Update your bookmarks… our big new site is live, including registration for our 2013 gathering!  

Visit www.nextchurch.net.

See you there!


NEXT Hires a Director!

We are excited to announce the calling of the Reverend Jessica Tate as Director of NEXT Church!

Jessica has served as Associate Pastor of Fairfax Presbyterian Church in Northern Virginia for the past five years. While there she worked with the congregation to re-develop children’s ministry and adult Christian formation, design and co-lead innovative worship experiences as well as the traditional Sunday morning services, and help to shift the culture of the congregation to one that is focused primarily on deepening relationships. For the past three years she has served as a clergy co-chair of VOICE, a broad-based, interfaith, community power organization. Jessica has been in leadership of VOICE since its founding in 2008, leading VOICE through initial campaigns to develop leaders, recruit institutions, secure dental care for low income people, and creating more affordable housing options for seniors and the chronically homeless in central Fairfax.

Jessica is a lifelong Presbyterian, in fact, a joyful preacher’s kid. She attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and found her niche in the sea of Carolina blue in the Presbyterian Campus Ministry. Upon graduation Jessica served as a Young Adult Intern for the PC(USA) at the denomination’s Washington Office. From there she went to seminary at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia, where she received a Masters of Divinity and a Masters of Arts in Christian Education.

Jessica and her husband John live in Washington, DC with their rescued chocolate lab, GiGi, who constantly pulls them outdoors to walk and hike and keeps them humble with her antics and gregarious affection.

Jessica has been in leadership with NEXT Church since 2010 and we are grateful for her knowledge of how this conversation has evolved. We’re excited for the ways she will help to guide this movement and help us to discern the Spirit’s workings as we meet our goals of holding regional gatherings, catalyzing new mission initiatives, convening the 2013 National Gathering in Charlotte, and developing the NEXT Church website. Jessica’s community organizing skills fit with our sense that NEXT is about connecting people and churches around healthy ministry and mission.

Jessica can be reached by email nextchurch2013@gmail.com.

Please join us in welcoming Jessica to this collaborative ministry to engage the church that is becoming in the PC(USA).

Grace and Peace, 

Tom Are and Shannon Johnson Kershner, Co-Chairs of NEXT

What We Are About

This is a reformation moment for the church. While honoring and celebrating the past, the Spirit is calling a new church into being. The church of the future will be more relational, more diverse, more collaborative, more hopeful, and more agile. What’s next for the PC(USA)?

The mission of NEXT Church is to foster relationships among God’s people:

                        Sparking imaginations;

                                    Connecting congregations;

                                                Offering a distinctively Presbyterian witness to Jesus Christ.


            Trusting in God’s sovereignty and grace,

            NEXT Church will engage the church that is becoming by

                        Cultivating vital connections,

                                    Celebrating emerging leadership and innovation, and

                                                Working with congregations and leaders

                                                to form and reform faith communities.

What will God do with the unique gifts and graces we know as Presbyterians? In an increasingly polarized world, how can the church bear witness to our unity in Christ by forming networks among congregations with shared mission callings?

Throughout our denomination, creative leaders are developing new ministries that embody the gospel in fresh ways, serving Christ, and speaking a transforming word to contemporary culture. By connecting with one another and building networks of congregations with shared mission callings, we can expand the impact of these ministries beyond anything any one congregation can accomplish alone.