Presbyterians Today



Creating calm in anxious times

Peace is hard to find and often hard to define. But in a world filled with discord, Presbyterians are finding ways to pass the peace of Christ to others, doing what they can to build God’s peaceable kingdom. 

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Featured Stories from this Issue

Looking back and ahead: Advent’s significance of hope

Advent is both a beginning — Christ’s birth in Bethlehem — and an ending — Christ’s return in glory at the end of the ages. This Advent, let’s focus on the promise of God’s new creation and the future coming of the Lord.

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A Thanksgiving dinner serves dignity and love

Food isn’t the only item on one congregation’s Thanksgiving community dinner menu. “Spiritual food” — listening, talking, caring, loving each other — are also a vital part of the mix.

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New! 2019 Advent Devotional — Straw for the Manger

During this holy season of Advent, we are invited to pray and contemplate as we remember Jesus’ command epitomized by Matthew 25:31–46 to love one another and care for the “least of these” — our brothers and sisters who are hungry, thirsty, alone and otherwise burdened or suffering.

This year’s devotional from Presbyterians Today is very special. The Rev. Sherry Blackman, a Presbyterian pastor, chaplain and award-winning writer and poet, challenges us to fill our days of Advent with simple, practical and loving deeds that help our neighbors — calling each act of kindness a “piece of straw” for the manger to make a soft bed for the Christ child when he arrives on Christmas.

Each day of the devotional features a Scripture excerpt, meditation and prayer to deepen the Advent experience. Each week also features a space for journaling — perhaps a place where you can jot down your good deeds for the coming week.

Straw for the Manger is perfect for congregations, families and individuals. Order copies for your congregation now to ensure delivery before Advent.

Discount pricing and ordering online — or order by phone at 1-800-533-4371 and ask for item 17116-19-007.



What readers say about Presbyterians Today

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“Thanks for an excellent periodical. We give both our adult daughters an annual subscription to Presbyterians Today.”

“I think every active elder should receive this magazine. I purchase it for all members of our session. They are encouraged to share it with others. We use articles for discussion or study.”

“I find that Presbyterians Today supports the positive side of what our denomination is trying to promote. When I read Presbyterians Today, it renews the positive feelings about why I am a Presbyterian.”

“From the experience I have in my own church now, I feel it is very important to have new members know more about Presbyterianism to give them a sense of belonging to the church and take pride in it. Presbyterians Today helps a great deal in this respect.”

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“It is most refreshing to have a publication that deals with the accomplishments of the church, rather than a business report.”

“Presbyterians Today is bright, cheerful and informative. You folks do a marvelous job!”

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!


  • Advent Calendar and Devotional Guide — included free with your December/January issue
  • Lenten Devotional Guide — included free with your February/March issue


Presbyterians Today Subscription Services


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SCOTLAND TOUR  July 27–August 8, 2020. This tour features the writings and life of the great teacher William Barclay. Attend the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Visit Iona and much more. Contact — Email: Telephone: 704-537-8747.

DIRECTOR OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION  Growing church in Chapin, SC, in the highly desirable community of Lake Murray, seeking Director of Christian Education. Full time, competitive salary with benefits. Please send resume to

PASTOR  First Presbyterian Church of Warren is an active and lively congregation of 250 members located in the heart of downtown Warren, Ohio. With a long history of community involvement and engagement, dating from 1803, our church seeks an energetic and enthusiastic pastor to lead meaningful worship and to be an innovative partner with the congregation in providing educational leadership, spiritual growth and member care. Our theologically diverse church through the Vital Congregations program is striving to be a more effective community partner with a focus on family development. For more information, contact John Pogue, Chair, Pastor Nominating Committee. Email

SOLO PASTOR WANTED  First Presbyterian Church of Coldwater, MI, seeks an enthusiastic solo pastor, an engaging preacher, teacher and leader to help a receptive congregation grow in faith and carry out its vision. We are searching for a pastor who will lovingly challenge us to experience new ways to worship, grow spiritually, engage in mission and witness to God’s Kingdom. We aspire to create a safe and welcoming space that attracts a diverse congregation, including young adults and families. Please review our MIF #03365.AB1 and visit our website where you can view our video to learn more about us. We hope that you hear God’s call, leading you to us. Please contact us at so that we may begin our faith journey together.

PASTOR/HEAD OF STAFF  The First Presbyterian Church of Annapolis, located in the state capital of Maryland, equidistant to both Baltimore and Washington, D.C., at the mouth of the Severn River which flows into the Chesapeake Bay, is in search of our next Pastor/Head of Staff. We are one of the few mainline churches in the downtown area and embrace the presence of the legislature and engage members and friends to confront issues which are of concern to the broader community. As a vibrant 650-member community of faith, we seek a pastor that will be an outstanding and inspirational preacher and teacher that will provide the leadership for us to continue to fulfill our mission to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.
  If guiding a forward thinking congregation, leading an exceptional staff, and embracing personal and professional growth fits your vision, please contact us at and access our MIF #00269.AD1 on the CLC website. We can be found on the web at

ASSOCIATE PASTOR, YOUTH & FAMILIES  Derry Presbyterian Church, located in Hershey, PA, seeks an Associate Pastor for Youth and Families to oversee the ministries that provide for the education, spiritual development, fellowship and mission for children and youth, their families and young adults. For more information, see MIF #07338.AC4 and visit us at Send your resume or PIF to APNC chair Sara Woodbury at

PASTOR/HEAD OF STAFF  Westminster Presbyterian Church in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan (the state’s second largest city) is currently accepting résumés and referrals for the position of Pastor/ Head of Staff. We’re a 152- year-old congregation of more than 1,300 members and we have stayed vibrant through exceptional worship and preaching as well as a commitment to the disciplines of justice, hospitality, forgiveness and compassion.
      Watch our video: 

      Our Ministry Information Form #03373.AD0 can be viewed at the CLC website.
      Our Pastoral Nominating Committee can be reached at
      For more information about Grand Rapids, please visit:
      If you or someone you know wants to lead a great congregation in a rapidly growing and changing city, we would like to hear from you!

PASTOR/STATED SUPPLY  South Salem Presbyterian Church founded in 1751 on a hill overlooking the historic Hamlet of South Salem, New York, is seeking a pastor to lead a small, diverse and dedicated congregation. We are very active in the community and share our building with vital civic groups. We have a fantastic music ministry! South Salem is located along the New York–Connecticut state line just about an hour by rail north of NYC. Visit us on Facebook and at and view our MIF #06078.AB0. South Salem Presbyterian Church, 111 Spring Street, South Salem, NY 10590. Join us in ministry! We are in final stages of interviews. Please reply by August 23 to

FULL-TIME DIRECTOR OF YOUTH AND FAMILY MINISTRIES  Job opening at Community Presbyterian Church in Clarendon Hills, IL ( CPC is a PC(USA) congregation centered around living the gospel of Jesus Christ through worship, community and our journey of faith. Email to apply, or find more info at

PASTOR/HEAD OF STAFF  First Presbyterian Church • Covington, Georgia •
Atlanta exurb congregation of 245 members is seeking a pastor who is contagiously enthusiastic and will inspire parishioners to hear and act upon God’s call. Positive and hopeful, this unique individual will engagingly draw constituents from all generations and various worldviews to an inclusive vision of God’s kingdom. Since its founding in 1877 in downtown Covington, FPC has developed a rich history as a beacon of Christian faith, hope and good works in this growing, vibrant community. The new minister will shepherd his or her congregants in this theologically centrist church toward bridge-building and transformational change — making a profound difference in the life of the church and in God’s world. The church is currently seeking to grow its focus on young families, to expand its educational offerings for spiritual development, and to reinvigorate its outreach to those in need. With strong cohesion and spiritual vitality, FPC has a positive balance between energy and satisfaction and a willingness to adapt its worship and ministry to reach new people. See our website for information and view our MIF# 22109.AD0 at

SOLO PASTOR  Located in the heart of downtown Monticello and Georgia’s Lake Country, historic Monticello Presbyterian Church is a lively congregation comprised of 200+ members, with a wide range of ages including many families, and a dynamic music program. We seek an energetic and forward-looking pastor to lead us in our growth as a family of disciples, as we reach out as Christ’s body in service to all. The congregation has a long history of community involvement and engagement, and expects vibrant, meaningful worship, strong educational leadership, and spiritual growth and care. Our vision for ministry is lived out through our mission to be ‘Doers’ for Christ, people of action who strive to serve others both near and far, and be examples of His Word. We’re looking for a leader to help us deepen our spiritual journey, while honoring the Church’s 190 year tradition as a guiding light in this beautiful part of the world. About an hour southeast of Atlanta, Monticello is a close-knit, small town/rural community in the rolling hills of middle Georgia. For more information, contact Lyndsy Johnston, Chair, Pastor Nominating Committee. Email:

The First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York seeks SENIOR PASTOR/HEAD OF STAFF
First Presbyterian Church seeks a Pastor/Head of Staff to provide spiritual leadership, pastoral care, administrative oversight, and organizational direction to a staff and congregation of more than 1000 members with a broad emphasis on worship, music, preaching, education, stewardship, mission, outreach, development and involvement of membership, and programs to address the needs of the congregation. Specifically, we are interested in candidates with experience leading a complex, multi-staff congregation as a Pastor/Head of Staff. (Experience with a large and/or urban congregation a plus.) The ideal candidate will possess a strong understanding of, and experience with, financial management and budgeting, and will be a graduate of a Seminary or Divinity School in the reformed tradition.
     A detailed job description is available upon request. Salary is negotiable and is commensurate with experience. Please contact the Pastoral Nominating Committee at for further information or to apply.


With national offices in Louisville, Kentucky, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) focuses on the national and international mission work of the church. It serves and works with congregations, presbyteries, and synods as the central provider of resources that enable individuals, congregations, and governing bodies to carry forth the mission of Jesus Christ in the world. PC(USA) seeks candidates for the following job opportunities.  To apply online, please visit and click “search for employment opportunities.”

Director of Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations (Office of the General Assembly) (NEW)
serves as the ecumenical officer for the PC(U.S.A.), and works with partners to coordinate the denomination’s relationship with other ecumenical bodies and denominations, as well as the denomination’s formal relationships with interreligious organizations.  The Director fosters broader and more diverse participation in the ecumenical work of the church as efforts continue to dismantle white supremacy, sexism and racism in the PC(U.S.A.) and across the ecumenical movement.  The Director also fosters the development of ecumenical leadership among ruling elders.  Functioning as the hub of communication, the Director works to keep all stakeholders informed and connected. To learn more about the job, please visit

Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer (Administrative Services Group)
The CFO/COO provides high-level management and oversight of the financial system of the PC(USA) and management of key administrative services. To learn more about the job, please visit:

Director of Legal Services and General Counsel (Administrative Services Group)
Lead and manage the legal services for: Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), its entities and Board; A Corporation, the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA) and the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board (PMAB), the Office of the General Assembly (OGA) and the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly (COGA); the General Assembly; and any entities of or related to the General Assembly for which A Corporation provides administrative services, currently those are the Presbyterian Mission Agency, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Investment and Loan Program, Inc. and Presbyterian Women in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Inc.

Associate Director for Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministry (RE&WIM)
Provide management and assist with the smooth and effective operation of the RE&WIM ministry area. Lead both the administrative and programmatic functions in the ministry area. Reporting to the Director of RE&WIM, the Associate Director is responsible for implementing the strategic direction and work plan of RE&WIM, including supervising Intercultural Ministries & Support for Congregations of Color associates to develop ministries which support the mission of racial equity, intercultural, and women’s ministries in the PC(USA). To learn more about the job, please visit:

Associate Director for Theology, Formation & Evangelism (TFE)
The Associate Director will provide thoughtful leadership to Theology, Formation & Evangelism (TFE) by coordinating the ministry of staff so that the strategic purpose of TFE is implemented in collaboration with PMA ministry areas, PC(U.S.A.) agencies, and mid councils. This coordination results in the renewal, effectiveness, and multiplication of the local church. The Associate Director will assist the director in fully engaging the Matthew 25 vision. To learn more about the job, please go to:

Coordinator, Young Adult Volunteer Program (World Mission)
Presbyterian Mission Agency’s (PMA) call to be a Matthew 25 church includes missional goals designed to accompany the denomination in supporting the development of vital congregations, eradicating poverty, and dismantling structural racism and white supremacy. This includes being in solidarity with the PMA’s domestic constituency and international partners in common missional work that enhance the capacity of the global church. The incumbent in this position will provide overall leadership on of the Young Adult Volunteer program, in coordination with other World Mission (WM) and PMA programs, as well as external partners. The Coordinator will represent the program and seek out strategic alliances that enable the YAV program to foster cross-cultural mission, leadership development through faith in action, intentional Christian community, and a space for vocational discernment, all through the lens of PMA’s missional goals. To learn more about the job, please visit:

Mission Associate, International Property (World Mission)
The incumbent in this position will serve as a knowledgeable resource and key implementer of actions related to international real estate, commensurate with the PC (USA) Real Estate policy, which affirms PC(USA)’s basic responsibility of stewardship, ensuring that the organization’s actions support mission work for the benefit of our global partners, including the transfer of real estate, and physically and legally safeguarding assets until such transfers take place. To learn more about the job, please visit:

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Candidates from Presbyterian communities in the global south and other historic Presbyterian Communities of Color, preferably with theological training and fluency in languages other than English, are encouraged to apply. Individuals living with disability encouraged to apply.


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

100 Witherspoon Street
Louisville, KY 40202-1396
Tel. 800-728-7228, ext. 5627 or 502-569-5627
Fax: 502-569-8632

Subscription Services

Presbyterians Today
PO Box 52
Congers, NY 10920
Tel. 800-558-1669

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

Feature Articles

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
Fax: 502-569-8632


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