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Due mainly to Covid, many churches are experiencing transitions as pastors are leaving and new pastors are taking over.
Presbyterian Border Region Outreach has changed its name to Presbyterian Borderlands Ministries to better represent its ministry on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Princeton Theological Seminary community held a library dedication service recently to name one of its most visible and revered buildings on campus after alumnus Theodore Sedgwick Wright, class of 1828, who was a prominent abolitionist and pastor. An unveiling of the entrance revealed “Wright Library” etched in stone.
As the church slowly enters the post-pandemic era, pastors are exhausted and burnt out to the point that leaving the ministry altogether is tempting. A recent Barna study revealed that 29% of pastors have seriously considered doing just that: leaving full-time ministry. Too many have gone it alone, and it is taking its toll.
During my first year as a pastor, there were certain milestones I knew to look forward to. I looked forward to the first time I stood at the communion table and invited my congregation to share in the feast, and the first time I marked an infant with water and proclaimed how much God loved her in baptism. I looked forward to my first Christmas and first sunrise Easter service. But there were other firsts that I didn’t know about that caught me off guard with their beauty.
The COVID pandemic impacted pastors especially hard, and congregations would do well to show their appreciation.
The Rev. Stacy Smith says she has been “surprised by joy” as she looks back at the last five years of her life.
The Rev. Cheryl Barnes was at her computer getting ready to go teach Bible school when the Lord sent an email.
Of course, it wasn’t actually the Lord. The email was from World Mission about a mission co-worker position with a strong focus on education. She went down the list. It was as though it had been written for her. Then she saw the location. It was in Malawi. She shut down her computer and went to church determined to forget all about it.
Without a pastor’s love for fly-fishing, Monica Carrillo might still be living in the shadows. And the Rev. Karlin Bilcher might still be unhealthy and depressed, after a terrible first experience in ministry that nearly cost him his family.
The Rev. Peg Roy of First Presbyterian Church in Auburndale, Florida, is being recognized by the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle as a Game Changer in her community, as part of the organization’s #iamagamechanger campaign.