26 years later, former pastor comes full circle
The Rev. Brenda Payne, second from left, is shown with her family, son Justyn, husband Jerryl, daughter Bryanna and son Jeremyah at her graduation ceremony recently at Boston University.
June 14, 2013
The Rev. Brenda Payne was on a mission. After 26 years, the former pastor of Payne Chapel AME Church in Houston had returned to Boston University’s School of Theology to finish her Master of Divinity degree.
It was tough, she said. She experienced extremes, from health problems to snowstorms, and felt Boston’s pain after the marathon bombings.
“I had some very harrowing experiences, but God had put me there,” Payne said. “With his grace and my perseverance, I made it through.”
That she did, and on the dean’s list, too.
Read the full article here.
YOUTH PASTOR NEEDED
Good Korean Methodist Church, located in Belmont Center (www.bostongoodchurch.org), is looking for a Youth Group Pastor, who has a passion for Gospel and teenage ministry. Bi-lingual person preferred, but only English-speaking is ok. Please send your brief resume email@example.com.
Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts seeks a Program Manager for the Center for Spirituality, Dialogue and Service (CSDS) also serving as Coordinator for the Social Justice Resource Center (SJRC)
Position Summary: Under the direction and in collaboration with the Executive Director of the Center for Spirittuality, Dialogue, and Service (which oversees the Social Justice Resource Center), the Program Manager will be responsible for the design, implementation, administration, and assessment of dynamic programming that develops within students the ability to work effectively to build healthy and just communities on and off campus, build and maintain relationships, facilitate communication, and mediate conflicts in order to become engaged global citizens.
The Program Manager develops opportunities for students to participate in dialogue, leadership training, and educational programs, as well as experiential learning, service and constructive social action projects on and off campus. Working with CSDS’ Executive Director and Spiritual Advisors, s/he assists with coordination of leadership retreats, seasonal celebrations, intergroup /interfaith dialogue programs, and other new initiatives. The Manager will help mentor/lead/teach/inspire program participants, coordinate events planning, facilitate publicity and recruitment, and help supervise graduate assistants and/or work study students. S/he will help oversee communications, website content development/management, social media, ENEWS publications, assist with scheduling, coordination and support for student groups; budget reconciliation, bookkeeping, contracts and relations with outside vendors, and advancing outreach to international and other underrepresented student groups. As needed, s/he will serve as an advisor to student organizations and Northeastern University Interfaith Council (NUIC).
Specific responsibilities for the SJRC Coordinator role include: Supervise and train Graduate Assistant, SJRC Ambassadors (student leaders), and work-study students working in the resource center; promoting co-sponsorship and collaboration of SJRC programming with diverse, multicultural, and social-justice focused student organizations, spiritual and religious groups and Centers, Residential Life, Cultural Centers, International Student Scholar Institute, Center for Student Involvement, and faculty; work with other Student Affairs offices to promote, educate, coordinate, and encourage diversity on campus; manage office budgets; providing individual student support (advising, mentoring) in consultation with other student support providers on campus; creating and administering educational programming (dialogues, presentations, celebrations, excursions, retreats) for the Northeastern community and in partnership with members; establishing and maintaining relationships with on/off-campus organizations and communities of common interest and commitment throughout the Boston area, developing learning opportunities and utilizing campus resources to increase knowledge of diversity to all students; facilitating and developing vibrant and relevant educational programming to support learning and the experience of diversity.
Qualifications: Include: Bachelors degree required and Masters degree(s) preferred, in Higher Education; Nonprofit or Business; Theology/Religious Studies, Peace Studies, International Relations, Intercultural Relations, or related fields. The qualified candidate will possess a minimum of 4-6 years of experience in higher education and/or related field (nonprofit/Non-Governmental Organizations, service learning, social service agencies working with young adults, religious institutions, interfaith/multicultural organizations, etc.) The position requires significant administrative skills; attention to detail; events planning skills; creative program development skills; group facilitation skills; student leadership development skills; experience working with budget management; excellent oral, written, presentational, social media, and interpersonal communication skills; skills in working with culturally diverse communities on and off-campus; the ability to work collaboratively with faculty, staff, administrators, students, and local and global University partners at all levels; a student-centered philosophy of education with interest in cooperative/experiential/creative pedagogies; a commitment to social justice, nonviolent conflict resolution, pluralism, and interfaith/cross-cultural understanding and cooperation. Other helpful skills include web design/development, graphic design, community organizing, mediation/negotiation/conflict resolution skills; and supervision of students and volunteers.
To be considered for this position please visit our website and apply online at the following link: Careers@Northeastern Northeastern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Educational Institution and Employer, Title IX University. Northeastern University particularly welcomes applications from minorities, women and persons with disabilities. Northeastern University is an E-Verify Employer.
|Online App. Form:||http://apptrkr.com/374255|
Alexander Levering Kern
Center for Spirituality, Dialogue and Service
NewSong Community Church (www.newsongs.org), a member of the Churches of God, General Conference (www.cggc.org) is seeking a new Senior/Solo Pastor. We are a small congregation that meets in North Chelmsford, MA.
Your responsibilities: Provide leadership to aid the spiritual development of the congregation. Responsible for all worship services, special services and ceremonies conducted in and/or by the church, although the teaching team may share in preaching. The pastor is an ex-officio member of the administrative council (which includes elders and deacons) and all commissions, committees, and organizations.
Your skills and strengths: Comfortable in an elder-led, not pastor-led, church; welcomes a contemporary worship style; comfortable in a casual, contemporary church environment; passionate about the Word of God, and able to balance reaching seekers with helping believers grow in their walk with Jesus; able to work on a team; experienced at growing leaders; good conflict resolution skills; able to teach the Bible in a way that makes it relevant to people’s lives today.
Your educational background: Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college; Master’s degree from an accredited seminary
To receive a Church Profile and Pastoral Application, please email NewSongPSC@gmail.com.
The NewSong Pastoral Search Committee
St. Paul Lutheran Church
Job Description: Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministry
General Summary / Overview
The Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministry is responsible for development and coordination of Christian education programs, recruitment and support of volunteers, and outreach and communication regarding all Christian Education and family ministry programs.
Program Development & Coordination
- Oversee Sunday School programming for ages 4 through 18
- Provide lesson plans and program support for 15-20 minute weekly Children’s Church time
- Teach Confirmation Class for 8th-9th grade, with assistance of Pastoral intern and adult volunteers
- Organize and lead all youth events, with assistance of Pastoral intern and adult volunteers
- Order teaching materials, supplies, and curricula for Confirmation, Godly Play, and Sunday School classes
- Prepare and monitor an annual budget in conjunction with the Christian Education Committee and Church Council
- Plan and facilitate various worship, service, and fellowship events for youth and families – such as All Ages worship, parenting classes, playgroups for babies/toddlers, Christmas pageant, Rally Day etc.
- Supervise two staff nursery attendants through weekly check-ins and annual performance reviews; monitor nursery activity, condition, and needs
- Advocate for an environment of inclusion by paying close attention to any special needs and issues in classes and in worship and supporting families as it relates to Christian Education
Volunteer Recruitment & Support
- Recruit Sunday School teachers, nursery volunteers, Confirmation teachers, and adult leaders for youth events
- Support program volunteers through lesson planning, classroom maintenance, scheduling and arranging substitutes when needed
- Provide regular training opportunities and information sessions for volunteers
- Submit background checks (CORI) for volunteers and nursery attendants
- Promote awareness of Safe Church Policy among volunteers
Communication & Outreach
- Reach out to new families, especially those with young children
- Publicize and promote Children, Youth, and Family ministry activities by phone, e-mail, church website, Facebook, print, and personal contact
- Provide support and resources for families to assist in Christian faith formation at home
- Prepare materials for Weekly e-newsletter and monthly “Messenger”
- Develop and support new programs focusing on family ministry, such as short-term book groups, parenting classes, playgroups, etc.
Skills and Aptitudes Required
- Specific interest and talent in providing effective leadership to middle and high school aged youth
- Excellent communication skills with the ability to communicate and interact respectfully and effectively with the Pastor and other Church Staff, parents, children and youth, volunteers, members and guests.
- Excellent organizational skills with the ability to oversee and prioritize multiple projects and activities
- Basic computer and office equipment skills to include MS Office
- Ability to recruit and support volunteers and incorporate their feedback
- Ability to initiate new projects and programs
- Ability to work independently and efficiently
- 24 hours per week, including Sundays (actual hours and schedule flexibility will be determined by mutual agreement)
- Participate in weekly staff meeting
- Designated or shared office space
- Reports to Pastor
Physical Requirements of the Job
- Ability to operate standard office equipment
- High School Diploma or equivalent
- Bachelor of Arts or Science preferred
- Nursery Attendants
- Sunday School Teachers
- Christian Education and Family Ministry program Volunteers
Please submit your application to firstname.lastname@example.org
Congratulations to Dr. Nicole Johnson (STH 07)! She was awarded tenure at the University of Mount Union in Ohio! http://www.mountunion.edu/faculty-members-receive-promotions-and-tenure
STH Student Tackles Questions of Faith, Through Comics
Gaining a better understanding of what it means to be human
07.18.2013By Jessica Ullian (GRS’09)
Andrew Tripp (STH’09,’16) says that the superheroes popularized in comic books have much to teach us about what it means to be human. Photo by Ryan Hyde
Andrew Tripp believes in the power of stories, and his favorites tackle questions about Christianity, morality, and humanity. The Book of Job is one. Spider-Man is another.
“Peter Parker is finding out what it means to be a good person and how to use your talents for the common good,” says Tripp (STH’09,’16), a doctoral candidate in the School of Theology’s Center for Practical Theology, of the teenager behind Spider-Man’s mask. “There’s a huge segment of our culture that’s not religious, but has its moral cultivation met through that story.”
Comic books aren’t the core of Tripp’s research—he’s writing his dissertation about urban congregations with strong antipoverty programs—but they’re far more than a side interest. The self-proclaimed nerd is fascinated by the pop-culture narratives that people explore when they turn away from the church—and in using those narratives to understand how people think about right and wrong.
“As America grows more secular, there’s a need for clergy to understand how the unchurched have had their moral development,” Tripp says. “When you’re pastorally caring for someone, and you’re helping them integrate into a healthier story, you need to know the stories that have shaped their lives.”
Andrew Tripp’s favorite stories, among them the Book of Job and Spider-Man, tackle questions about Christianity, morality, and humanity. Photo courtesy of the School of Theology
His interest in the issue is more than academic. Raised in the Unitarian Universalist tradition, he found himself drifting away from the church at the end of high school, after his mother died. Still wrestling with questions about spirituality, he found solace in comics, where each character seemed to be struggling with issues he found familiar: Iron Man constantly battled his personal weaknesses while trying to represent peace and justice. The Fantastic Four’s Thing appeared impenetrably strong, but mourned for the loss of his humanity.
“It gave me a place to play,” Tripp says. “The superheroes and the comeback characters spoke to something profound about what it meant to be human.”
He studied chemistry in college and took a job in information technology after graduation. But he found himself longing for the sense of community a church provided, and he joined a congregation near his hometown of Buffalo, N.Y. As he became involved with the church’s committees and community service programs, he learned how the older parishioners had made service to the needy a priority throughout their lives and careers.
“Christian love can be such a nebulous term, but the Bible stories concretize what love is: feeding the hungry, clothing the naked,” Tripp says. “And in a community that lives out the stories, the wisdom we have about moral discernment comes from those stories.”
His “call moment,” when it came, was inspired by the many members of his congregation who asked him which seminary he’d be attending—before he’d even applied. “The world was saying, ‘This is for you,’” he says. After hearing the stories of the church elders, he was finally ready to begin writing his own.
Tripp, who earned a master’s degree at STH before continuing on to the doctoral program, hasn’t strayed far from the path that brought him to divinity school: his dissertation focuses on three affluent Boston-area churches that run homeless shelters in their sanctuaries and invite the homeless to participate in regular worship. They’re taking Bible verses about economic responsibility very literally, he says, in a way that many affluent congregations do not.
“I want to see if the way they tell the Christian stories differs and affects how they live out the Christian story,” he says.
Throughout his studies at STH, and his work as a hospital and hospice chaplain, he’s also found a rich life beyond the page. In his conversations with parishioners and patients, he’s come to value the discussions that emerge around Scripture as much as the Scripture itself. Much as The Avengers helped him develop moral reasoning, the conversations he’s had have helped him refine it.
“When Scripture’s only read as a book of truth statements, it reduces it. What’s important isn’t one side or the other; it’s the discussion,” he says. “When people have that conversation, the many different voices and many different minds will have a greater wisdom than any one could have.”
That’s not to say he’ll ever leave comic books behind. He contributed a chapter to Graven Images: Religion in Comic Books and Graphic Novels (Continuum, 2010), edited by BU lecturer A. David Lewis (GRS’12) and Christine Hoff Kraemer (GRS’08), and remains an enthusiastic consumer—and critic—of the ongoing Marvel Comics movie franchises. True to form, he prefers the human struggle of Iron Man to the glamorous deities of The Avengers.
“I’m never going to be Thor,” admits Tripp, referring to the superhuman strength and powers over nature possessed by Marvel’s thunder god character. “But some days, I can be Iron Man.”
Glenn has published his 7th book, Remember My Name in Sheboygan: Sheboygan Revisited.
Northeastern University, Boston Massachusetts
Center for Spirituality, Dialogue, and Service (CSDS) & Social Justice Resource Center (SJRC)
- Working with the diverse staff of the Center for Spirituality, Dialogue, and Service (CSDS), and its affiliated Social Justice Resource Center (SJRC), help design and implement social justice, diversity, dialogue, global leadership development, service-learning and urban civic engagement programs — including dialogues, service experiences, speakers, special events
- Help supervise, mentor, and train work-study students working in SJRC
- Assist with administration, communications, and outreach of CSDS and SJRC
- Provide support and hospitality for student visitors to the centers, and student groups utilizing spaces
- Oversee outreach, recruitment, attendance and participation at events and programs, both on and off-campus
- Assist in developing evaluation and assessment tools, marketing and publications materials, including utilizing social media
- As interests and skills permit, conduct research for possible publication
- Other duties as assigned
- enrolled or entering a graduate degree program (some exception may be possible for recent graduates pursuing continuing education)
- commitment to increasing dialogue, understanding, and intercultural competency; and connecting students to wider social justice and spiritual communities
- a passion for working with diverse groups of students, and a commitment to developing student leaders who are interculturally adept, ethically reflective, and spiritually grounded global citizens.
- available to work evenings and weekends as needed
- a commitment to providing excellent student service
- strong communication skills (written, interpersonal, presentation, facilitation and social media)
- excellent organizational skills, flexibility, teamwork, and listening abilities,
- ability to thrive in an innovative, fast-paced, global research university setting in the heart of Boston, on the Avenue of the Arts, near Fenway, Copley Square, and Roxbury
- dedication to social justice work and addressing issues of privilege and global and urban realities
- graphic and web-design experience a plus
- A successful candidate will have interest in working as an educator, leader, or organizer in educational, religious, and/or nonprofit settings, be intellectually curious, and have a grounding in one’s own cultural and/or spiritual/religious tradition and profound respect for others’
This position is modestly stipended, 20 hours a week, and is for the academic year 2013-14. Please send a resume and statement of interest to Alex Kern at email@example.com. For more information, visit www.neu.edu/spirituallifeAlexander Levering Kern Executive Director Center for Spirituality, Dialogue and Service Northeastern University 203 Ell Hall 360 Huntington Avenue Boston, MA 02115 617 373-4931 www.northastern.edu/spiritual_life
Please see the description and application for the Assistant Director position.