Located in Baltimore, Maryland, Hamilton Presbyterian Church seeks a seminary intern to work in an urban setting and develop a dynamic urban ministry.
The desired person will have a passion to explore, model and mentor renewal within a small, marginal urban congregation. The goal for this internship is for skills to be learned and experience to hone them.
Candidates are to be undercare of a presbytery and a student in a seminary certified by their presbytery. The position is envisioned for the academic year.
What Are We Seeking?
We believe Hamilton offers a ripe opportunity as an intern position. We are looking for a person who’s passion is urban redevelopment within the ethos of the Presbyterian and Reformed Tradition. The Intern would be supported and encouraged while developing ministry skills in a setting of significant responsibility. We envision the interim year as a mutual experience for congregation and the intern.
About the Position
Hamilton’s goal is to become a training laboratory enabling an intern to work as a reflective practioner in the craft of ministry, specializing in the small struggling urban congregation. A support system has been created for this position which includes:
- A Presbyterian pastor, presbytery executive, consultant with experience in small church ministry. The Rev. Jack D. Hodges would serve as designated moderator of the Session/Trustees while the intern conducts the meetings.
- A Resource & Renewal Team composed of persons beyond the congregation working with the congregation and serving as mentors.
- The additional bonus of networking with a large and successful urban congregation in the Baltimore core city.
Neither age nor gender is a factor in the person we are seeking. We do value their sense, understanding and embracing of the Presbyterian tradition. Single or otherwise we look forward to their participation and support of the congregation in its life and the community. We see Hamilton community linkage as a critical component in renewal.
The Position’s Responsibilities
- Plan and conduct worship, preach regularly.
- Engage in membership development, pastoral visitation, and counseling.
- Bring support and encouragement to the congregation’s mission and program, working with leadership to realize the congregation’s ministry goals.
- Pursue, participate, and lead the congregation in the Hamilton neighborhood, become a member and active in the neighborhood association, represent and lead the congregation within the broader Baltimore community.
- Consult and work with mentors and the Resource & Renewal Team to explore and develop strategies for revitalization.
- Conduct Session/Trustee meetings with Moderator present. On the second Sunday of the month when the contemporary service is conducted, visit representative congregations in the area.
The Rev. Jack Hodges, the current Temporary Supply, will serve as mentor. He has pastoral experience in both small and large Presbyterian congregations, is Presbytery Executive Emeritus of the Presbytery of the Cascades in Oregon, and is a principal consultant in The Kairos Group.
In addition, the seminary may wish to ignite a support system with regular skype sessions; additionally, the seminary may wish to arrange on-site visitations.
About the Congregation
Hamilton Presbyterian Church was founded in 1901, established to meet the needs of a small but growing community. Initially the area consisted of a fire department, barber shop, pharmacy, Post Office, harness shop with a large wooden horse outside, Mrs. Arnd’s Lunchroom, and one telephone. In 1915, that first small structure was replaced with our present stone building on Harford Road and Evergreen Avenue. Westminster Hall was added in 1951.
The city grew around the Hamilton community. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the area became more urban and evolved as a mixed-race middle class neighborhood. The most recent census information suggests a 70% African-American population. In the early 1980s, urban blight began to creep in. Today there are strong signs of resurgence. The church is located in the center core of the Harford Road main street development. This neighborhood revival offers an opportunity to rebuild. The congregation is seeking to respond and flourish within its current surroundings.
The property is more than adequate to support renewal with three separate buildings: the Sanctuary, Westminster Hall (rented out on weekdays and Sunday), as well as the former manse (also a rental unit). Two contiguous parking areas off significant available parking.
Can This Congregation Live?
All acknowledge this to be an open question. This very question is at the core of ministry within a small urban congregation. Hamilton holds on to the idea that there are gifts and graces available to enable this congregation to move toward renewal. Can we keep alive the sense that the Holy Spirit is prepared to work within a congregation whose ministry spans nearly 120 years?
This question promises a challenging ministry experience.
See document link for additional information.
Interested? Reach out to the Rev. Jack Hodges by email.