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In the early 1990s, Third-Westminster Presbyterian Church in Elizabeth, N.J., was looking for a way to minister to the local community.
The journey that led the Rev. Dr. Rose Niles to become the Presbyterian Foundation’s newest Ministry Relations Officer began when she was asked to become a ruling elder at the age of 14.
The Presbyterian Foundation plans to soon take action that could free up millions of dollars to support the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s 1001 New Worshiping Communities program.
Over the course of the last year, churches across the globe have wondered what coming out on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic looks like. Many have wondered how to make the best decisions for their worshipping communities. As the pandemic pushed churches to make difficult decisions, many churches saw an opportunity to try new things.
Long before the pandemic and the social upheaval of 2020 following the murder of George Floyd, the church had been preparing and mentoring leaders who could lead communities in faithful means of protest. The New Poor People’s Campaign, co-chaired by Presbyterian pastor the Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis and Disciples of Christ pastor the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, is one such visible and contemporary example of this work.
“We started our curriculum discussions asking what kind of person do we want to graduate,” said the Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Lapsley, Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs and Professor of Old Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary.
That sort of design thinking has led to curriculum innovations across Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) theological institutions including Columbia Theological Seminary, Princeton Theological Seminary, and Union Presbyterian Seminary.
While the Rev. Brian Ellison didn’t realize it at the time, umpiring T-ball games as a youth can be job training for work as a stated clerk, which Ellison does for both the Synod of Mid-America and Heartland Presbytery.
The Book of Proverbs states that “without a vision, the people perish.” In the third webinar of a three-part series on stewardship, the Presbyterian Foundation’s Ministry Relations Officers the Rev. Dr. Rob Hagan and Maggie Harmon suggested that without a vision, not only do the people perish, but they also do not give.
The Rev. Dr. Lee Hinson-Hasty of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Committee on Theological Education, host of the podcast “Leading Theologically,” likes to start off the Facebook Live events by asking his guest, “What is making you come alive?”
What you are going to find in “The Purpose Gap: Empowering Communities of Color to Find Meaning and Thrive,” a book published in March by Westminster John Knox Press and written by the Rev. Dr. Patrick Reyes, are, as Reyes writes in the introduction, “stories, studies, and dreams about care for the conditions of our lives, of our communities, and of our bodies. For one to thrive, understanding the conditions that already surround us (and others) is the first step. For so many of us, purpose is defined, stolen, or withheld before we even enter the world. The question now is ‘How do we understand and influence these conditions?’”