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The small church: a gift to the community

Many of us have bought into the myth that “bigger is better,” including when it comes to the size of your congregation. But as we approach Advent, it’s good to remember how God’s big plans were wrapped in the smallest of gifts — the birth of a Savior. This month’s issue of Presbyterians Today looks at some of the mighty gifts that small churches lovingly shower on their communities.

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Other featured stories from this Issue


Don’t sidestep Advent

Advent, the time of hopeful anticipation of the coming of the Messiah, should not be rushed or short-changed. Read some suggestions about how to make this season meaningful and special.

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Wiping away tears of injustice

In the lectionary text for All Saints’ Day (Nov. 1), Isaiah prophesizes that God will swallow up death and wipe away our tears — and there will be no more racial injustice.

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Immigrants giving back to their communities

Immigrants and community leaders, once the recipients of help, are now engaged with new worshiping communities, working for justice in their communities.

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SENIOR PASTOR/HEAD OF STAFF • First Presbyterian Church • Salt Lake City, Utah
Located on the edge of the downtown area of Utah’s capital city and set among five universities, ten destination ski resorts, alpine forests and five National Parks. FPC is a congregation of approximately 350 people striving to love God, love our neighbors, and make disciples as Jesus commanded. We are a community of followers of Christ who share the grace and love of Jesus with one another and with our neighbors. leading to flourishing lives and communities. We are a diverse community of believers from across the Wasatch Front with deep faith, worship and music traditions. We gather in our beautiful, historic building in the midst of a mission field of people yearning for meaning, longing for God’s grace, and experiencing brokenness, loneliness or homelessness. The people of FPC seek to faithfully follow the Lord Jesus Christ. This congregation is part of a Presbyterian heritage in Utah which dates back 150 years. Learn more at and View MIF #08893.AE2. First Presbyterian Church, 12 C Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84103.

Enjoy a laid-back country life near the lake while serving as part-time interim pastor for a small, rural church (<100 members). Little Mountain Presbyterian Church in Abbeville, SC, is seeking an interim pastor for our Christ-centered, conservative, family-oriented, friendly church. The ideal candidate will be an excellent communicator and have previous experience and interim training. Manse available. For position description and terms of call, visit (case sensitive).

Serving faithfully since 1835, FPC of Marianna (in the NW Fla. panhandle) is excited about our future, including welcoming our new pastor. Thriving community college and a one hour drive to two metropolitan areas and the world’s most beautiful beaches. Learn more at MIF #20051.AD0.

The board of trustees invites applications and nominations for the position of president of Whitworth University. For more information about the position, leadership agenda, qualifications and application process, please review the full position profile on the Academic Search website:

Located in Spokane, First Presbyterian Church of Spokane (, a caring and warm congregation committed to reaching Spokane with the love of Christ, is in search of their next Director of Children and Family Ministries. This person will provide primary leadership for children and families at FPC, be responsible for leading a robust volunteer and staff team, equip and inspire children as they begin a lifetime of discipleship, equip parents, and serve as a liaison for family ministry to the congregation and larger community. Candidates should send their résumé along with a cover letter to

American Protestant Church of The Hague, Netherlands
For over 65 years, the American Protestant Church of The Hague (APCH) has been a “home away from home” for both expatriate and resident English-speaking Christians. Our 300 regularly attending congregants represent a richness of nationalities and denominational diversity. APCH is in the search process for a new experienced and ordained Senior Pastor beginning late summer/fall 2022. Application deadline: Sept. 18, 2021. Read full details at:

Second Presbyterian Church in New York City is seeking a full-time Solo Pastor for a small congregation on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. We place priorities on visionary preaching, compassion and presence in pastoral care, and a readiness to work together to forge new directions in mission. While our church has a 260-year history, our members hail from different faith traditions, styles and points of view. The pastor we seek connects well with people, is nimble, flexible and open to change. For more information, visit Our Ministry Information Form can be found on Church Leadership Connection, #05610.AB0 Second Presbyterian Church.

Are you a pastor who has a love for God, life and fellow man? You may find living in our community and serving this church, not just an opportunity, but a true pleasure! We are a medium-sized congregation in a coastal Texas community. We have varied interests, actively participate, are supportive of one another, hardworking and fun-loving. For details see MIF #21750.AC0 or contact Mission Presbytery GP Sallie Watson at


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 Rebuilding and Vision Implementation (Term Contract) (Presbyterian Mission Agency, Louisville, KY)
We are seeking a Director of Rebuilding and Vision Implementation to work closely with the Executive Director, Leadership Team, the Change Management Team and colleagues across the mission agency and other Presbyterian Church (U.S.A. ) (PCUSA) agencies/entities to develop and implement the strategic direction and structural changes needed to live into the redefined vision for PMA. This is a 30-month or longer-term contract career opportunity. The person selected will have the option to be based in Louisville, KY, or to work remotely. 

Mission Specialist for Special Offerings (Presbyterian Mission Agency, Louisville, KY)
Share in the development of new models of fundraising and engagement which foster vital congregations engaged in systemic work to dismantle white supremacy and eradicate poverty.  Provide the administrative and organizational support necessary for the Project Managers of the Special Offerings and Giving Catalog team to broaden the platforms, content, and approaches leading to greater participation and dollars for Matthew 25 ministry.

Manager for Korean-Speaking Councils Support (18 Months Term Contract) (Office of the General Assembly, Louisville, KY)
Support and nurture councils of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) that are Korean-speaking or of Korean heritage, and to strengthen the connection between geographic and Korean-speaking presbyteries, and between geographic presbyteries and Korean-speaking congregations within their bounds, so that all Korean-speaking and Korean-heritage councilscontinue to grow toward healthy and connectional mission and ministry within the denomination. Position is Term contract for 18 months, working 40 hours per week.

CLC Call Process Consultant (Office of the General Assembly, Louisville, KY)
Processes archival collections; assists with collection development including conducting oral histories; oversees preservation activities including environmental monitoring and contributes to disaster planning; contributes to PHS communications; and provides remote reference services.

Records Manager (Office of the General Assembly, Louisville, KY)
Administers a cost-effective, legally-based records management program for the national offices of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) that includes all types of records (digital, paper-based, audio-visual) and insures that records of permanent value are transferred to the custody of the Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS) for long term preservation and access. Provides consultation and assistance to national office staff regarding all records management concerns, including best practices for managing email and other digital records, filing of paper-based records, and retention and disposition of records of temporary value. Manages the Records Center located in the Presbyterian Center in Louisville, KY.

SPC Executive Director (Stony Point Center, Stony Point, NY)
Oversee all aspects of Stony Point Center and manage its efficient integration with the Presbyterian Mission Agency and the Administrative Services Group of the PC(USA) A Corp.

Processing Archivist (Presbyterian Historical Society, Philadelphia, PA)
Processes archival collections; assists with collection development including conducting oral histories; oversees preservation activities including environmental monitoring and contributes to disaster planning; contributes to PHS communications; and provides remote reference services.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is committed to being not only an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer as defined by the U.S. government, but with the inclusion of gender identity and sexual orientation as well. 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 are also 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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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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