by Emily Enders Odom, GAMC
The call to “Grow Christ’s Church Deep and Wide” in evangelism, discipleship, servanthood and diversity was adopted by the 2008 General Assembly and renewed by the 2010 General Assembly.
The newest video in the series tells the story of the Bedford Central Presbyterian Church and the Duryea Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, N.Y., which discovered an exciting new way to grow Christ’s church deep and wide by sharing resources for ministry. Key among those resources are the church’s leaders, especially Ted Hickman, a financial management executive and an elder at the larger Bedford Central Church, who heard God’s call to go deeper into ministry by supplying Duryea’s pulpit. Hickman, aCommissioned Lay Pastor who graduated from the lay pastor program in the Presbytery of New York City, has been instrumental in helping to turn the small, fragile Duryea church around. Not only has the partnership energized and renewed both congregations, it has strengthened Christ’s witness in the community.
“What captivated me about Ted Hickman is that he is a great example of the ‘dangerous elders’ that Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, talks about,” said the Rev. Marcia Clark Myers, director of the PC(USA)’s Office of Vocation, “gifted, hard working, with a very inspiring presence.
Because Ted understands that he is called to be a partner in ministry with his pastor, the Rev. Clive Neil, not only in his church of membership, but beyond that to a neighboring small church in need of leadership, the two churches with minister and elder leading them are making a powerful witness in their neighborhood in Brooklyn. They are missional leaders, whose story is sure to inspire connect and equip presbyteries and congregations across the PC(USA), showing them in this model a new way to Grow Christ’s Church Deep & Wide in servanthood and evangelism.”