For Such a Time as This announces recruitment plans for 2013

Small-church residency program seeks presbytery partners and pastoral-resident candidates

September 20, 2012


For Such a Time as This: A Small-Church Residency—Growing Leaders, Growing Churches has announced recruitment plans for its next class of residency presbyteries, congregations, and pastoral residents.

Launched by the Presbyterian Mission Agency in fall 2009, For Such a Time as This was designed to renew and grow small churches and help them to become healthy, missional congregations. The program pairs small, underserved congregations in rural, small town, and urban settings with recent seminary graduates in a two-year pastoral-residency relationship, during which they are supported and guided by a cluster of pastor-mentors. Since For Such a Time as This began, 22 recent seminary graduates are serving 26 congregations in 10 presbyteries.

“For Such a Time as This continues to demonstrate some of the key ingredients needed for healthy, growing congregations,” said the Rev. Marcia Clark Myers, director of the PC(USA)’s Office of Vocation—a joint ministry of the Presbyterian Mission Agency and the Office of the General Assembly—which oversees the program. “The growth in our For Such a Time as This churches has been amazing. The congregations are reaching out and welcoming newcomers to the faith. Adults are returning to church, Sunday school and youth programs have been revitalized, children are hearing the good news, adults and children are being baptized, and the Holy Spirit is clearly at work in so many ways.”

Prospective presbytery partners and pastoral-resident candidates are invited to visit the website for further information or to email the residency staff team with questions and inquiries.

  1. I think this is a wonderful program both in terms of what it gives to struggling small congregations and for the opportunity it provides for new clergy. But I would ask that the process try to be more discerning in the picking of the churches to be included. It doesn't seem to me to be doing a church which is so small, isolated or limited in resources any favor by providing them with a resident pastor when there is no rational hope of such continuing beyond the program's term. Funds might better be used in helping develop more ruling elders commissioned to pastoral service for such situations.

    by J.R Heckerman

    September 21, 2012