issues of faith and life, tells stories of Presbyterians who are living their faith and covers a wide range of church news and activities. Presbyterians Today features easy-to-understand articles about what Presbyterians believe, Bible study and devotional helps, and provocative commentary on the church’s role in society.
Presbyterians Today continues the mission of denominational magazines dating back to the late 1800s. Among these are its immediate predecessors: Presbyterian Survey, Presbyterian Life and A.D.
Statement of purpose
Presbyterians Today seeks to:
- Report in a fair, accurate and balanced way on the activities of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and of its members, leaders and mission partners.
- Uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
- Illuminate the faith and heritage that bind Presbyterians together.
- Express the rich diversity within the denomination.
- Challenge readers to grow in their commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord.
- Provide a Christian perspective on contemporary issues.
- Be a source of inspiration, spiritual direction and practical tools for life and ministry.
- Reflect the denomination’s priorities: evangelism, justice, spiritual formation and leadership development.
Presbyterians Today editorial and advertising offices
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Presbyterians Today Guidelines for Writers and Photographers
Presbyterians Today, published by the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), is a national magazine about Presbyterian mission and ministry. It is published 6 times a year. Most readers are loyal, long-time subscribers. While they vary in age, gender, and geographic location, most readers are married, active in their church and community, affluent and well-educated. About a quarter of PT readers are active clergy; the balance are church members.
Presbyterians Today seeks to
- demonstrate the impact of the activities of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and its members, leaders and mission partners, in a fair, accurate and uplifting way
- use east-to-understand language free from specialized or technical jargon and acronyms
- uphold and advance the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Presbyterian Mission Agency
- use inclusive and expansive language, making use of bias-free and non-paternalistic terms, balancing female and male references and ensuring that language about God reflects the many images of God available to us through Scripture
- illuminate the faith and heritage that bind Presbyterians together
- through words and images, show respect and equality for the rich diversity (theological perspective, race, ethnicity, ancestry, sex, gender, identity, sexual orientation and mental or physical condition) within the PC(USA)
- challenge readers to grow in their commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord
- provide a Christian perspective on contemporary issues
- serve as an inspiration and resource for life and ministry
- reflect the denomination’s vision, mission and priorities
Presbyterians Today welcomes contributions from freelance writers. Preferred maximum length is approximately 1,500 words.
Appropriate subjects include
- profiles of interesting Presbyterians and of unique activities or mission projects of Presbyterian members or congregations
- issues of current concern to the church
- how individuals and families express their Christian faith in significant ways or relate their faith to the problems of society
Most articles have some direct relevance to a Presbyterian audience, although Presbyterians Today also seeks well-informed articles that can help individuals and families cope with the stresses of daily living from a Christian perspective.
Fiction, poetry, and reprints are rarely used.
Writers should send a query to the editors (by email, preferably) before sending a manuscript. Unsolicited manuscripts received by post will not be returned unless a stamped, self-addressed envelope is enclosed.
Authors are asked to submit only one article at a time. Manuscripts sent after the editors approve the subject proposed in a query are read by at least two editors, and a reply is given normally within 60 days after receipt.
Presbyterians Today pays for articles upon acceptance of the manuscript. Contracts specify purchase of all rights, including publication on the web.
Presbyterians Today editorial offices
100 Witherspoon Street
Louisville, KY 40202-1396
Tel. 800-728-7228, ext. 5627 or 502-569-5627