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.
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.
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.
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DIRECTOR/COMMUNITY ORGANIZER VIA (Valley Interfaith Action) is a faith-based community organization (FBCO) started in 2015. We are looking for an energetic person to be the Director/Community Organizer for this organization made up of twelve congregations in the Matanuska Susitna Valley in Alaska. The Director will be responsible for day-to-day nonprofit administration and organizing in communities of faith throughout the Borough. A willingness to be trained in VIA’s model of congregation-based community organizing is essential for any candidate interested in the position. Position will begin February 1, 2020. Applications should be submitted before January 8, 2020. Additional inquiries will be accepted if the position is not filled. For job description see our website at valleyinterfaithaction.org. Send cover letter and resume to email@example.com.
SOLO PASTOR WANTED First Presbyterian Church, Stephenville, TX, is seeking a solo pastor to guide us through a church revitalization program that includes touching all aspects of the church community — worship, education, mission and member care. Stephenville is a rural city and home of Tarleton State University with a student population of about 11,000 students. It recently was accepted into the D-1 WAC Conference, so the number of students enrolled is expected to grow. Our congregation seeks to work with an energetic and inspiring person to create a safe and welcoming space that attracts a multi-generational congregation, including college students and young adults, families and the elderly. Please review our MIF # 08756.AC0 on the CLC website or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we may begin our faith journey together. Find us on Facebook at First Presbyterian Church Stephenville.
CAMPUS MINISTER The Westminster Foundation of West Virginia is seeking a campus pastor for West Virginia University, a 30,000-plus major research university in Morgantown, WV. The pastor oversees Presbyterian campus ministry, which includes the WVU Presbyterian Student Fellowship (PSF), a UKirk campus ministry that seeks to build a community which enables students to deepen their faith as lifelong followers of Christ. PSF offers regular programming that provides opportunities for fellowship and witnesses to God’s inescapable grace and unconditional love for all. In addition to the Campus Ministry Center, PSF provides student engagement through programming for the Harless Center at Central Place, a ministry of First Presbyterian Church Morgantown. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in the Campus Ministry Center in adjacent to the WVU campus. The primary goal of the campus minister will be to build and maintain relationships with students, the university, and local congregations. Ultimately, the PSF intends to offer a progressive Christian message rooted in the traditions of the PC(USA) to any student — inclusive of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, denominational or religious background. As today’s campus ministry is inherently transitional and varied, we are seeking someone who will engage students that are in a variety of life stages. Pastoral care also plays a big role in campus ministry so the campus pastor will need be approachable and supportive of students with a variety of pastoral needs. The campus minister will also be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Campus Ministry Center. In order to accomplish this task candidates will need strong administrative skills. Responsibilities will include overseeing CMC staff and interns, assisting the Board in donor development and fundraising, and on-campus marketing. The candidate will be ordained or certified ready to receive a call in the PC(USA). It is expected that the pastor will become a member of the Presbytery of West Virginia. A Ph.D. is preferred, but not required. Preferred campus ministry experience of two to five years. Salary Range: $48,000-$58,000. Housing allowance. MIF # 74139.AA2 is posted on the PCUSA Church Leadership Connection or can be requested from Tina Vial, Search Committee Chair, at 100 Campus Drive, Elkins WV 26241. Résumés/PIFs can be sent to that same address or emailed to email@example.com. Questions may be directed to her at 304-997-4284.
PASTOR/HEAD OF STAFF — ROME, N.Y. For over 200 years the First Presbyterian Church has served its members and the community of historic Rome, NY. We are seeking a pastor to shepherd our intergenerational church family of 200 and staff of five to continue our work and fulfill our purpose in this place and time and into the future. Our mission statement: “We gather as God’s people to deepen our understanding of Christ; to spread His word and teachings; and to reach out to our church family, our community and the world through acts of compassion, kindness, and love.” Please check our MIF #06026.AC0 on the CLC website, our website at firstpresrome.com, and contact our PNC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SENIOR PASTOR/HEAD OF STAFF — NEW ORLEANS St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church (SCAPC), located in New Orleans, LA, is searching for its next Senior Pastor/Head of Staff. SCAPC is a strong and vibrant church with a passionate congregation and dedicated community and global ministry program. Located in the heart of uptown New Orleans, this 1000+ member congregation is searching for its future leader to guide the church into its next chapter. For more information, we invite you to visit our digital locker at SCAPC.org/PNC. Here you will find information about SCAPC and our unique New Orleans community as well as a copy of our Ministry Information Form.
ASSOCIATE PASTOR — SCARSDALE, N.Y. Hitchcock Presbyterian Church in Scarsdale, NY, a vibrant, diverse and very active congregation of 450+, seeks Associate Pastor for Mission, Community Outreach and Church Families. Benefits include a competitive salary and a manse next door to the church. Hitchcock, a stone’s throw from New York City, is located within a community that has a highly acclaimed school system. The newly created position is unique and will reach across a broad range of the church activities including mission, membership, outreach to the community, participation in worship and pastoral care for members of the congregation. The successful candidate must be creative, enthusiastic and compassionate in his or her work. Concentrating on mission and membership, the full-time, ordained Associate Pastor will work closely with the Pastor in facilitating the next and most important step in Hitchcock’s evolution. Interested candidates can send their PIF or resume and cover letter to Catherine Feintuch at Hitchcock.Presby.PNC@gmail.com. MIF: #06077.AH0.
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: FredGriffie@gmail.com. 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 LMPCDCESEARCH@gmail.com.
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. Emailjpogue@hhmlaw.com.
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 firstprescoldwater.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and access our MIF #00269.AD1 on the CLC website. We can be found on the web at annapolis-presbyterian.com.
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 www.derrypres.org. Send your resume or PIF to APNC chair Sara Woodbury at APNC@derrypres.org.
PASTOR/HEAD OF STAFF First Presbyterian Church • Covington, Georgia • fpccov.org
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 clc.pcusa.org.
PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (U.S.A.) JOB OPPORTUNITIES
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 https://www.presbyterianmission.org/who-we-are/work-for-the-church/ and click “search for employment opportunities.”
Director of History and Records/PHS Executive Director (Office of the General Assembly) Responsible for all operations and programs of the Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS). This person is responsible for collecting, preserving, interpreting and sharing the story of American Presbyterianism with mid-councils, congregations, and individuals. This position calls for a person with mature faith in Jesus Christ and an enthusiastic commitment to the mission program of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as noted in its theological confessions, the Book of Order, and the actions of the General Assembly. To learn more about the job or to apply online, please visit: https://www.joblinkapply.com/joblink/803/Job/Index/383627/
Director of Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations (Office of the General Assembly) Serves as the ecumenical officer for the PC(USA), 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(USA) 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 or to apply online, please visit https://www.joblinkapply.com/joblink/803/Job/Index/380282/
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 or to apply online, please visit: https://www.joblinkapply.com/joblink/803/Job/Index/376462/
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 or to apply online, please visit: https://www.joblinkapply.com/joblink/803/Job/Index/376458/
Associate Director for Theology, formation and Evangelism (TFE) The Associate Director will provide thoughtful leadership to Theology, Formation, and Evangelism (TFE) by coordinating the ministry of staff so that the strategic purpose of TFE is implemented in collaboration with PMA ministry areas, PC(USA) 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 or to apply online, please go to: https://www.joblinkapply.com/joblink/803/Job/Index/378092/
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 or to apply online, please visit: https://www.joblinkapply.com/joblink/803/Job/Index/370139/
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 or to apply online, please visit: https://www.joblinkapply.com/joblink/803/Job/Index/370144/
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
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Louisville, KY 40202-1396
Tel. 800-728-7228, ext. 5627 or 502-569-5627
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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
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Louisville, KY 40202-1396
Tel. 800-728-7228, ext. 5627 or 502-569-5627
In Jesus, we receive the perfect gift of God being with us. Giving to the Christmas Joy Offering reflects that perfect gift by being with the leaders of our church and world — past, present and future — in their time of need.