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2017 Higgins Scholarships Awarded

The Higgins Scholarship Committee met on May 25th and awarded $19,000 in scholarships to five students from the $19,640.77 that was available for scholarships as of 12/31/2016.

During his lifetime, William H. Higgins gave financial assistance to many students at McCormick Theological Seminary. At the time of his death, he left a bequest to continue his support of those preparing for professional leadership in the church. This bequest is called the Higgins Scholarship Fund and has been administered by a committee accountable to the Presbytery of Chicago since 1960.

Awards of up to $5,000 (and not less than $2,000) are made on the basis of potential for ministry, ecclesiastical connection, plan of study, and financial need. An awardee must be a half-time or full-time seminary or doctoral level student. Priority is given to full or half-time students under the care of the Chicago Presbytery who are in seminary or in a doctoral program in a ministry related field.

The Higgins Scholarship Recipients for the 2017-2018 year are:

  • Woonjo Park – McCormick Theological Seminary, MDiv student, Chicago Presbytery.
  • Samuel Akhtar – Catholic Theological Union,  Ecumenical DMin student, Teaching Elder, Chicago Presbytery
  • Theola Jones – Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, DMin. Theola is a Teaching Elder in the Presbytery of Chicago.
  • LSTC – A student who for personal reasons has asked to remain anonymous
  • Nathan Achterhof – McCormick Theological Seminary, MDiv student, under care of Lackawana Presbytery.

Office Administrator

Friendship Presbyterian Church is located at 6088 N. Northwest Hwy. in Chicago. We are a creative and innovative congregation that meets in the Norwood Park Metra Station, and a part of the PCUSA. To find out more about us check out our website at To apply for this position, please send a resume and cover letter to with the subject line: Office Admin. We will receive applications until August 15th.

Role: The role of the Office Administrator is to support the vision, mission, and ministry of the church by facilitating day- -to-day administrative operations of the congregation and its programs and activities. Additionally, the role of the Office Administrator is to set in place systems of operation and organizational structure that will enable growth and efficiency regarding the administrative tasks.

Accountability: The Office Administrator is accountable to the Pastor of Friendship Presbyterian Church and will check in weekly at a regular scheduled meeting time. The Office Administrator will also work and communicate regularly with members of Session, the church Treasurer, the Clerk of Session and the Financial Advisor.

Job Description: (Under the Pastor’s supervision, the Office Administrator is responsible for):

Communications—In partnership with the Pastor, the Office Administrator will:

  • Edit and produce worship bulletins and slideshows.
  • Update the website, facebook page, and other online media on calendar changes or upcoming events.
  • Send periodic mailings to the congregation and friends of the church.
  • Edit and disseminate weekly e-news updates of events and other needed communications.
  • Edit and produce the annual report.
  • Assist with the printing, collating and mailing of monthly print newsletter.

Organization—In collaboration with the Pastor, the Office Administrator will:

  • Implement and document operational procedures and structures that streamline the administrative tasks and build an efficient system of administration for the organization.

Finances—Working with the Pastor and Treasurer, the Office Administrator will:

  • Maintain the general ledger using financial software.
  • Prepare accounts payable for the Treasurer.
  • Assist Treasure in running Payroll, Payroll taxes and other related reports.
  • Prepare monthly financial reports and other reports as needed.
  • Collect fees for events, weddings, and funerals.
  • Maintain membership database and track member offerings; compete and distribute quarterly offering statements to each member/household
  • Maintain effective file management system for invoices, receipts and formal documents (i.e, lease agreement, insurance, financial statements, etc)

Office—The Office Administrator will:

  • Handle telephone reception.
  • Order office and building supplies.
  • Handle administrative/clerical support for the Pastor, Session and workgroups.
  • File correspondence, reports, and other documents.

Facilities—In partnership with the Session, the Office Administrator will:

  • Maintain the church calendar and scheduling facility use.
  • Ensure that insurance, inspections, licenses and certifications are up-to-date.
  • Draw up building—use contracts and liaising with building users.
  • Coordinate facility/equipment maintenance and repairs.

Much church business is confidential. Pledge amounts and payment on pledges, personal information (e.g. age, address, place and kind of employment), and other such matters are of a confidential nature and should not be discussed, either with members or non—members. Confidentiality must be maintained whether the information is stored on paper or on computer, or was communicated orally or through any other means.

Compensation: The Office Administrator will work approximately 20 hours per week. Pay rate is $15 – $20 per hour based on experience. The amount of hours is subject to increase if necessary per decision and approval of Pastor and Session and in agreement with Administrator.

Resources and Tools: In order to complete assigned task the Office Administrator will have access to an office space, an email account, internet access, telephone and voicemail, copier, printer and fax machine and a parking space. There will also be opportunity for flex hours and working from home.

Review: The Office Administrator will be informed of processes of review in advance and will be given the opportunity for self—assessment as well as receiving written and oral feedback. At regular intervals, the Pastor will provide an assessment of the Office Administrator’s work including any recommendations and goals for the future. These will be reviewed and discussed in conversation with the Office Administrator, a member of Session or Personnel workgroup and the Pastor.

Director of Children and Family Ministries

Job Position and Purpose

We are looking to embrace a new approach to Children and Family Ministry in the next chapter of our life together at fpcw – one that is more missional and invitational, one in keeping with the rapidly-changing landscape of the 21st century. This is a reflection of our desire to do things differently – to empower children and families to form their faith in fresh and imaginative ways. This role will work collaboratively with staff and the Children and Family Ministry Group (CFMG), develops, implements, and oversees age appropriate children’s ministry programming and relationship building, doing so in new, creative ways.
Primary Job Responsibilities

  • Nurture the faith development of our youngest children pre-school through 4th grade
  • Build intentional relationships with and among children and families, inviting and equipping them with tools to live out their faith
  • Seek meaningful ways to incorporate children into the larger ministry of the church (e.g. worship, mission, fellowship)
  • Develop and implement creative, engaging, developmentally-appropriate programming
  • Infant and Toddler
  • Work with personnel department to staff nursery for Sunday morning worship
  • Engage children and families in the church and community, facilitating weekday drop-in playgroup (Sonshine Tots)
  • Pre-K through 4th Grade
  • In consultation with the CFMG, create and source Scripture-based Sunday school curriculum
  • Recruit, schedule, and equip Sunday school teachers
  • Work collaboratively with other area church youth staff to plan for and execute Vacation Bible School, recruiting volunteers as needed
  • Celebrate children’s faith journeys through events including but not limited to the gifting of Bibles to 3rd graders during worship, communion exploration, and prayer workshops
  • Create opportunities for children and families to anchor their faith lives in the liturgical year, exploring church seasons such as Advent, Lent, and Pentecost
  • Parents of Young Children
  • Communicate with parents regularly, with clarity and warmth
  • Empower and encourage parents to model faithful living throughout the week
  • Develop fellowship and faith-building opportunities for parents of young children, with support of church leadership and staff


Compensation and Evaluation

The role is a non-exempt hourly employee position without medical or pension benefits. It is expected that the job will be performed in 20 hours per week.


Job Skills, Qualifications, and Requirements

  • Strong Christian faith, exhibiting the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control
  • An understanding and appreciation of childhood developmental stages
  • Initiative, flexibility, and a team-player mentality
  • Good written and verbal communication skills
  • Prior experience working with children up to age 11, preferred


This job description is not be construed to imply that these responsibilities and requirements are the exclusive standards of the position.

To apply, please submit cover letter and resume to Personnel Chair, Amy McJoynt, at

Director of Children’s Ministries

Second Presbyterian Church ( of Louisville, KY is seeking a full-time Director of Children’s Ministries. The children’s ministry mission is to inspire children through the development of their faith and knowledge as they grow in love for God and the world. The Director of Children’s Ministries enriches the Christian faith formation of Second Presbyterian’s children and families by resourcing educational programs and volunteers and calling the faith community to faithfully love and serve children and families.

Essential functions for this position include:
● Building and maintaining relationships with children and families
● Building and overseeing the team of adults caring for children in the church
● Overseeing the day-to-day operations of the children’s ministry in close collaboration with the Children’s Ministry Team

Qualifications for this position are:
● A growing and personal relationship with Christ
● A bachelor’s degree
● Two-three years of experience in working with children
● Proven success in the recruitment, development and management of volunteers.
● Excellent communication skills through all media (oral, written, digital, etc.)

Qualified candidates should send a cover letter and resume to

Director of Student Ministries

A vibrant, Christ-centered Presbyterian church in the greater Chicago area, First Presbyterian Church ( is seeking a full-time Director of Student Ministries to join them in equipping students to be lifelong disciples of Jesus Christ who participate in Christ’s mission in Glen Ellyn, the surrounding community, and the world. This person will be responsible for supervising the Program Coordinator for Student Ministries and the Student Ministries Interns, collaborating together with the Associate Pastor of Family Ministries to build a dynamic student ministry that engages youth, 6th-12th grade in active discipleship.

Qualifications for this position include a deep and growing faith in Jesus Christ, a high view of scripture, and an intentional life of prayer and study. The candidate should be grounded in the Reformed faith and have an understanding of the PC(USA). A builder who is gifted in relational and program ministry and having a good understanding of current youth culture, the candidate should be emotional mature with healthy boundaries for him/herself and the students to whom s/he ministers. The candidate must possess a college degree and 3-5 years experience in youth ministry (preferably in the same position).

Cover letter and resume can be sent to

Director of Children and Youth Ministries

Elmhurst Presbyterian Church is seeking a part-time (30 hours) Director of Children and Youth Ministries. We are seeking someone to oversee our programs, recruit and train volunteers, teach, find and/or create resources and curriculum, for the purpose of engaging the children and youth in the life of the church, and growing in their faith. This staff position will be accountable to the Children and Youth Minsitry Team, the head of staff, and the session. Please contact The Reverend Deborah Paton,

Meet Your Executive Presbyter Nominating Committee (EPNC)

The EPNC (Executive Presbyter Nominating Committee) was constituted at the February 2017 Presbytery Assembly meeting, and they met for the first time on Wednesday, April 5 under the guidance of Transitional Synod Executive, Sara Dingman. The group will be working through the summer to seek our next Executive Presbyter. They hope to hold candidate interviews in early September and present the top candidate at the September Presbytery Assembly meeting. Please keep the EPNC and our future EP in your prayers.

EPNC Members – Back Row: Charles Scouten, Michael Miller, Jr., Stuart Barnes Jamieson Front Row: Joy Douglas Strome, Sonia Bodi, Deb Ford, Lisa Lopéz


Stuart Barnes Jamieson lives in Oak Park and has been a teaching elder member of the Presbytery of Chicago since 2000. He is employed as Development Director for the Oak Park Regional Housing Center and is currently engaged in community diversity and integration initiatives which have become a passion for his life and ministry. Stuart also chairs the presbytery’s Self-Development of People committee and is a Parish Associate at Pilgrim Congregational, UCC in Oak Park where his family attends.

Sonia Bodi is a ruling elder at Evanston First, and most recently served on their Missions Council, co-taught the Thursday Evening Women’s Bible Study, and helped plan adult education classes about missions. She has served the Presbytery of Chicago in several ways having recently completed her term as the 2015 & 2016 moderator, she was a commissioner to the 2010 and 2016 General Assemblies, a member of the Commission on Ministry and the Constitutional Procedures Work Group, and served on two administration commissions for churches leaving our denomination. She also served on the Verge. Sonia has a special passion for the women of Africa and participated in Tumekutana, a gathering of African Presbyterian women responsible for women’s ministries in 19 countries.

Dr. Deb Ford, a member of Fourth Presbyterian Church and married to Jim, enjoys a life of discovering new opportunities beyond working full time!

Rev. Lisa M. López currently serves as the pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Hanover Park, a multicultural congregation in the West suburbs. During her time in the Presbytery of Chicago she has served as part of the Connectional Mission Design Task Force, the Reorganization and Reimplementation Task Force (a.k.a. the VERGE), and the World Café Design Host Team. She is currently completing her first term as a member of the Commission on Preparation for Ministry (CPM). Lisa loves the church of Jesus Christ and finds deep joy in seeing people come alive by the power of the gospel.

Rev. Michael W. Miller, Jr., known as “Pastor Mike”, is an ordained Teaching Elder in the Presbytery of Chicago. He has recently served on the Connectional Mission Design Task Force, the Verge, and now the Executive Presbyter Nominating Committee. Pastor Mike and his wife, Jalaimya, have been married for over 20 years and have two children: Mason and Madison. His pastoral ministry has been focused in years past on social justice. As he is moving into his next call to plant a new church called Next Ministries, his primary focus is now on discipling people in the faith, equipping them to do the work of ministry, and sending them out to share their story.

Charles Scouten is a scientist and engineer, now retired. His passion is exploring and explaining the relationships among religion, science and technology – in particular the ethics that should guide us as we use science and technology in this sacred universe God has given us. His worshipping home is First Presbyterian Church of Wheaton, where he previously served as Deacon and was an ordained Elder. On the presbytery level, he is an Elder Commissioner to presbytery assembly and serves on the Stewardship Work Group.

Joy Douglas Strome is serving as Pastor at Lake View Presbyterian Church. A graduate of McCormick Seminary, she has served on numerous POC committees, task forces, and work groups, most recently the Reformation Task Force, the Connectional Mission Design Team and the search committee for the Associate Executive Search Committee. She was the moderator of the presbytery in 2008 and is currently chairing an Administrative Commission that is working on a strategy for church development on the Northside of Chicago. Joy is looking forward to finding a leader who will help empower all the amazing potential for possible ministries in the Chicago metro area!     

Executive Presbyter Search

Is God calling you to lead the Presbytery of Chicago and our 92 congregations?

Are you a committed Christian who thrives in transition, inspires innovation, and believes in the church reformed and always reforming? We are seeking a leader to unify our 92 congregations around a vision of what Christ’s community can be.

Questions? Email

PC(USA) Teaching and Ruling Elders can apply through Church Leadership Connection.
MIF#: 72496.AAo

Application deadline: Sunday, August 6, 2017
Please send applications to: 

Please include your PIF or Resume and Statement of Faith, along with the Supplemental Questions.


Position Description
About Our Presbytery (MIF – Ministry Information Form)


EPNC Members – Back Row: Charles Scouten, Michael Miller, Jr., Stuart Barnes Jamieson Front Row: Joy Douglas Strome, Sonia Bodi, Deb Ford, Lisa Lopéz

Learn more about the EPNC Members here.

Story Telling is For Everyone Attend FREE Story Telling Workshop

From the oral tradition of the West African griot, to shared experiences, and dreams of tomorrow, storytelling is universal in every culture. We all have a story to tell. On Saturday, June 3rd, Crerar Memorial Presbyterian Church, 8100 S. Calumet, is hosting the “Telling Our Stories Workshop” for youth and adults, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. This multigenerational program will help youth and adults discover and use their gifts focused around storytelling to capture stories within our community.

This workshop will feature expert storytellers sharing the following:

 Information on the importance of storytelling
 Basic information on getting started in documenting and telling stories
 Career options that may grow out of storytelling

Speakers participating include:
Natalie Moore—Award-winning journalist and South Side Reporter for WBEZ. Author of The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation.

Elizabeth Rivera–Public Speaker, Teacher, Entrepreneur and Author of the personal memoir, Damage Goods, The Challenges of Life as a Cancer Survivor.

Kevin Coval–Artistic director of Young Chicago Authors, founder of “Louder Than A Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival,” and author of A People’s History of Chicago.

The FREE workshop with refreshments includes two program sessions, one for adults and one for youth ages 11 to 17, with opportunities for the speakers to interact with each age group.
This year Crerar is celebrating its 120-year anniversary and telling stories has been key to documenting this history. “In reading our archives, we realized the essential role of storytelling in reaching this milestone. The ability to tell stories enhances listening and communication skills and can help build trust and break down barriers,” said Crerar’s Minister, Lawrence Brown. “There are countless stories to tell within in our community and we want to help, giving folks the tools to tell these important stories,” Brown continued.

It is FREE to attend the workshop; however pre-registration is required to ensure that there are program materials available for all attendees. Pre-register at You may also pre-register by calling the church at (773) 874-2132.

May 16, 2017 – Assembly Connect

The Stated Clerk Summary

Read it online HERE (complete with links)!

Download and print it HERE.

Read the latest edition of Our Common Ministry


See picture from assembly on Facebook HERE or Flickr HERE.

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