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Rare young pastor to be ordained in Lawrence

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Something of an anomaly will occur Sunday in Lawrence - a pastor under the age of 30 will be ordained.The Rev. Josh Longbottom, the 29-year-old associate pastor at Plymouth Congregational Church, 925 Vt., has his ordination service scheduled for 4 p.m. Sunday. He is a native of Manhattan and graduate of Eden Theological Seminary in Webster Groves, Mo.The Journal-World wrote a [profile][1] of Josh and his brother JoJo back in September of 2006.Only 5 percent of pastors in the United Church of Christ - of which Plymouth is a member - are under the age of 40.And the issue certainly isn't limited to the UCC denomination. Other statistics:¢ The Presbyterian Church says 29 percent of its clergy are 55 years of age or older, and the median age of seminary graduates is 42.¢ The National Catholic Reporter says there are more American priests over age 90 than under age 30.¢ The average age for clergy is around 52, according to a Duke University study, with average age of ordination of 29. The oldest average age (59) among pastors was at historically black churches (which, incidentally, also had the youngest age of ordination at 24).So what can be done to increase the number of young people in religious leadership positions? Any theories?_ - Faith Files, which examines issues of faith, spirituality, morals and ethics, is updated by features/faith reporter Terry Rombeck. Have an idea for the blog? Contact Terry at trombeck@ljworld.com, or 832-7145._ [1]: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2006/sep...

Comments

METALQ2 10 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 7 months ago

I spotted this same species while duck hunting one year. A rare find.

deskboy04 10 years, 7 months ago

Josh is a great guy and will make a great pastor.

bluecollar2 10 years, 7 months ago

Theory- Give more incentives to bring in more teachers into the school systems. So many children don't have one on one and are cheated of recognition and/or help through their school days. When there is only one teacher over 25-30 students, there is such a void created in their young lives. Sometimes, the teacher is the only adult figure they have in their lives on a regular basis. Mom and/or dad off to that swing shift job, at work at 6am one day 3pm the next. 6pm the following day. If it wasn't for the teacher, their lives would have no schedule to it. Sometimes, the teacher is the only one who teaches right from wrong. And yes, even the ones who don't believe in God have been the most gracious and kind hearted.

Josh, may you always walk in the boundries of the Book you preach from. Too many start with good intentions, then cast it all aside. They (ministers, preachers, pastors...etc.) seem to forget that they are the examples before the congregation. They are afraid to speak up when the women come in to the House of the Lord, in mini skirts and low cut blouses. Worse yet, are the teenage girls that dress the same, and the parent allows it "because her friends' dress that way"!

Another prayer for you, remember Seperation of Church and State. When one stands before the pulpit, you should choose your words with great concideration and a lot of prayer. I have been soured, as probably many have, to our sheppards who preach to us about political stance. Josh, your intentions should never be to lecture on who the best canidate is for any election. Be it local, state or national. Guide them to prayer about it, don't convince. This becomes brainwashing. Not sure which Book Plymouth referres to, but may you always find comfort and understanding in the Books of Timothy, and the great guidance given to him from Paul.

My best to you and your new congregation.

Chris Redford 10 years, 7 months ago

Here's to hoping he values evidence over assumption unlike countless Pastors before him.

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