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From the Inclusive Collective.

The Inclusive Collective (IC) is a vibrant and active faith community for university students based at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Each spring, we hold a Justice Retreat to equip and inspire our students to pursue equity, inclusion, and human flourishing as they follow Jesus. Hear about our retreat from Matthew Adams, a senior at Wheaton College and member of the IC:

“Feeling alone and without a home is certainly a feeling not foreign to me. Fortunately, I have found a beautiful home within the Inclusive Collective. Growing up, the only spaces where I engaged in topics of activism, community development, and racism were in debate and the classroom. Talking about these issues within the church is a brand new experience for me.  The 2018 Spring Justice Retreat was a refreshing and informative weekend that pushed me in the pursuit of justice.

I firmly believe that the center of the Gospel is justice. This plain and simple fact was emulated within our retreat. One of the most poignant examples of justice was shown to me when we visited Reesheda Graham-Washington at L!VE Cafe located in Oak Park. This cafe is actively developing community through funneling its profits back to the people of Austin to create jobs for those in great need.  Reesheda’s love for Christ fuels her passion for justice. She showed me how important it is to use your academics and accolades as tools in your toolbox instead of weapons. We need to constantly use our wide array of tools to engage with our communities. 

Moving forward, it is incredible to think of the vast amount of ways we can push for justice. Even though there are many ways to push for justice, we do not have the luxury to have decision paralysis. It is imperative that we constantly take steps forward in justice. Even in the little day-to-day battles against microaggressions, we are fighting for justice in dismantling stereotypes that dehumanize people into tropes. This retreat was incredibly life-giving and will inform how I engage with justice.”

Inspiring Awe

What beautiful church buildings the Presbyterians inhabit in the Chicago area. I have not, of course, been inside each one yet. But, the ones I have visited—even if they are showing their age a little—tell a story of the care that went into their design and a willingness by their members and friends to contribute large sums of money to create a building that inspires awe.

Before I came to this call I had been in Fourth Presbyterian Church many times. Chicago was, to me, Michigan Avenue shopping, museums, the Nutcracker, Marshall Fields on State Street (I don’t think I will ever be able to call it Macy’s), an annual train ride with my mom and grandma on the Rock Island Rocket from Peoria, and, in more recent years, the annual meeting of the collegium of presbytery executives in our synod. For many years that group met in December in the old manse at Fourth Church for our Christmas celebration. Sitting inside in those homey surroundings and watching the snow fall among the lights on Michigan Avenue was always a treat. It was also awe-inspiring to see how the building was decorated for Christmas and to experience again the majesty of that beautiful sanctuary.

On Ash Wednesday this year I worshiped at Second Presbyterian on South Michigan avenue. Talk about an awe-inspiring sanctuary! It was a little dark in the upper reaches that evening but I could still see the angels and the woodwork. I was told I need to come back to see the windows in the daylight.

Just imagine the city of Chicago in the 1890’s with those beautiful, awe-inspiring buildings dotting the landscape of the city of big shoulders. They told a story of Presbyterians as people of influence and importance. They also, I am sure, told a story of Presbyterians as people with money. Did our ancestors use that money well once they got their beautiful buildings built? Did they continue their high level of giving to their congregations so that people’s lives could be changed in the name of the gospel?

What collective story are the Presbyterians of Chicagoland telling today? What do our neighbors know about us from what they can see on the outside of our buildings? Do they get a sense of who we are by the way we interact with them? Do they even know that we are there?

I was in Barrington recently (another beautiful building) and drove by the campus of Willow Creek which I had never seen in person. I was telling someone about that and they told me this story. One of the pastors walked into the parking lot at the church one day (it really looks more like a small college campus). In the parking lot the pastor saw a distressed man and asked if he needed help. The man said his cat was lost and so the security staff was called to help look for the cat. In the midst of this, the man said, “What is this place, anyway?” He lived close enough to the church to think his lost cat might be there, but he had never been enticed to find out what this place was.

Our beautiful buildings tell a story about who God is, how we worship God, and the importance of the church in the lives of its members. What story are they telling to people who pass by them every day? How do we take that sense of awe and wonder into people’s lives in such a way that they will know for sure that our intention is to bring hope in the name of Jesus Christ?

 

Susan D. Krummel (Sue)
Executive Presbyter
Presbytery of Chicago

Director of Children’s Ministry

Do ministry with a blessed bunch of children from nursery to 5th grade and their families! This position is part-time with flexible hours. Work with an enthusiastic staff and make a difference in the world by helping to awaken the kingdom in young hearts! Apply with your resume and cover letter today at shawkinson@firstpresdf.org. Job description attached below!

 

HOURS:  15 hours a week.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  1. Have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
  2. Be a member of a Christian church and in good standing.
  3. A desire to teach and mentor children with patience and an accepting heart.
  4. Preferably have an educational background in Christian Ministries, Biblical Studies, or a related field.

PURPOSE OF POSITION:

To cultivate a desire for a genuine relationship with Christ and to equip children with the strengths of discipleship for life and service.   Encourage and equip families for faithful Christian living in the world.  Promote devotion, inquiry, fellowship and service among young children and their families.

RESPONSIBLE TO:

Responsible to the Director of Faith Formation and the Christian Education Council, working directly under the supervision of the Senior Pastor.  Position will be evaluated every 6 months.

JOB DUTIES INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:

  1. Responsibility for the oversight and leadership of the Children’s ministries that include:  Tuesday Night Ministries, Sunday Morning School, Special Events, Vacation Bible School and family fellowship.
  2. Recruit, train, pray for, and involve new children’s ministry volunteers.
  3. Create and effectively manage the ministry’s budget.
  4. Maintain ministry’s section on website.
  5. Communicate consistently with parents as well as provide the tools they need for spiritual leadership

OTHER GENERAL EXPECTATIONS INCLUDE:

  • Should always exhibit kind professionalism, demonstrated by:  a conscientious work ethic, being willing and able to work at a fast pace within a variety of settings and circumstances, with composure and flexibility.
  • Should be ever conscious of the need for confidentiality.
  • Should exercise discernment and wise judgment.
  • Should be a person who gives attention to details with an eye for excellence.
  • Should be a self-starter, good at multi-tasking and prioritizing projects.
  • Endorse and support the basic tenets of Reformed faith
  • Maintain personal spiritual development through Bible reading, prayer, and Christian community

 

BENEFITS AND SALARY

Salary, hours and time away are negotiable and supportive.

APPLY

Send resume and cover letter to The Rev. Dr. Suzan Hawkinson at shawkinson@firstpresdf.org.

Interim Accompanist for Organ and Piano

Our organist of 23 years is battling a significant cancer and we are in need of a long-term interim accompanist.  Can you help?  Our great sanctuary worship is blessed with one of the finest organs on the North Shore and our praise band needs someone to take the keys to melody.  Come join the team at First Presbyterian, Deerfield.  

 

Purpose:  To provide instrumental accompaniment for Sunday morning worship services, special services and events, as well as rehearsals for the same.

Qualifications: Minimum Bachelor of Arts in performance related field, facility and excellence in organ and piano performance and accompaniment, knowledge of sacred music.

Responsibilities:

Accompaniment in Worship

  • Provide accompaniment for Sunday morning services: 9:30AM and 11AM-September to April, and 8:30 and 10AM May to August.
  • Provide accompaniment for rehearsals of Chancel Choir, Praise band on Wednesday evenings, and for children’s choirs on Tuesday evenings
  • Work with Music Director and Pastor/HOS to coordinate music calendar and content.

Accompaniment  at Special Services

  • Provide organ/piano accompaniment for special services as needed. Weddings and funerals are also additional pay on fee schedule.
  • Provide keyboard accompaniment for monthly Monday Communion
  • Participate in Concert Series and music workshops/events as needed and arranged

Other Duties

  • Work with Director of Music to oversee, recommend and implement care for musical instruments including pianos, organ and harpsichord.
  • Assist Director of Music and Youth Choir Director by providing substitute direction of choirs as arranged.
  • Attend Music Committee Meetings and Worship Council meetings as scheduled.

Relationships:  Works in close cooperation with the Pastor/HOS and the Director of Music as direct supervisor.  Works with Youth Choir Director, Wedding Coordinators, and guest musicians as needed.

Compensation:  This position is salaried and negotiable  relative to credential.

Apply:  Send resume and cover letter to The Rev. Suzan Hawkinson at shawkinson@firstpresdf.org or at address above.

Parish Associate for Caring Ministry

The Parish Associate for Care will assist the pastor, Deacons and Stephen Ministers to provide care coverage for a vital, multi-generational congregation in the North Shore. Do you have a heart for Christ’s love for all beings? Do you want to help us reach out in compassion and care to folks who are traveling difficult and long roads? Do you listen well and pray deeply? Please consider this opportunity to work on a team at First Presbyterian, Deerfield

 

Part-Time, Flexible Hours

QUALIFICATIONS:

  1. Have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
  2. Be a clergy member of a Christian church and in good standing.
  3. A desire to care for people of all ages with patience and an accepting heart.
  4. Preferably have an experience and education in pastoral care and spiritual direction

PURPOSE OF POSITION:

To work with volunteer and clergy staff to support an environment of compassion and mercy in a care delivery system that serves people in various journeys of shadow, burden and challenge.  Work with Senior Pastor to provide home and hospital visitation, care team equipping and worship leadership that promotes a caring community.

RESPONSIBLE TO:

Responsible to the Pastor and Board of Deacons, and Session Care Teams.   This position will be evaluated every 6 months.

JOB DUTIES INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:

  1. Responsibility for working with the Pastor to provide for home and hospital visitation of members.
  2. Assist in the equipping and support of the Board of Deacons, Congregational Care teams and Stephen Ministers.
  3. Support the development of a Caregiver’s Support Group
  4. Work with Church and community teams to coordinate care coverage for ongoing needs.
  5. Assist pastorally in times of crisis and grief.
  6. Pray for and promote intercessory prayer in the congregation.
  7. Participate in worship leadership as negotiated

OTHER GENERAL EXPECTATIONS INCLUDE:

  • Should always exhibit kind professionalism, demonstrated by:  a conscientious work ethic, being willing and able to work at a fast pace within a variety of settings and circumstances, with composure and flexibility.
  • Should be ever conscious of the need for confidentiality.
  • Should exercise discernment and wise judgment.
  • Should be a person who gives attention to details with an eye for excellence.
  • Should be a self-starter, good at multi-tasking and prioritizing projects.
  • Endorse and support the basic tenets of Reformed faith
  • Maintain personal spiritual development through Bible reading, prayer, and Christian community

 

BENEFITS AND SALARY

Salary, hours and time away are negotiable and supportive.

TO APPLY

Send resume and cover letter to The Rev. Dr. Suzan Hawkinson at shawkinson@firstpresdf.org.

Sunday School & Family Ministry Coordinator

Are you passionate about children and sharing the message of Christ with them?   In this position you will support Children & Family Ministries Director (CFM), and Children’s Ministry Council.  We are looking for someone that will ignite and nurture a desire for children   and their families to have a genuine relationship with God and build Christian relationships with others.  Responsible to maintain dynamic Sunday School & Family programs and bring ideas for new ones!  This position is approximately 12 hours a week. Full Job Description HERE.

To apply, email your resume and cover letter to knoxchurch@knoxpres.org.

Media Coordinator

Our Media Coordinator helps to make our Sunday worship come alive for the congregation.  They are responsible for the media production including audio, visual and video capture for the Sunday morning services.  This position also coordinates with small group needs for audio and visual aids throughout the week, training and managing volunteers for on-site support.  This position is approximately 8 hours a week including Sunday mornings from 7:00 – 12noon.  Job description HERE

To apply, email your resume and cover letter to knoxchurch@knoxpres.org.

Communications Coordinator

The purpose of this position is to help tell our stories through various forms of print and social media and provide expertise on effective communication/marketing programs for both church-wide and ministry-specific messages.   This is accomplished in many ways including the use of our Knox website, social media, indoor and outdoor signage and a variety of printed communication.   This position is approximately 19 hours a week.   Full Job Description HERE

To apply, email their resume and cover letter to knoxchurch@knoxpres.org.

 

The Empty Muffin

A few Sundays ago I was in worship at the church my husband serves. One of my grandsons was sitting between me and his mom. He leaned over and asked her if next Sunday would be Empty Tomb Muffin Sunday. She looked in the bulletin then looked on her phone at the minutes of the Christian Education meeting she attends. Nope, it was going to be on Palm Sunday.

Now, you know, of course, what the empty tomb means. But perhaps you are not familiar with the muffins based on the theme. I have helped with these a few times at this church and they are a sticky, gooey, delicious mess. Here is what you do. Separate crescent shaped tube rolls into their eight triangles. Dip a large marshmallow in butter and then in cinnamon and sugar. Place the marshmallow in the center of the roll and roll the dough around the marshmallow so that it is completely encased (this is very important). You may need to use a little of the butter to help seal the edges. Place the rolls on parchment paper and bake them as indicated on the container. You have probably already figured out what happens. While they are baking, the marshmallow melts but it melts slowly enough that the roll holds its shape and leaves an “empty tomb” on the inside.

The children love the rolls and love the story that goes with it. A couple of years ago I was helping out on this day and the young teachers had thought making the rolls would take the whole Sunday School time. It did not. So, I improvised (this was not my first time at the Sunday School rodeo.) I grabbed a big basket and placed it in front of a large table. I had the children tell me about the big rock that was rolled in front of Jesus tomb. Then we rolled the “stone” away. The children took turns being inside the “tomb” and “disappearing” while the rest of us retold the story. By the time I pulled the basket away, they had slipped out from the side of the table and the “tomb” was empty. These kindergarteners and first graders did not grow tired of taking their turn.

“Look! The muffin is empty!” “Look, our friend has disappeared and the “tomb” is empty!” The story of the savior of the world winning out over evil, being resurrected as he said he would be, showing once and for all God’s intention of love and salvation and new life for the world should never grow old for us as well. When you read this note, another Easter will be behind us. You may be pretty much passed out on your couch. Perhaps you are trying to figure out what to do with the lilies that no one picked up yesterday. Maybe you are wondering why they weren’t quite as many people in worship as you had hoped. Or, maybe you are working feverishly to find contact information for all of your visitors so that you can make a further invitation to them. Whatever your Easter Monday and the week ahead hold, never forget the wonder of the empty tomb. When all looked as if it were lost, when it seemed like the only smart thing to do was either hide or go home, when the sun had not yet risen—that is when the great good news became evident. We must never lose hope. For we know the great good news of Easter and we are charged to bring hope in the name of Jesus Christ wherever we may be.

Director of Youth and Family Ministries

First Presbyterian Church of Hilton Head Island (www.fpchhi.org), a welcoming, multigenerational community-oriented church located on the beautiful island resort area of Hilton Head, South Carolina, is looking for a dedicated and enthusiastic full-time Director of Youth and Family Ministries. Proud of the great balance of the adventure of island life and a progressive coastal community, FPC HHI longs for a director with a unique skill set to bring a high level of passion and energy for harnessing the rich traditions of the past while strengthening the church’s ministry to youth. With relational gifts for loving youth where they are while reaching and inspiring during their formative years, candidates should be able to teach and challenge youth to respond to God’s call to service as a significant aspect of Christian discipleship. In addition to building commitment and trust with parents, training and equipping volunteers, and steering a Spirit-led program of mission and ministry opportunities, the director will join a vibrant pastoral staff and administrative team committed to youth and their families.

This is a non-ordained position in which the ideal candidate will have a college degree, several years of experience leading a dynamic youth ministry program, and a strong personal faith consistent with Presbyterian PC(USA) theology and polity. We welcome your resume and cover letters for consideration and ask that they be sent to Aly.Eaton@MinistryArchitects.com.

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