Ministry Information Form Query

MIF #: 07820.AL1

Ministry General Information

Ministry Number 07820
Ministry Name First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem, PCUSA
Mailing Address 2344 Center Street
Bethlehem, PA 18017
Phone 610-867-5865
Fax 610-867-9782
WWW Address
Ministry Size 401 - 650 members
Ethnic Composition Asian 2%
Black or African American (African Native, Caribbean) 1%
Hispanic Latino/Latina, Spanish 2%
White 95%
Average Worship Attendance 219
Church School Attendance 15
Curriculum Sparkhouse by Augsburg Press
Yoked Church False
Community Type Small City
Last Information from Statistics of the Church  * (  Show Statistics  )
* Data availability is not guaranteed

Information about the position

Position:   Associate Pastor (Other)
Experience Required:   First Ordained Call
Specific Title:   Associate Pastor of Formation and Justice
Employment Status:   Full-time
Language Requirements:   English
Other Languages:  
Statement Of Faith Required:   Yes
Clergy Couples:   Yes
Training/Certificate Requirements:  
Other Training:  
Brief Church Mission Statement:

The First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem is a “143-year-old start up.” Although most of our congregants are older (and vibrant – excited to learn), we actively seek and welcome creative approaches that deepen our own faiths and fulfill our Church’s mission in the larger community. That mission is:

As a diverse and joyful community of Christ's followers, we explore how God's gracious love gives meaning to our lives and faith and inspires us to address the needs of our world. Through our worship, Iearning, and service, God fills us with purpose, compassion, courage, and hope.

What is the congregation’s or organization’s vision for ministry? Additionally describe how this vision is lived out.

Our congregation is hungry to explore God’s love and seek answers together about how we use that exploration to deepen our faith and better understand how to live it in a challenging world.  We identified four priorities to address in order to best accomplish our mission and move forward in our commitment to make a difference in both our personal lives and the lives of others. We believe those priorities will enable our church to focus on the areas of our congregational life that have the most impact on this vision of the future.  We recognize that:

  • Our worship experience will be vibrant, engaging, and meet the needs of connecting with a diverse audience.  We want worship to take on new relevance while still honoring the Reformed worship tradition.
  • Children and youth are the future of God’s church and we need to discover through experimentation the keys to engaging this generation while exciting their parents to want to be involved in that process.
  • Touching the lives of others extends far outside the doors of our physical church.  We want the Lehigh Valley to see us as a resource to offer compassion and care, to help find justice and fairness, and to experience the power of partnership of the community as one.
  • To touch others we must also experience those same opportunities to grow in our faith.  We want anyone seeking to respond to the good news of the gospel to feel God’s presence in all that is done in our church.
How do you feel called to reach out to address the emerging needs of your community or constituency?

Our congregation reaches out to those exploring their faith, even if they may have divergent views. We embrace those who are not valued by others or who are hurting.  We provide opportunities for members of the community to join with our congregation to learn together how we can best develop our skills and thinking to expand God’s kingdom. 

Our core values of being a church that is Christ-Centered, Welcoming to All, having a Faith that is Inquiring and Active serve us well as we seek to be a place to feel safe and respected as we explore what God has called us to do and how we both understand the needs of the community and then collaboratively address those needs.

Respecting our limits, we are partnered with several existing community organizations, a change from our past practice of reaching out on our own. We have discovered wisdom in this approach, regardless of what our future resources might be. It allows us to take advantage of the diversity of thinking, geographical locations, and resources that already exist to address the needs of the Lehigh Valley. 

How will this position help you to reach your vision and mission goals?

The pastor called to this position will help us translate our vision and mission priorities into specific goals and actions. It is our hope that whoever is called will help us expand our thinking and nurture a culture that is even more innovative and creative in our approach to reinventing ourselves.  This pastor will enable to us

  • To think beyond outreach to engagement,
  • To act beyond mission to compassion and justice, and
  • To develop beyond discipleship to faith formation.

This leader will develop and implement alternative faith opportunities for engaging constituencies beyond the existing church membership and take advantage of new technologies that will expand our ability to minister and give meaning to our lives and our faith.

Our new pastor, working hand in hand with our current staff and committees, will be an advisor and facilitator to help guide all constituencies in the process of becoming disciples of Jesus Christ.  Whether through worship, or education, or community action, this person will have the opportunity to influence our future and realize our vision.

Provide a description of the characteristics needed by the person who is open to being called to this congregation and or organization.
We are looking for a person who exhibits energy and creativity. This person must be emotionally intelligent, value relationships and use a relational model to motivate and lead.  The desire to experiment and learn from what did not work is key to our desired culture of inquiry and a sense of people feeling valued and respected.  This includes the ability to raise challenging questions and suggest alternatives to current practices in ways that promote cooperation and agreement. 

Required is a solid theological understanding with an ability to communicate, particularly in small groups, a sense of excitement and hope. The desire to build bridges, foster koinonia, and engage the congregation in exploring and developing one’s faith journey is essential because of our commitment to our mission and core values. Being gifted in intergenerational ministry and having the ability to recruit, inspire, equip, and coach volunteers and ministry teams is vital for promoting a collaborative approach to accomplishing projects.

Most importantly, we seek someone with the potential to be a strong leader who feels a deep sense of ownership of the mission, is passionate about the work, and can organize team members to develop the plans and initiate the actions to accomplish the desired results.

What specific tasks, assignments, and program areas will this person have responsibility?
Provide primary pastoral leadership related to Formation Ministries including:
  • Guiding and cultivating faith journeys to our church community through innovative methods that are accessible to varying lifestyles. Inspiring each person on their faith journey and to delight in the life of our church community
  • Developing pastoral relationships with children, youth and their families as we nurture and make an inter-generational approach part of our culture
  • Our called pastor will help us creatively define our path for adult and children’s ministries. We recognize that pathway will not only play a key role in shaping and encouraging the congregation’s faith journey, but also to connect and support our commitment to social justice ministries.
Provide primary pastoral leadership related to our engagement in Justice Ministries including:
  • Addressing the needs of the poor and marginalized, including inter-generational opportunities that include children
  • Educational and advocacy opportunities related to social concerns and systemic injustice issues (behavioral health, affordable housing, racial injustice, etc.)
  • Liaison to partner organizations working on social concerns and systemic injustice issues
  • Constituencies beyond the existing church membership in aspects of the church’s life and ministry
Other responsibilities include worship leadership (preaching 7-9 Sundays a year plus special occasions), officiate or co-officiate weddings and funerals as needed, and shared “on-call” pastoral coverage.
Optional Links
Leadership Competencies:
Spiritual Maturity
Public Communicator
Media Communicator
Externally Aware
Strategy and Vision
Interpersonal Engagement
Personal Resilience
Compensation and Housing:   (Cost of Living Calculator)
Minimum Effective Salary: $52,000   (Effective Salary Definition)
Housing Type: Housing Allowance
Name Relation
Rev. Ruth Faith Grace-Santana
Philadelphia Presbytery - 915 East Gowen Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19150
Former Associate Pastor
Rev. Dr. Thomas K. Tewell
406 Ventura Way, Claremont, CA 91711
Former Associate Pastor
Joanne Kelhart
1221 Oakside Dr., Bethlehem, PA 18017
Member of Session
Has the Pastor Nominating Committee and Search committee affirmed its intention to follow the Form of Government in this regard?
Deadline date for this MIF:  (none)
Version Track Info: This MIF was last updated on   10/7/2020

Self-referral Contact Information

EP:   Rev Rhonda Kruse Address  710 N Cedar Crest Blvd, Allentown, PA, 18104
Daytime Phone  610-360-8823 Office Phone  610-391-9020
Fax  Email
COM:   Gary Perna Jr Address  3 Fifth St, McAdoo PA 18237
Daytime Phone  570-233-4834 Office Phone  570-233-4834
Fax  Email
PNC:  Kristen Benway Address  3604 Wendel Ct., Bethlehem, PA 18020
Daytime Phone  610-751-9024 Office Phone 
Fax  Email