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When Jesus began reading from a scroll in the synagogue, Luke’s gospel records that his text came from the book of Isaiah. “He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives,” Jesus says, quoting Isaiah.
The Rev. W. Robert (Rob) Martin, III, lead pastor and head of staff at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Iowa City, Iowa, has been at his current calling for 2½ years. That longevity places him among the senior members of the St. Andrew staff, which has welcomed nine new staffers since August.
When she sat for a recent interview, the Rev. Sarah Hegar, who directs congregational ministries at First Presbyterian Church in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, was still basking in the glow of having welcomed six confirmands into membership the previous weekend. They got there in part by studying Matthew 25 confirmation materials that asked the youth: How do you change the world?
“Our church’s commitment to Matthew 25 is important to us,” says Ashlynn Beauchamp, a 15-year-old member of First Presbyterian Church in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. “It gives us the opportunity not just to better ourselves and follow Jesus, but to branch out and work in the world to improve others’ lives, not just our own.”
Marcy Stroud, the warden at the minimum-security Mt. Pleasant Correctional Facility in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, remembers very well the day she received a cold call from the Rev. Trey Hegar, pastor of First Presbyterian Church.
Justice Advocacy Sunday is one of the most significant days in the life of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Not only are many Presbyterians unaware the day it falls upon, but also many don’t even know that it exists.
While most organizations work tirelessly to break down silos, Westminster Presbyterian Church in Bay City, Michigan, decided instead to build a few of their own.
All to the glory of God for the benefit of Presbyterian Mission, of course.
The Rev. Dr. Letiah Fraser, an ordained pastor with the Church of the Nazarene as well as a hospital chaplain, disability rights advocate, activist and organizer who also recently began ministry at The Open Table, got to appear alongside the organizer of the new worshiping community in Kansas City, Missouri, Nick Pickrell, on a recent broadcast of “Being Matthew 25,” hosted by Melody Smith, associate director for digital and marketing communications in the Presbyterian Mission Agency, and the Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, the PMA’s president and executive director.
One of the things that attracted the Rev. Daniel Van Beek to Franklin Presbyterian Church was its commitment to Matthew 25. “Their pastor had left, and the interim hadn’t even come, yet they still moved forward with Matthew 25,” said Van Beek, who joined the Franklin, Kentucky, congregation in 2020.
A retired Presbyterian started a coffeehouse-based new worshiping community to serve her West Virginia community.