If you have questions about a particular position, please contact the listing entity directly. 
If you have a position you would like to list, send an email to communication@chicagopresbytery.org with the pertinent information.
All postings will be deleted after a term of 6 months.

Going Upstream by Craig Howard

Presbytery of Chicago Mission Statement 2023:

Pursuing worship, service, and communities of justice, we are the Presbytery of Chicago, flourishing together by relating people, neighbors, and churches to one another in Christ Jesus.

The Presbytery of Chicago is committed to being a Matthew 25 presbytery and supports the three focuses:

Focus #1: Building congregational vitality.

Focus #2: Dismantling structural racism.

Focus #3: Eradicating systemic poverty.

The legendary community activist, Saul Alinsky, tells the following story.

Imagine a large river with a high waterfall. At the bottom of this waterfall hundreds of people are working frantically trying to save those who have fallen into the river and have fallen down the waterfall, many of them drowning. As the people along the shore are trying to rescue as many as possible one individual looks up and sees a seemingly never-ending stream of people falling down the waterfall and begins to run upstream. One of other rescuers hollers, Where are you going? There are so many people that need help here. To which the man replied, I’m going upstream to find out why so many people are falling into the river.

(Saul Alinsky, in Shelden & Macallair)

While it is important for congregations to continue doing the difficult and needed work of operating food pantries, standing up to racial discrimination, and making disciples, we need to go upstream. Matthew 25 initiative uses the words structural and systemic. These words emphasize finding the source (or sources) of hunger, poverty, and racism and addressing the issue upriver. An example is the response of the Highland Park community to the July Fourth killing. They went beyond protesting or even weapons collections, which are also very important. Instead, they attacked the problem at one of the sources. They used their privilege and clout to bring legislative pressure to pass anti-gun laws. The story isn’t over yet, as anticipated push-back and lawsuits have followed. But the strategy of going upstream to the source of the problem is the type of solution Matthew 25 initiative is calling for.

Would your congregation like to be a Matthew 25 congregation? We currently have 13 congregations committed to the Matthew 25 initiatives. They are listed below. We should be able to double this number of congregations this calendar year. If your congregation would like to join the list, send me a note at my email and let’s have a conversation! And let’s all create strategies to provide help for those in poverty, support anti-racism, and strengthen our congregations, making them vital and relevant.

Rev. Craig Howard

Matthew 25 congregations: 

Christ Presbyterian Church

Elmhurst Presbyterian Church

Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church

First Presbyterian Church of Chicago Heights

First Presbyterian Church of Libertyville

First Presbyterian Church of Wheaton

Highlands Presbyterian Church

Presbyterian Church in Orland Park

Presbyterian Church of Palatine

Ravenswood Presbyterian Church

River Glen Church

Riverside Presbyterian Church

Winnetka Presbyterian Church

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Summer 2023 Chaplaincy Training Program

For More information regarding this oppoutunity, click here Summer 2023 CPE Information Sheet

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Female Middle School Associate/Director, Peachtree Church Atlanta, GA

Peachtree Church, in Atlanta, GA, is seeking a full-time Female Middle School Associate/Director position. All resumes and inquiries can be directed to here by 6/6/2023.

Full Job Description

Peachtree Church is a growing church in Atlanta, Georgia. Our Student Ministry program is focused on helping students become followers of Jesus while walking alongside students and their families as they navigate the complexities of life. We are looking to hire a staff associate who has a contagious relationship with Jesus and a genuine passion for working with, encouraging, leading, and pouring into the lives of seventh and eighth grade students. 

This position requires someone who is a self-starter, has organizational skills, the ability to speak and teach in front of groups, pastoral counseling abilities, and desires to work in a collaborative team setting.

The primary responsibilities for this position include (but are not limited to):

  • Pastoral/Relational: Building relationships with students as well as their parents and families to share The Gospel and help them grow in their relationship with Christ.

  • Outreach: Attending sporting events, going to schools, recitals, etc. to meet new students and deepen existing relationships with students.
  • Leadership: Planning, coordinating, supporting, and running trips, events, activities, programs, as well as recruiting and equipping both adult and high school volunteer leaders. 

  • Teaching: Studying, preparing, practicing, and delivering messages that give students a holistic understanding of scripture and God’s truth, and points students to a life-giving relationship that is found in following the way and person of Jesus.

  • Program: Creating dynamic, energetic, fun, creative, and spiritually significant programs that encourage students and supports their faith formation. The milestone for our eighth graders is Confirmation, which is a ten-week program in which students are taught what it means to be in relationship with Christ and learn how to articulate their faith to others.

Required Competencies

  • Experience working with students.
  • Good verbal and written communication skills
  • Good organizational skills with attention to detail and accuracy
  • Ability to plan and execute multiple projects at once.
  • Comfortable leading small groups
  • Team player with desire to work in a collaborative environment.
  • Strong relational skills with both students and parents.
  • Ability to recruit volunteer leaders.
  • Ability to mentor and equip high school and adult volunteer leaders.

We believe that the healthiest and most impactful ministers are those who prioritize their relationship and spiritual formation with Christ, and model this to those they have been entrusted to lead. Peachtree provides opportunities for spiritual growth and discipleship through engaging worship services, community for young adults, mission trip/outreach opportunities, as well as continual equipping and training as a Student Ministry staff member.

This is a full time, salaried position that includes medical benefits. We offer a competitive salary based upon education and experience. The Middle School Associate will report directly to the Director of Minister School Ministry as well as the Director of Student Ministries.

For more information or to send your resume and cover letter, please click on this link.

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A Word We Dare Not Speak

Presbytery of Chicago Mission Statement 2023

Pursuing worship, service, and communities of justice, we are the Presbytery of Chicago, flourishing together by relating people, neighbors, and churches to one another in Christ Jesus.

Are you familiar with the urban myth of Candyman? When I was a kid growing up and hanging with my cousins in the projects on 62nd and Wabash, we would crowd go into the tiny bathroomin the apartment, turn off the lights, look in the mirror and say, “Candyman, Candyman . . .” then stop. According to the myth, if you say “Candyman” three times, he will appear — and he was known to abduct children! I’m not sure if I ever said it three times. I do remember laughter, giggles, screaming, and just being kids having fun!

As we created our mission statement for the Presbytery, we debated whether we should use the word “anti-racism” in the statement. The argument that won the day suggested the use of the word would turn many congregations off — and might even tune out and miss the rest of the mission statement. Instead, we used the word “justice,” hoping it would convey anti-racism along with other forms of injustice that permeate Chicagoland.

I’m beginning to wonder if the word “anti-racism” is our Candyman. On paper, the presbytery is committed to anti-racism work through CARE (Commission on Anti-Racism and Equity) and FARE (Facilitators of Antiracism and Equity). These commissions have worked diligently and faithfully since their inception. The presbytery has shown commitment through funding and a 25-year plan of implementation. Yet, many congregations and members are afraid to say the word “anti-racism,” or to confess that we are an anti-racism presbytery or congregation.

In her acceptance speech for the Grawemeyer award, Kelly Brown Douglas said, “We are not to be gatekeepers of an unjust status quo, but rather we’re to provide a gateway of thought to a more just future.” (Douglas is the Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School at Union Seminary. You can watch her 2023 Grawemeyer Lecture on YouTube.)

Speaking out against racism and its tentacles of white supremacy, gun violence, and climate change denial is the pathway into a more just future for the Presbytery of Chicago. We are challenged to speak with courage, not fear — with audacity, not anxiety.

 As we live into the resurrection, may we speak loudly and offer the words that bring hope, liberation and justice to Chicagoland, and every congregation in the presbytery.

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Director of Communications, The Village Church

The Village Church is a multi-generational church committed to forming a Christian community around Jesus Christ to join God’s mission in everyday life. We want to follow Jesus, love and serve one another, and make new disciples in our community and around the world. As a community of faith, called, saved, and made holy by God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we desire to embody and share the good news of Jesus Christ. We believe this involves both participating in the good work God is doing in the world and helping others to get to know God themselves. We seek a gifted Director of Communication who not only has the desire to help us fulfill this mission but the technical skills to help us engage a diverse group of communities and individuals with varying degrees of connection to the church.


The Director of Communications plans, organizes, creates, and oversees the communication strategy for church and community audiences using electronic and printed media. The Director will shape communication to support our mission to form Christian community around Jesus Christ to join God’s mission in everyday life.

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We Are Here

(Friends, my blog today is an excerpt from the sermon I preached at Second Presbyterian on Palm Sunday. It is inspired by my Pilgrimage to Birmingham and Montgomery Alabama, which I took last week. Hopefully you’ll find inspiration as we enter Holy Week. Craig)

We Are Here!

Matthew 27:1–66 ​​

In our lesson we see Jesus at the Passover meal. We see his actions and hear his words,which will come down through the annals of history to our ears and eyes: “Take, eat; this is my body. Drink, for this is my blood of the new covenant.”

The broken body and shed blood are a reference to the cross, the death Jesus foretold and the death we now remember on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. The broken body and shed blood are also what I saw at the Legacy Museum and the Memorial for Peace and Justice. Both showed a history of lynching in the United States.

In his poem “A Litany of Atlanta,W.E.B Dubois wrote:

I saw a (Black man) lynched

He raved and writhed,

I heard him cry,

I felt the life light leap and lie,

I watched him crackle there, on high,

I saw him wither!

I saw the broken bodies and shed blood of those lynched people. And I believe there is a direct relationship between the way Jesus was killed and the 6,000 African Americans who were lynched in the early 20th century. 

Lynching wasn’t just about killing a black man, child, or woman. Yes, children and women were also lynched and burned. It was about destroying their families, burning down their houses, stealing their possessions and forcing any remaining relatives to leave town. It was about generational destruction of that particular family, while terrorizing the entire black community. Lynching was an attempted abortion of the black will. A desirefor the hopes and dreams of African Americans to be stillborn for generations.

Here are some of the reasons black men were lynched:

For looking a white man in the eye.
Giving a letter to a white woman.
Knocking on the door of a white woman.
Because a man’s son got into a fight with a child of a white family.


The Museum shares the story of Anthony Crawford, from Abbeville, SC. This is the area my family of origin is from. In 1916, Mr. Crawford disagreed with the price he was offered by the white store owner for his cotton seed. When leaving the store, Mr. Crawford was attacked from behind, then arrested. He was later pulled from the jail andlynched, his house burned down, his land was taken, and his family forced out of the county.

The message sent from lynching was simple: Stay in your place. Don’t try to live above your station. Don’t try to achieve outside of your boundary. Lynching wouldn’t allow a strong, black man to stand for fairness, stand for family, or stand for justice. 

After going through the Legacy Museum and seeing all the names from all the counties from all the states, my friend Warren McNeal from New York said, “It’s a wonder we made it at all.”

Jesus was crucified for similar reasons. He was a challenge to power. The Romans felt Jesus was challenging their authority and trying to be above his station. They felt Jesus was trying to be a king, and that would challenge the authority of Caesar. The Jewish leaders felt Jesus didn’t have the pedigree, education, or right to teach and lead people. Jesus was out of bounds. Jesus was trying to be too much, do too much, and wouldn’t obey the rules and just be silent and invisible.

So, they made an example of Jesus. They nailed Jesus to a tree and lifted him up high for all to see. It was a message to anyone else who tried to live above their station. You will be tortured. Your body will be broken. Your blood will be shed. And you will be killed.

W.E.B. Dubois writes this about lynching and God:

This black and riven Thing, was it you?

That gasp- was it yours?

This pain- is it yours?

Who cries?

Who weeps?

With silent sobs that rends and tears-

Can God sob? (See “Prayers of God”) 

But God turned the lynching tree of Jesus into a tree of hope. God took this ugly violent thing and flipped it. Instead of Jesus crucifixion being an image that repelled, it became an image of bring people together. Instead of the cross becoming a sight to bring fear, it becomes a vision ofsalvation. Only God can take this event of violence and turn it into a source of peace. What humans meant to be a barrier to hope, God has turned into a portal for possibility and freedom. 

We now take the broken body and shed blood and call it communion. What was meant to scatter the disciples and Jewish people in fear, has become the center of gathering for all of those who believe Jesus is the Christ.  

Perhaps this transformation of evil and redemption from suffering is a hint of what we are called to do as Christians, as those who follow Jesus. The current way of understanding mission in the world is to ask the question, “Where is God working in the world?” Where is God working in Chicago? And then we are challenged to join God where God is. 

But in his book, The Cross and the Lynching Tree, theologian James Cone asks this question differently. He asks, “Where is Jesus being crucified in the world?” Unfortunately, the cross did not end suffering and injustice in our world. But perhaps we are to find those places of brokenness and bring healing.  

Find those places of suffering and bring redemption.  

Find those places of injustice, and fight for justice.  

Where do you see those places in Chicago?  

Let me tell you how the Anthony Crawford story ended. In 2016, 100 years after the lynching, the descendants of Mr. Crawford came together in Abbeville to unveil a marker that now sits in the town square that honors Anthony Crawford. The land was restored to the family. Dignity restored to a community. When the family gathered, they began to shout, “We are here! We are here!”  

When we take of the body and blood, we are saying, Christ is here. And we are here.

We are here and we have hope.

We are here and we have dignity.

We are here and we have salvation.

We are here and we will continue God’s work of hope, possibility, and freedom. Amen.

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How Blood Go Celebration of Healing

The Chicago Department of Public Health is partnering with We Will Chicago to present their Celebration of Healing. The Celebration of Healing initiative collaborates with our annual productions to provide audiences with a curated space for individual and community healing.

With three upcoming webinars scheduled, you can find more information on them and register here
March 30, 2023:Faith-Based Communities Building Engagement Linkages With Researchers (Webinar)

April 13, 2023: Pregnancy And Postpartum Experience In Chicago’s Neighborhoods With Increased Adverse Maternal Outcomes (Webinar)

April 27, 2023: Community Emotional Stability Through A Faith-Based Community-Academic Partnership (Webinar)

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(This is part 2 of a series on the mission statement of the Presbytery of Chicago)

Presbytery of Chicago Mission Statement 2023

Pursuing worship, service, and communities of justice, we are the Presbytery of Chicago, flourishing together by relating people, neighbors, and churches to one another in Christ Jesus.

The last Presbytery Assembly was a wonderful celebration as we welcomed Elias CabarcasArroyo to ordained ministry as the Presbytery Evangelist and organizing pastor of Comunidad de Fe Dia Nuevo (Dia Nuevo). Dia Nuevo is a new worshipping community located in the former Christ Church, Hanover Park building. The presbytery entered into a covenant with Dia Nuevo during the same meeting.

The commissioners gave witness and support of this new project with a 100% vote on all 4 motions. Wow! It was a moment of witness to our new mission statement as we experienced “flourishing together.” To flourish means to thrive, to be in a vigorous state, to be successful and to prosper. Flourishing happens when we come together in mission and ministry, when we are focused and connected.

Last Wednesday the New Worshipping Communities Committee hosted a workshop on Multi-use Space Strategies at Park Ridge Presbyterian Church. This was the first live presbytery event since the pandemic. It was well attended with over 60 pastors, members, and guests from churches stretching from the northside to the southside and from the north suburbs to the west suburbs. As we attended workshops, asking questions, and brainstorming solutions, the space was filled with energy, vitality, and hope.

In his recent book, After Whiteness: An Education in Belonging, Wille Jennings speaks of the value of coming together and what we can achieve collectively. “There is nothing inherently good about gathering people together, but there is something inherently powerful.” Jennings goes on to challenge us to use this power to move past greed, control, possession, and mastery and instead use community for sharing and mutual ownership. I would add that when community (or the presbytery) becomes reimagined as sharing and buying into the ministry of one another, we experience flourishing.

What made the Presbytery Assembly exciting and created energy in the Multi-use Workshop was how churches took part in helping one another succeed in ministry. The desire to support Dia Nuevo and Dia Nuevo’s commitment to share in the ministry of other congregations is a model of the presbytery that focuses on ministry as a gift exchange. Similar ministry exchanges were seen as Fourth Presbyterian and Friendship Presbyterian shared wisdom to help other congregations with building and space challenges.

As we continue to live out our new mission statement, may we reimagine a new presbytery of churches sharing, and exchanging gifts that go beyond financial transactions. May we give ourselves to one another in the name of the risen Christ. Amen. 

Rev. Craig Howard

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Director of Children’s Ministries, First Presbyterian Church of Arlington Heights Children’s Ministries

First Presbyterian Church of Arlington Heights is seeking a Director of Children’s Ministries to begin working no later than June 1 to overlap with the current Interim Director for training and transition. We are looking for a candidate who can take over o ur children’s programming ongoing.

We are seeking someone who possesses a passion for teaching children (birth – 5th grade) how to live and love like Christians. Skills important to this job are enthusiasm, organization and a natural rapport with children and their parents.

Requirements include running the weekly Sunday School sessions and Kids Connect programing on Wednesday evenings during the school year. In the Summer, the Director will lead one week of Vacation Bible School and six sessions of the Lo aves & Fishes Garden Summer Sunday School in coordination with other church staff and volunteers.\

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Director of Children’s Ministries, First Presbyterian Church of Arlington Heights Childrens Ministries Hiring Committee

First Presbyterian Church of Arlington Heights is seeking a Director of Children’s Ministries to begin working no later than June 1 to overlap with the current Interim Director for training and transition. We are looking for a candidate who can take over o ur children’s programming ongoing.

We are seeking someone who possesses a passion for teaching children (birth – 5th grade) how to live and love like Christians. Skills important to this job are enthusiasm, organization and a natural rapport with children and their parents.
To view the full job description, click here

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