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About this blog

The Rev. Timothy Cargal, Ph.D., serves as Assistant Stated Clerk for Preparation for Ministry in 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 of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). 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: Ministry Context

November 30, 2012

Changes Coming to CLC

CLC logo“Church Leadership Connection” (CLC) is an Internet-based matching and referral system widely used by Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregations seeking pastoral leadership and by teaching elders and those seeking first calls to be ordained as teaching elders in the church. Having been in place for more than a decade, the CLC system will be receiving some significant updates in the coming year.

My colleagues in the Office of Vocation who manage CLC have highlighted the following changes in a report to the General Assembly earlier this year:

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September 14, 2012

Of Carts and Horses

Cartoon of "putting cart before the horse"One of the great questions now before the church concerns how it relates to its changing cultural context, and the types of leaders and forms of leadership needed to bring to reality a new relationship between church and culture. In this post I want to look at one particular aspect of that question—the relationship between leaders and institutional change—and whether we are in some ways "putting the cart before the horse."

I recently finished reading Diana Butler Bass's book, Christianity after Religion (San Francisco: Harper One, 2012). One of the key analytical structures utilized in the book is the study …

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July 13, 2012

220th GA Wrap-Up

Logo of the 220th General Assembly PC(USA)The 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) completed its work on Saturday morning, July 7. It will likely be remembered both for the things that happened at the Assembly and for actions the commissioners did not take. A full-wrap is available on the church website (click here), and all the details are on PC-Biz. As previously promised, here is an update on the business items highlighted in my previous blog.

Ordination Examinations: By unanimous consent the Assembly approved the suggestion from the Office of the General Assembly to incorporate a study of the standard …

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May 16, 2012

The Church Isn't Recession-Proof

graduate with "Hire Me" on top of mortarboard

A primary interest of this blog is the changing social context of ministry in the 21st century. A facet of that social context that has been “front and center” for the past several years has been the economy. As we think about the realities of moving into professional church leadership ministries, it is important to remember that while the need for ministry only increases during periods of economic hardship and displacement the church as an institution is subject to the same economic pressures as the rest of society. The church, after all, is the community of God’s people, and …

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January 10, 2012

It's Not Just a Presbyterian Thing

Sunshine through clouds onto the seaTwo pieces have come across my computer screen in recent days that particularly caught my attention. Both relate to topics I have addressed before in this blog, but they also help to broaden the scope of vision. They remind us that issues within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) reflect a sea change affecting the whole of the church in American society.

One of the pieces is a story from the Columbus Dispatch about someone ordained to ministry by an association of independent Christian community churches (click here to read the story). The person focused on in the story is currently …

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