Dear Outlook Friend,
With the blessing of the Peace River Presbytery, the congregation of Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church in Naples, Florida, has extended to me the call to become their next pastor. I have accepted. I will be leaving my post as editor of the Presbyterian Outlook on September 30 and stepping into VPC’s pulpit on October 26.
Nine years ago I accepted the call of the board of directors of the Presbyterian Outlook Foundation, Inc., to serve as the editor. That call soon grew into taking on publisher duties. Through the ensuing years, I have loved serving you, your congregation and the larger church – trying to deliver accurate news of the church, constructive resources for ministry and pointed commentaries by some of the best thinkers I could find – all aiming to help you and your ministry thrive.
This has been a wonderful calling.
I wasn’t sure it would be. When inviting me to move from preaching to writing, the board asked me if I was ready to leave the pastorate to be an editor. “No,” I said. “I love being a pastor. My pastoral call has been clear since high school. But I can see how God is calling me to use my pastoral gifts for the larger church. I believe I’m supposed to be your editor. But someday – probably in retirement – I’ll be back in the pulpit serving directly the folks in the pews.”
I didn’t expect to return this soon. But the pastor nominating committee of the Vanderbilt Church invited me into a conversation a few months ago and, well, it just unfolded in unanticipated ways – leading to the compelling sense that this is the time and the place for me to return to my core ministerial love.
I will continue to steward the Outlook’s next few editions (the Oct. 27 issue will be my final print edition), so you haven’t heard the last of me yet. I also will deliver an “Editor’s Outlook” in webinar-conversation format on Sept. 23. Watch the website for more info.
For now, I must extend heartfelt thanks to my incredible Outlook staff, to supportive board members, and especially to you our reader, conversation partner, ministry supporter and friend. Your energy, intelligence, imagination and love have animated my soul and so renewed my love for the church that I just have to return to the front lines of congregational ministry.
All God’s blessings be upon you and yours,
Dear Outlook Friend,
It is in a spirit of thanksgiving that I write this letter. I give thanks for you, a loyal reader and supporter of the Presbyterian Outlook. I give thanks to God for the Presbyterian Outlook and its long and fruitful ministry of information and analysis. I give thanks to God for Jack Haberer and his dynamic and dedicated tenure as the Outlook’s editor for nearly all of the past decade. Jack’s leadership and voice have helped the church during both difficult and joyous days. On behalf of the board of directors, let me call upon all friends of the Outlook to join our board as we pray that Jack’s ministry at the Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church will be a rich one indeed.
I also write with a word of assurance. Upon learning of Jack’s call to Florida, the board immediately developed transition plans so that the ministry of the Outlook would continue uninterrupted. Our hope is that, through the work of our fine staff, our readers will notice no shortcoming in terms of the quality of our magazine, website or blogs. Members of the board are in daily contact with Jack and other key friends in the effort to guide this transition smoothly. Along with prayers for Jack, we would request your prayers for the Outlook in this time of transition. The Outlook’s ministry is an essential one. Some would argue it is more essential than ever. Our commitment to report the news about Presbyterians and Reformed people and to comment fairly upon the news for Presbyterians and Reformed people remains resolute.
In light of this commitment, we will soon need to identify a new editor. Should you be interested in leading the ministry of the Presbyterian Outlook or know of someone who might be a superior candidate, I ask that you would send a cover letter and resume to my assistant, Rebecca Turner, at [email protected]. Please write “Outlook Editor Search” in the subject line of your email.
May grace abound,
Christopher H. Edmonston
Pastor, White Memorial Presbyterian Church, Raleigh, North Carolina
President, Board of Directors of the Presbyterian Outlook Foundation, Inc.