What is the congregation’s or organization’s vision for ministry? Additionally describe how this vision is lived out.
LAPC is a dynamic, multiracial, multicultural church that was founded by abolitionists and continues to be at the forefront of social justice. Our vision for ministry is to live the gospel by cultivating a welcoming and supportive church home for our diverse community through our ministries of worship, music and art, social justice, Christian Education and support of community organizations.
LAPC’s worship ministry centers on our Sunday service, which features engaging sermons, community prayer and music. LAPC also hosts “Not So Churchy,” an alternative worshipping community that serves LBGTQ individuals and straight allies.
LAPC’s music and arts ministry is anchored by our talented traditional choir and gospel ensemble. The church sponsors jazz vespers services and hosts a variety of concerts, community town halls and social functions.
The social justice ministry draws from the church’s rich history of advocacy, which began with support of abolition and women’s rights. Recent initiatives include advocating for fair housing, hosting a food pantry, serving a homeless shelter and working to end gun violence.
Our Christian education ministry includes adult Bible Study and a children’s Sunday school focused on teaching God’s love.
Finally, we minister to our vibrant community by providing support and meeting space for a variety of local organizations.
As we strive to live out our mission, we are mindful that Christian values are the foundation for all of our activities and goals.
How do you feel called to reach out to address the emerging needs of your community or constituency?
LAPC is located in Brooklyn’s neighborhood of Fort Greene. While this neighborhood has been gentrifying rapidly, it remains diverse racially, ethnically and socio-economically. Thousands of new housing units will become available in coming years. Defending the rights of our long-time neighbors to remain, while also welcoming our new neighbors, will be key to the church’s growth.
LAPC works to effect change in our community by partnering with and supporting a variety of local initiatives, including the Sacred Heart Men’s Shelter; Habitat for Humanity; Parity (formerly Presbyterian Welcome), an organization advocating for LGBTQ inclusion; and The Church of Gethsemane, which serves the incarcerated, ex-offenders and their families. LAPC is also known as Fort Greene’s “Town Hall” for hosting community meetings/events, forums/debates and providing donated and reduced rental space for neighborhood groups including Audre Lorde Project, a mothers’ support group, Fort Greene Park Conservancy and the Girl Scouts.
Our Deacons and Prayer Team support the community through hospital visits, by serving communion to shut-ins, and by offering comfort during funerals and food pantry items to those in need.
We seek a spiritual leader who can proactively build solid relationships within and outside the church and can help to shape a compassionate and nuanced strategy and vision to grow church discipleship as the community’s population increases and its demographics evolve.
How will this position help you to reach your vision and mission goals?
The new pastor of LAPC will serve as our spiritual leader, helping to steer us as we develop and execute a new strategic plan and vision for the church's next chapter. Our strategic plan must address the recent wave of gentrification that is shifting our community as well as the internal opportunities we have--increasing active participation among our members, growing the number of families in our congregation & strengthening our funding base. In addition, the new pastor will serve as a catalyst for further development of our current and future ministries, and promote stewardship as we manage and grow our resources in pursuit of our goals. For this key position, we welcome candidates with additional relevant training and credentials such as Clinical Pastoral Education Training.
We are grateful to our two skilled interim pastors and to the Presbytery for guiding us as we have prepared to welcome a new permanent pastor to LAPC. Although we encountered challenges as we transitioned from our first to our second interim pastor, we found that these challenges served to strengthen our community and helped us to affirm our unified support for our mission.
The congregation looks forward to the opportunity to rally around the pastor that we believe God is calling to us. Working together under the pastor’s leadership we aim to energize the congregation and engage newcomers through new initiatives to build on our amazing history as we enter an exciting new phase in the life of the church.
Provide a description of the characteristics needed by the person who is open to being called to this congregation and or organization.
LAPC seeks a pastor who can inspire us to follow the example of Jesus as we build on the strengths of community, social justice, music and Christian education to execute a plan for a new dynamic phase of growth for LAPC. The successful candidate will:
● Demonstrate strong preaching and worship leadership skills reflective of spiritual maturity to deliver challenging& inspirational sermons that apply Jesus’ teachings to modern life
● Leverage cultural proficiency to nurture a church community that acknowledges& celebrates our differences and welcomes all people, regardless of race, ethnic or national origin, socioeconomic status, religious background, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability or age
● Lead our congregation to develop a strategy and vision to plan for the future of our church
● Work with Session as an effective financial manager of our current resources and serve as a funds developer to grow new sources of income
● As a public communicator, strengthen our relationships to our community & Presbytery and enhance communication with current and potential members by leveraging both traditional communications channels and new technology
● Utilize organizational agility and interpersonal engagement to deepen congregants’ connection to the church and its mission and to recruit and support volunteers to serve in our ministries
● Act as a teacher to guide Christian education for our children and adults, providing contemporary intellectual exploration of scripture.
What specific tasks, assignments, and program areas will this person have responsibility?
Worship: Preaching & leading worship by delivering powerful sermons related to today’s world, work, social & family life challenges. Celebrating, supporting & fostering the liturgical music ministries of The Lafayette Choir, The Lafayette Inspirational Ensemble and Jazz Vespers.
Strategy and Vision: Leading our congregation in developing & executing a strategic plan for the future of our church.
Teacher: Increasing capacity & opportunity for participation in Christian Education & Worship for our children, with an emphasis on engaging our teens to be more involved beyond Sunday mornings. Expanding opportunities for Adult Christian Education.
Administration: Improving LAPC’s infrastructure, systems & capacity of church staff, including technology, communications& facility management. Improving communications to current & potential new members, the community, social justice organizations & Presbytery. Supporting an active & vibrant committee structure. Head of staff, supervising three part-time employees (admin. assistant, sexton & music director), working in collaboration with the Session.
Community: Committing to LAPC’s social justice mission. Leading the church to explore new issues & projects to champion. Representing LAPC in the community by participating at neighborhood civic events.
Fiduciary: Inspiring increased church discipleship & financial engagement, enlisting & securing new sources of income & working with Session to effectively & efficiently manage our resources.
LAPC Website: www.LAPCBrooklyn.org
LAPC Music Sampler Playlist on YouTube: http://bit.ly/1UHXjhr
LAPC on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1SE5o7w
Not So Churchy: www.notsochurchy.org