The Rev. Steve Yamaguchi, executive presbyter for Los Ranchos Presbytery for the past 11 years, has resigned to accept a position as dean of Fuller Theological Seminary. He will conclude his presbytery work on June 30 and begins at the seminary August 1.
In his resignation letter dated May 21, Yamaguchi cited three factors that led to his new call:
“First, during my 11 years as your executive presbyter and presbytery pastor, the favorite part of my work has been working with imaginative and courageous candidates and new pastors. They are pioneers and they inspire me and give me joy as our presbytery has boldly supported their creative calls,” he wrote.
“Second, I am more certain than ever that our future as Presbyterians will be a future in which we serve together with all Christians. Our continuing commitment to this ecumenical partnership and leadership in relationships with all other Christians is a key to our future.
“And finally (to many of you this is not news) I have a burning passion for theological education which nourishes our leaders for ministry, but it must be done well and the system needs reform, Yamaguchi wrote.
“All three ― my love of working with church leaders, working with the whole church and reforming theological education come together at Fuller Seminary under the inspiring leadership of their new President Mark Labberton,” Yamaguchi explained. “He has a compelling vision to transform theological education in the 21st century. I hear God's call in this new opportunity. It is a dream come true and I am eager to dive into that calling.”
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The Rev. Robert J. Tuttle will retire as vice-president for the Center for Youth and Young Adult Ministry at Montreat Conference Center on Aug. 1, 2014. Tuttle has served at Montreat since 1987, the longest of any executive on the Montreat staff.
“What a privilege it has been over the years to work alongside so many talented colleagues, both paid and volunteer, here at the conference center,” says Tuttle about his tenure at Montreat, “When people have asked me if I was enjoying my work here, I always said ‘I keep trying to find a better job and I can’t!’”
Tuttle has developed the youth program into the largest youth ministry in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). He expanded the Montreat Youth Conferences from three weeks to six weeks, serving more than 5,000 senior high young people each summer. In addition, he has added a middle school conference and developed a college conference that serves more than 1,000 college students each year. He has also been responsible for recruiting and managing a collegiate summer staff of roughly 125 college students each summer who work in Montreat.
Along the way, Tuttle has written two books for adult leaders of youth: Dealing with Crisis (1997) and Growing Leaders (1998).
Besides his work in youth ministry at the largest conference center of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Tuttle also manages the Montreat wilderness — 2,500 acres of mountain forest full of hiking trails and shared with the larger community. He is also in charge of the Montreat Clubs Program, a summer enrichment experience for children who come with their parents to conferences, who spend part of their summers with family in Montreat, or who reside in the greater community surrounding Montreat.
A native of Salem, Va., Tuttle holds degrees from Davis and Elkins College and the Presbyterian School of Christian Education (now Union Presbyterian Seminary). In 2010 he earned an M.Div. from Union Seminary’s Charlotte extension and was ordained that year. Prior to his Montreat service, Tuttle served three congregations as a Christian educator: Radford (Va.) Presbyterian Church; First Presbyterian Church, Spartanburg, S.C.; and First Presbyterian Church, Savannah, Ga.
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Rachel Shussett, a rising junior at Westminster (Pennsylvania) College has begun service as a summer intern for the Office of Communication in Louisville. She will be dividing her time between Presbyterian News Service, Presbyterians Today and the Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study. Her time of service in Louisville is May 15-Aug. 15.
Shussett’s internship is made possible by a Jameson-Hines Scholarship from the Presbyterian Writers Guild. The scholarship ― for Presbyterian college or seminary students interested in pursuing a career in church communications ― was established by a bequest from the late Vic Jameson, longtime editor of Presbyterian Survey (now Presbyterians Today) and a scholarship fund established by the Synod of Living Waters to honor Jane Hines, the synod’s longtime communications director and editor of its newspaper, The Voice, upon her retirement.
Shussett served this past year as a staff writer for Westminster College’s weekly newspaper, Holcad. Next year she will be the paper’s news editor and during her senior year is in line to be editor-in-chief. Her home is in Allentown, Pa., where her father, Steve Shussett is executive for Lehigh Presbytery.