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Director of Christian Education

You have a passion for education. You have a passion for your faith. You dream of so many possibilities if you could live both, together.

Consider realizing the possibilities you have dreamed about by leading Christian Education at Wildwood Presbyterian Church. Your mission will be to lead our faith community to:

LEARN to connect to God through the stories of our faith,
GROW in faith by following Jesus, and
LIVE God’s Word through leadership and service

WPC makes a great commitment to Christian Education, dedicating 35% or our budget to support our Christian Education mission. As a full time Director, you will touch all ages of youth from toddlers to high school and their families, directing multiple programs including Sunday school classes, Vacation Bible School, and Children’s Worship. In addition to dedicated middle and high school coordinators and a Nursery supervisor on staff, you will have the support of over 70 volunteer teachers and leaders, and the joy of wrangling them. You will have a large, beautiful, 16 room CE wing at your disposal, all on the main level. Our 4 classrooms for young children are surrounded by lovely murals in the hallway. The 5 classrooms for grade school aged children feature a gathering space we call The Lighthouse with a mural that looks out over the countryside. Our 4 youth classrooms can be converted to large areas for youth group. There are 3 adult education rooms, one of which has a reference library.

Our Director of Christian Education must have experience as an educator, and experience in Christian Education as part of a formal program such as Sunday school, focused on youth. Experience leading others, professional or volunteer, will be an asset. A background in the Reformed tradition is helpful and preferred. Our director should also have formal training in education, instruction, curriculum or similar areas equivalent to a 4 year degree. We are open to candidates with a seminary education and those who are ordained ministers.

In addition to a competitive full time salary, we offer a great earthly benefit program including full medical, dental, life and disability insurance, a retirement plan, and vacation. You will also have standard eternal benefits provided by God’s grace, no pre-existing condition limitations, eternally renewable and non-cancelable.

Visit our website to see more about our community, our Christian Education programs, and a more detailed description and an application: http://www.wildwoodpc.net/

If you are interested, either complete the application and send it to your church office at 18630 West Old Gages Lake Road, Grayslake, Illinois 60030, or email a resume to personnelwpc@gmail.com.

The Garden

People who are not from our neighborhood have ruined it. Absolutely ruined it as far as I am concerned. Years of work on my part have been made useless in a very short time because these outsiders came in. It is enough to make a person cry or scream in frustration. How could they do this? They did not ask me if they could come in. They just came along and acted like it was their neighborhood to do whatever they wanted to do in it. Everything I knew how to do is now useless. I will  have to decide whether to just give up or if I have the energy to start over.

Have you guessed what happened? The “tree butchers” hired by the power company have come into my backyard and cut out so much of the magnolia tree that my shade garden is now a sunny spot. I have hundreds of dollars’ worth of hostas and ferns and astilbes there and have put in thousands of hours tending them over the 13 years I have had this particular garden. Nothing is the same in that corner of my yard now. What once had vibrant life is either already withering or soon will have leaves that look burned along the edges.

You see where I am going with this, I am sure. For many congregations, their neighborhoods seem just like this. The way things “have always been” has changed in the last few years. There are different forces at work in the neighborhood and different needs to be met. I am struck by this when I go to one of our huge, old church buildings and there is no parking. These beautiful buildings were built at a time when everyone walked to church and everyone who worshiped there lived in the neighborhood. That is not true in most places now. There are people around for whom English is not their first language. There are people who have needs far different from providing a lively Sunday School for their children and a quiet place to worship God as we listen to music written a century or more in the past and written, mostly, in Europe. For some people in our churches it seems like there is no way to carry on the ministry they have had in these drastically changed circumstances.

I panicked for a few hours after I discovered the “vandalism” in my back yard. Then I began to look around. I realized I had plants that needed to be moved. I had planted them in places that were sunny when I put them there. But the intervening years of growth in trees and bushes has put them in shade where they cannot flourish. I looked at the plants from the former shady garden that had been in the sun for several days by the time I got to them. Some of them were doing just fine in the sun—they had adapted already. It had looked like a complete disaster. I had even considered giving up gardening in that corner and just planting grass. But when I took a breath and slowed down and looked around, I discovered there was a way to still have a beautiful garden in that corner. It just needed to be different from the garden that had been there for so many years.

I wonder if our congregations that feel discouraged by all of the changes around them can do a little of the same thing. Pause. Look around at what you have. What isn’t functioning the way you have been doing it that might be able to be adapted to your new circumstances? What about your current ministry is doing just fine even though your neighborhood has changed? How can you devise a new plan for carrying out your same call to bring hope in the name of Jesus Christ?

Susan D. Krummel (Sue)
Executive Presbyter, Presbytery of Chicago
312-488-3015

 

Praise Team Worship Leader- Part Time

Yorkfield Presbyterian Church is seeking a part time Praise Team Worship Leader for our Sunday morning praise service. YPC has been a presence in Elmhurst IL for 75 years. We are a solid and stable family-oriented, church actively living out our faith in mission, service, and fellowship as we accept God’s call to be His hands and heart in the world. We currently have 150- 200 people worshipping on Sunday (split between our Traditional and Praise services). We have had a praise band for 20 years, and our long time leader is stepping down to explore other aspects of her ministry. We are excited partner with someone who will build on this foundation and expand our horizons in worship in ways that help us live into God’s vision for our church.

This position is 6-8 hours a week involving a weekly praise band rehearsal, Sunday morning warm-up at 10, and a worship service at 11:15 as well as coordination with pastors in planning music and engaging and scheduling volunteer musicians, vocalists, and tech help. The band plays every Sunday from Memorial Day to Labor Day and 4-8 times in the summer months with occasional special services. There is generous time flexibility built into the position.

An ideal candidate is:
-Passionate about their faith and desires to use their musical talents to lead worship and engage the hearts of others.
-Able to relate to people across generations.
-Talented vocally with instrumental experience, actively familiar with current Christian music.
-A team-builder with a positive attitude, strong interpersonal skills, and attentive to details.
-Able to engage, recruit, encourage, and develop other musicians, and vocalists, and able to rehearse and lead the band.
-Familiar with sound equipment and technical troubleshooting.

Previous worship leading experience is a plus but will consider a candidate with vision who is ready for this next step.

To apply, send a letter of interest with details of qualifications (OR resume with pertinent experience), salary requirements, AND a video/audio sample to YPCWL2018@gmail.com

Applications with a tape will be given prompt consideration. Our goal is to have a person in place at end of summer.

Church Administrator

First Presbyterian Church of La Grange is seeking a part-time Church Administrator.

Responsibilities include receptionist duties, providing targeted reports from the church database, assisting with publicity for special events, maintaining inventory and processing orders for supplies and property needs.

A qualified applicant will demonstrate proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint.

The position is 24-30 hours a week, Tuesday-Friday depending on the church schedule. Compensation competitive with positions of similar qualification.

Contact Jonathan Krogh for more information and to apply.

jkrogh@fpclg.org
773.550.2214

Organist/ Piano Accompanist

Organist/ Accompanist

First Presbyterian Church of Evanston, Illinois seeks an Organist/ Accompanist to provide organ and piano music for our worship services and accompany our choir.

Primary duties include:
1. Participation in one Sunday morning blended (traditional & contemporary) service, including prelude, postlude, other service music, leading the congregation in hymn singing, and accompanying choir anthem.
2. Occasional participation in a second, contemporary Sunday service.
3. Accompany Thursday evening choir rehearsals, and any additional rehearsals scheduled.
4. Participation in special services as determined by the church calendar (e.g., Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Christmas Eve), and occasional special events, such as choir programs or concerts.
5. Care for our two pipe organs, working with the Director of Worship and Music to arrange for tuning and repair, as needed.
6. Play for weddings and funerals as requested, for additional compensation.
7. Maintain a collegial relationship with the Director of Worship and Music, Pastoral staff, choir members, instrumentalists, praise band members, and AV coordinator, and the entire First Pres staff as necessary to accomplish the church’s ministry.

Position requirements
1. Authentic relationship with Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, and a desire and ability to use music to enhance worship among the congregation.
2. Skilled organist and pianist, able to play a variety of styles of music. Improvisation ability and strong sight-reading ability required. Ability to read open score desirable.
3. In coordination with Director of Worship & Music, ability to select music fitting to the occasion, sermon topic, and overall flow of the service.
4. Team player, willing to work with the staff and congregation to accomplish the church’s mission.

Information regarding our organs
1. Sanctuary Organ – Aeolian-Skinner Organ Co. Opus 1321 (1955). Three manuals, 4 divisions, 45 stops, 59 registers, 56 ranks, 3263 pipes. Manual compass is 61 notes. Pedal compass is 32 notes.
2. Walker Chapel Organ – Austin Organs, Inc. Opus 2509 (1969). Three manuals, 4 divisions, 30 stops, 23 registers, 29 ranks, 1727 pipes

Compensation/ hours
This is a part-time position, approximately 12-15 hours/ week. Compensation is negotiable based on credentials.

To apply, send resume and links to performance video to Elizabeth Brown, Search Committee Chair, at fpceorganist@gmail.com.

Youth Discipleship Coordinator

Learning to Dance

My husband and I are ballroom dancers. We started taking lessons in 2003. We have not taken formal lessons for a while, although we pick up a lesson here and there when they are offered at dances we are attending. We like to dance whenever we can which, for two pastors, often means wedding receptions.

We are usually disappointed on these occasions. The d. j. tends to play really good ballroom music during dinner. Then comes the parade of special dances—bride and groom; bride and dad; groom and mom and so on. You can usually tell if the couple has taken some dance lessons or been advised about dancing in front of an audience. For instance, most ballroom dance songs last about three minutes. Most popular music is longer than that. Four or five minutes is a long time to awkwardly sway back and forth in front of your friends and family!

We have also been to weddings where the time for special dances is extended by what is known as a “Dollar Dance.” First the bride is led to the dance floor and it is usually her maid of honor who collects money from anyone who wants to dance with the bride. Then the groom sometimes has his best man do the same for him. (Kind of humiliating, I think.) Eventually all of the special dances end. By this time, the crowd has watched other people dance for anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour. When the dance floor opens for everyone, the ballroom music is long gone. Instead there is very loud upbeat music that is popular at the moment. We can usually try out a cha cha or a swing dance since they fit with lots of popular music, but by then it is time for two preachers to go home!

Sometimes I will have a young woman come up to me and ask me if she can dance with my husband. I always say “yes”. If only their boyfriends knew how much these young women would appreciate it if they learned how to dance!

You can learn to dance by watching others dance. People who have taken lessons can always spot these self-taught people on a dance floor. They may come close to what they are supposed to be doing, but there are “tells” that they have not had lessons. For instance, there is always a line of dance on a dance floor; couples move in a counter-clockwise direction. Couples who want to dance more slowly or who want to stay in one place move to the inside of the floor. When people are trying to dance “upstream” you know they have not had a lesson. You can also tell people who are self-taught by the “hold.” Women have been taught to put their left hand at the bottom of their partner’s right bicep (not his shoulder, not his back.) This gives more ability to turn. They also have been taught that their “frame” is not dependent on their partner’s. If they step back from their partner, their left and right hand will stay where they are in hold. In other words, they are not leaning into their partner’s left hand with their right. They are holding up their own right hand. The list goes on. All of the things that we have learned in lessons make for small changes in the way we look on the dance floor. Their main purpose is to provide for the ability to accomplish the various moves in the steps that we know.

When new members join our congregations, we often expect them to figure out what it means to be a Presbyterian or, for some of our members, what it means to be a Christian, by watching other people. The ability to do this is based in large part on the people who are being used as examples. (You could probably name one or two people in your congregation whom you hope no one is watching to decide what it means to follow Christ.) If we expect them to learn by osmosis, they may end up being perfectly happy followers, just as many self-taught people are perfectly happy dancers. But if we do not give them the opportunity to study—to engage in Bible Study, to be in a small group, to be taught how to engage in the pastoral ministry of members for one another—they may miss out on being able to accomplish these tasks more fully.

How are you challenging the newer members (and the existing ones as well) of your congregation to be continually learning about their call to bring hope in the name of Jesus Christ?

 

Susan D. Krummel (Sue)
Executive Presbyter
Presbytery of Chicago
312-488-3015

Smart Energy Education

Custodian/Sexton

Northminster Prebyterian Church in NW Evanston, needs someone to make sure that facilities are always clean, well-maintained, safe and secure; that all systems are operating properly and in good repair; and that the facilities efficiently and smoothly support all church activities. For details, please see our job listing at this link: http://northminpres.org/about-northminster/staff/open-positions/

Director of Christian Education

Lake Michigan, bike trails, museums, music festivals, restaurants and our “world series Cubs” are just a few reasons why people adore Chicago! So, if you love working with children, want the opportunity to create something vivacious and new, and are excited to be part of a collaborative staff, Kenilworth Union Church could be for you!

Located in Chicago’s North Shore suburbs, Kenilworth Union Church (www.kuc.org) is searching for a Director of Christian Education to oversee and implement a comprehensive vision for Christian education and faith formation for infants through sixth graders and their families. With 25-40 kids per grade, the church is heavily invested in children and families. This new position has been created to complement the children’s ministry staff and build on a strong program. Kenilworth Union is an inclusive church community whose identity is formed by its devotion to God, inspiring worship, service in the community and a deep commitment to nurturing our children and youth in faith. Founded in 1892, Kenilworth Union is one of the oldest non-denominational protestant churches in the United States.

Candidates interested in applying should have a Master’s Degree in Christian Education or Early Childhood Education. In lieu of a master’s degree, a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education or Early Childhood Education paired with a certification in Christian Education is acceptable. Candidates should also have 3+ years of experience as a Christian Educator or in a teaching environment. Additional personal and professional qualifications include excellent communication skills, mastery in classroom instruction and guidance of faith formation, a joyful presence with children and their families, and Christian faith and values.

Interested candidates should send a cover letter, statement of faith, and resume to search@ministryarchitects.com

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