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Today in the Mission Yearbook

Presbyterians Today article, panel explore pastoral isolation and burnout

Digital feature is first of more to come

April 14, 2024

Presbyterians Today recently released a feature article in digital form via the Presbyterians Today blog platform. The piece, written by journalist and OGA communications staff member Fred Tangeman, delves into the unique ways that isolation and loneliness contribute to burnout among Presbyterian clergy.

As the piece details, a 2021 PC(USA) report on minister wellbeing reports that 32% of pastors were either concerned or very concerned about isolation. With so much recent conversation about “the great resignation” of pastors leaving ministry, these statistics — and the stories behind them — warrant consideration.

Tangeman specifically highlights the challenges of three pastors working in Mission Presbytery, a geographically expansive presbytery in central Texas with many rural churches. Given its size, Mission Presbytery has long struggled with pastoral isolation, and the Covid pandemic only exacerbated the issue.

Presbyterians Today magazine has been on a “sacred pause” since the spring of 2023, as staff have worked to reimagine the publication for the current and future church. Part of the shift has been to make Presbyterians Today a collaborative project across the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA), which has published it historically, and the Office of the General Assembly (OGA). PMA and OGA are in the process of unifying into one agency.

In addition to relaunching the print magazine, plans for the future of Presbyterians Today include a much more robust digital publication with ongoing content publication, a dedicated website and a commitment to audience engagement.

While it will take some time to develop the new dedicated Presbyterians Today website and officially relaunch the print production, Williams Berkes plans to publish several other feature pieces digitally over the course of this year and accompany them with multimedia storytelling and opportunities for readers to participate in conversation. The Presbyterians Today blog will also continue to publish blog posts from various authors that focus broadly on themes related to the feature pieces. Currently, the blog is publishing pieces on “community” and “connection.”

Follow the Presbyterians Today blog, e-newsletter and the Presbyterians Today Facebook page to stay informed about new pieces, ongoing developments and opportunities to engage.

Layton Williams Berkes, Editor, Presbyterians Today

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, April 14, 2024, the Third Sunday of Easter (Year B)

Today’s Focus: Presbyterians Today article

Let us join in prayer for:

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Tina Finley, Accounting Clerk, Central Receiving Services, Administrative Services Group (A Corp) 
Shawn Ford, Senior Internal Auditor, Internal Audit Administrative Services Group (A Corp) 

Let us pray

Gracious God, we thank you for the faithfulness of your servants who seek opportunities to serve one another in love and with action. We ask you to bless their efforts and multiply their service. Amen.