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Thursday, January 12, 2012


We Presbyterians are well-connected.

Such is the testimony of Andrew Yeager-Buckley, who has recently accepted a position as Program Assistant in the Office of Mid-Council Relations at our denominational headquarters in Louisville.

Andrew, who is well-known to many in Monmouth Presbytery from the time over a decade ago when he was active in Presbytery youth programs, grew up in the Hope Presbyterian Church, Tinton Falls.  After traveling to the Presbyterian Youth Triennium as a teenager, he was elected co-moderator of the Presbyterian Youth Connection national organization.  Entering the working world some time later as a young adult, he was employed in the Youth Ministry area at the Louisville headquarters, then worked for the Presbyterian Publishing House, and will soon start in the Mid Council Relations Office, working closely with that office’s Director, the Rev. Jill Hudson.

In an e-mail to me, Andrew shared some special words of appreciation for Monmouth Presbytery, that, with his permission, I’d like to share:

“Monmouth Presbytery is a major part of my story. Its ministries and staff all played a part in my faith journey and the development of my sense of call. When asked I’m quick to say that my family, local church, camp and presbytery staff were all part of my spiritual development. As a small church member the presbytery helped connect me with some amazing opportunities. Beyond the programmatic opportunities I was always grateful for the various church professionals, active elders, and clergy like you that would take the time to say hi and check in with this 16 year old elder from Hope Church at meetings. In the moment having folks like Charles Cureton and Kim Long pulling me aside at presbytery meetings and wanting to check in didn’t mean a ton. Years later it’s clear that those moments are what truly have always made me feel welcome in the church wherever I am.”

We Presbyterians like to call ourselves a connectional church.  I’d be hard-pressed to find a better expression of connectionalism than this testimony Andrew has shared.  Think of it: a couple of ministers like Charles Cureton and Kim Long, who – to young Andrew – were strangers, who saw him give the traditional “I’m back from Triennium” report at a Presbytery meeting, and who not only remembered him, but came up to him some time later to “check in” on how he was doing.

It seems like so little – but, to a young man seeking to discern God’s direction for his life, those casual expressions of interest proved to be of vital importance.

God’s Spirit is at work all around us in the church – especially in our connections with one another.

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