An Update from the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee
Note: This letter was mailed to all members on Tuesday, May 16, 2023. Its publication on the website was intentionally delayed in order to respect confidentiality concerns.
The Associate Pastor Nominating Committee of Shadyside Presbyterian Church enthusiastically introduces the Reverend Rachel Hébert as our candidate to be Associate Pastor for Missions and Campus Ministry.
Reverend Hébert comes to us from Williamsburg Presbyterian Church in Williamsburg, Virginia, where she serves as the Associate Pastor for Community Care. In this role, her responsibilities include campus ministry for college students at the College of William and Mary and other area institutions. At Williamsburg, Reverend Hébert coordinates all levels of mission and outreach and leads annual trips to Guatemala.
Reverend Hébert will graduate with a Doctor of Ministry degree from Union Presbyterian Seminary at the end of May. She has a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and graduated from Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in religion and the arts with a minor in classical vocal performance.
One of Reverend Hébert’s mentors says that college students “gravitate toward her,” as demonstrated by the thriving campus ministry program that she has nurtured at Williamsburg. Campus ministry under Reverend Hébert consists of lively discussion, food, fun, service, and participation at national conferences. It also creates opportunities for the congregation to open their hearts and homes to college students. Reverend Hébert’s commitment to campus ministry is evident in her internship experiences at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City and at First Presbyterian Church, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Beyond Reverend Hébert’s success in college ministry, her philosophy of leadership drew our attention. She sees her role as engaging the church in conversations with college students about life and faith. Reverend Hébert describes her approach as connecting with students, noticing their struggles, and empowering them to find their voices, which deeply resonates with Shadyside’s vision for this ministry.
Shadyside’s historic college involvement extends to supporting the foundation of Chatham University and to pioneering campus ministries at Pitt and Carnegie Mellon. As our community works alongside Reverend Hébert to re-establish our campus ministry program, she brings service as a board member of UKirk National, the collegiate ministry organization of the PC(USA). Her established ties with other churches as chair of UKirk’s National Gathering of Campus Ministers will be a valuable resource at Shadyside Presbyterian Church.
Today’s flourishing mission ministry at Shadyside Presbyterian finds its roots, local and international, at the congregation’s beginning in 1866. At Williamsburg, Reverend Hébert reimagined that congregation’s relationships with partner Guatemalan churches. She notes that, initially, these interactions had been financial in nature and related to building projects. Reverend Hébert encouraged participants to learn about the history and culture of the region in order to strengthen and transform fellowship ties with mission partners.
Described as “delightful, lively, and a great singer,” we are confident that Reverend Hébert will soon become a treasured part of the Shadyside community. Please join us in extending a warm welcome to the Reverend Rachel Christine Hébert.
The Associate Pastor Nominating Committee:
Robert W. Anderson; Laura C. Duncan; Timothy C. Engleman; Robert B. Luthultz; Daniel S. Potter; Robert B. Reppe; Melissa A. Rychener; Jee Eun Song; and Mary Margaret M. Stamy, Chair
Members of the congregation and their families are invited to meet our candidate for Associate Pastor for Missions and Campus Ministry on Saturday, May 20, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Enjoy cookies and lemonade in the Parish Hall as we welcome Rev. Rachel Hébert to Pittsburgh and Shadyside Church. Immediately following the service of worship at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 21, the congregation will hear the report from the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee during the annual meeting and will vote to approve the call of Rev. Hébert as our Associate Pastor for Missions and Campus Ministry. We respectfully request that everyone entrusted with this information will keep this news within our church family until Wednesday, May 24, so that Rev. Hébert may notify her congregation appropriately.
We thank you for your patience and for caring for the pastoral needs of our candidate and her congregation in this way. We also give thanks to God for guiding this process; please continue to pray for our candidate and both of our congregations in this season of change.