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rural congregations

Rural realities: White, straight no more

Racial and gender diversity, drugs, hunger — big-city challenges have come to Main Street U.S.A. Presbyterians Today is launching a three-part series, “Rural Realities,” to explore the challenges and blessings for today’s rural churches as they navigate a new reality. In the first installment, PT talks to pastors about the racial diversity and gender identification issues in their small communities.

Creative Approach Leads Retired Pastors to Serve 10-Member Congregation

Creative approach leads retired pastors to serve 10-member congregation Two years ago Glacier Presbytery faced a challenge that may not be unique to that presbytery—how to find effective pastoral leadership for a very small, very rural congregation. The congregation of Community Presbyterian Church in Whitlash, Montana, with its 10 members, provides a vital ministry to that area, being the only church in that ranching community. Their remoteness presented an additional difficulty, as they are located more than 20 miles from the nearest paved road. Over the years they had tried many methods of securing pastoral leadership, sharing with nearby churches from other denominations, making weekly calls seeking a pastor to fill the pulpit, and helping a local person become trained as a commissioned ruling elder. When their pulpit once again became vacant, they reached out to the presbytery, wondering if there was a way to have a teaching elder serve them, even though their funds were very limited.