OPSF Header
                              Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation is closed anytime Omaha Public Schools are closed

FB Like Button  

Contact Information Board and Council Page Calendar of Events Presbyterian (USA) Seminaries Presbyterian (USA) Colleges Site Map



Southwest Iowa Internship Program

A Look at What an Apollos Program Grant Makes Possible

Final Internship Celebration  

Final Internship Celebration at Platte Center Presbyterian Church, November 15 Intern Mary O’Riley in purple jacket, fourth from right

- A report from Rev. Timothy S. Maxa, who serves on the Foundation’s Council of Advisors, and is pastor of the Lenox United Presbyterian Church and the Sharpsburg Presbyterian Church (both churches are located within the Presbytery of Des Moines). 


We are grateful to the Omaha Presbyterian Foundation for supporting our intern program.  The program, a brainchild of Des Moines Presbytery’s SW Regional Partnership, is designed to help equip teaching elders and/or commissioned ruling elders to serve in small churches.  Our current intern, Mary O’Riley, is our 10th intern.  She is a Hospice Chaplain and Social Worker for SW Iowa Hospice (half time).  She is spending the other half of her time with the churches participating in the 2015 intern program.  Over the course of 20 weeks (stretching from June to November) Mary is learning about how each participating church makes use of pastoral leadership and the leadership of elders and/or governing board members. 

Mary spent her first four weeks working with three different churches in the Creston area: Platte Center Presbyterian Church, First Presbyterian Church of Creston, and Creston Congregational (UCC) Church. She worked with Vacation Bible School and a variety of social justice programs, attended Session meetings and Board meetings, and preached at Platte Center Presbyterian Church.  She also learned some of the history and theological emphases of the Presbyterian Church (since her background is Catholic and UCC) from two different pastors, one Presbyterian and one from the United Church of Christ (UCC) denomination. 

Mary spent the next three weeks working with three churches in the Lenox area: Lenox United Presbyterian Church, Lenox Christian Church, and the Sharpsburg Presbyterian Church.  In the Lenox area, she focused on pastoral care (visiting a variety of nursing homes and making hospital visits) and on leading worship.  She organized, led and preached a different worship service in each church. 

Next, Mary moved on to First Presbyterian Church in Corning, where she participated in new member classes, preached at nursing homes, and organized, led, and preached at a Sunday morning worship service.  She also learned more about Presbyterian theology from the longest-serving pastor in Des Moines Presbytery, Ken Rummer. 

Mary’s fourth assignment was in Atlantic, Iowa, at the Presbyterian Church there.  She filled in as an on-call pastor during a time of transition for that congregation, preaching and leading worship in addition to doing whatever she was assigned by the person designated by Session to supervise her work. 

After a vacation, Mary will return to complete her internship.  She is scheduled to work in Mount Ayr (at the Baptist Presbyterian Church); in Clarinda (at Trinity Presbyterian Church); in Bedford (at the Christian Presbyterian Church) and in Villisca at the Villisca Presbyterian Church.  By the end of her 20 weeks, she will have worked in 12 different churches affiliated with five denominations. 


SW Iowa Internship Photo

From left: Mary O’Riley, intern; Rev. Tim Maxa,
           and Diane Ware, assistant at
        Lenox United Presbyterian Church.


 2018 Events

 Winter Pastors' School

Feb 5-8, 2018

Hastings Chapel