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The Rev. Timothy Cargal, Ph.D., serves as the Coordinator, Preparation for Ministry/Exams for Mid Council Ministries of the Office of the General Assembly.

“... the Land that I Will Show You” is the blog of the Office of Preparation for Ministry/Examinations of the Presbyterian Church (USA). This blog is designed to serve as a resource for those discerning and preparing for a call to the ministry of Word and Sacrament as ordained teaching elders of the church. It will also provide a place for reflecting on and dialoging about the changing context of pastoral ministry in the early 21st century.

For quick announcements about changes or developments in the preparation process, dates related to exams or other key events, discussion boards, surveys, etc., you can follow us on Facebook at “Preparing for Presbyterian Ministry.”

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Posts with category: Bible study

February 28, 2012

Considering Our--and Others'--Call

Block question mark casting a shadowI’m currently on the road visiting a couple of seminary campuses to meet with Presbyterian students, the faculties, and administrative support staff. As always these visits have included many stimulating discussions. But as I was reading through the passages for this morning in the Daily Lectionary, one of those conversations immediately came to mind.

The observation was made that any process that requires a person to demonstrate God’s call on her or his life to others runs the very real risk of excluding some who are genuinely called but simply cannot provide the particular “evidence” (see G-2.0607 ...

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November 21, 2011

Exercising Judgment

Domenico Fetti, detail of The Parable of the Mote and the Beam, c. 1619I’ve recently been spending some time in Matthew 7, and I must say that I couldn’t get past the very first verse of the chapter without recalling a sentiment I often encounter in my work with those engaged in the preparation for ministry process from all sides: “Don’t judge, so that you won’t be judged.” (Common English Bible, here and throughout this post) Admittedly I don’t often hear it put in precisely those words. Usually the phrasing is more like, “Who is in a position to judge the Spirit’s call on another person’s ...

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