Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church

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Welcome

Whether you are acquainted with JAPC or seeking for a church home, we welcome you here. For more information, click here.

Church Programs

Our desire at JAPC is that all people find connection, grow in faith, and serve one other. For more information on church programs, click here.

Weddings at JAPC

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What We Believe

What We BelieveJAPC is part of the Presbyterian Church USA. Learn more about our Reformed Tradition and beliefs by clicking here.

Church Life

Church LifeThere is always something happening at JAPC! To see JAPC's Church Life in pictures click here.

Educational Opportunities

Educational OpportunitiesJAPC is a place of spiritual growth and education. For our more information, click here.

Church History

Church HistoryFor over 150 years, JAPC has been serving Christ in Detroit. For church history and architectural elements, click here.

Music at JAPC

Music at JAPCFrom jazz to carillon to vocal and instrumental programs, JAPC offers a variety of musical events. To learn more, click here.

How You Can Serve

How You Can ServeJAPC is committed to serving Christ through outreach and mission. To view the ways you can help us serve, click here.

Meet the new Pastor

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Introducing JAPC's New Pastor:

Rev. Matthew Nickel


Early Family Life

Matt grew up (mostly) in Grosse Pointe, while some of his upbringing was in St. Clair Shores and Williamstown, MA. Matt and his family were active members of Lakeshore Presbyterian Church in St. Clair Shores until Matt entered high school, when his family joined Grosse Pointe Memorial Church. Matt’s Dad and his grandparents were raised in Detroit and his mother grew up in Ontario. His early family life included life on Lake St. Clair where his family enjoyed sailing. Matt grew up with one sister, Kristin, who lives with her husband and children in Hungary. Matt also has a sister, Sophie, who is twenty-two years younger, who lives with his parents in Traverse City.

Spiritual Life

“In my life of faith, I have found experiences that engage imagination, contemplation, and the natural world meaningful. Writing and the arts are valuable to my own practice of faith. I have found kindred spirits in my congregations where I have led groups in reading fiction, watching films, writing creatively, and using photography as practices of faith.  In my own prayer life, I appreciate the abundant resources of the Christian contemplative tradition that offers ways of seeking God’s presence through silence, wisdom, and discernment, as well as action. Similarly, I sense God’s nearness in the natural world: from trips to beautiful landscapes to local features of God’s creation.

The life of ministry has led me to walk alongside people through the full spectrum of life’s experiences. Those that gather together for worship and around the table to be part of the body of Christ continually open me to a profound sense of God’s grace. In our finest and darkest moments, the privilege of sharing the journey of faith with others invites stories, connections, wisdom, and hope that we cannot know so fully on our own. Every time this happens I remember that I belong to God, from whom my call came. These relationships continue to affirm and renew that sense of call.

A call to ministry is no small decision. In many ways, my call took shape over a long period of time. It developed through the encouragement of pastors, friends, and family who recognized and affirmed me in the decision to enter ordained ministry. A professor jokingly said pastoral ministry was my calling after she learned that I had worked in a bakery while in college and in a winery after graduation. Many years later when I stand at the communion table, this story still makes me smile. I feel a deep privilege to be a pastor because of the wondrous faith I witness as people live together in communion and community,” Matt states.

Current Family Life

Matt and his wife Emma have a two-year-old daughter Naomi. “Our kitchen is the heart of our family and social life. Gathering around the table to share food and stories is central to our lives,” says Matt. Emma is also a pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA). She has served churches in Warren, MI, Greensburg, KY, and currently in Louisville, KY. She grew up in southwest Virginia where her parents still live. Naomi is lively child who enjoys being outside, going to the park, riding in her bike trailer, and being a helper in the kitchen.

Interests

Matt enjoys cycling, hiking and walking in parks, brewing beer, baking (notably granola and bread), reading fiction and poetry (favorite authors include Wendell Berry, Annie Dillard, and W.S. Merwin), and watching the Detroit Red Wings.

Education

McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL, Certificate in Executive Leadership, June 2014

Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ, Master of Divinity, May 2009

Honors: Presbyterian Leadership Award

Hope College, Holland, MI, Bachelor of Arts, English, May 2003

Honors: Magna Cum Laude

Experience

Associate Pastor, Highland Presbyterian Church of Louisville, KY

Ministry Areas: Adult Christian Education, Congregational Life, New Member Outreach, and Mission

Provided staff support for a $4 Million Capital Campaign.

Provided leadership for team building and volunteer management for mission projects and visitor outreach

Led strategic development and design of digital communication tools (website, email, social media)

Associate Pastor, First Presbyterian Church of Royal Oak, MI

Ministry Areas: Board of Deacons, Membership and Hospitality, Christian Education, and Mission

Helped lead a Strategic Planning/Revisioning Process

Launched or revitalized ministry teams that emphasized shared leadership

Resident Minister, First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor, MI

Spearheaded a weekend Detroit Mission Trip that developed into a Detroit Mission Team

Staff support in the development of a planned giving program.

Led an effort to establish a fully revised stewardship campaign

Other Services

Co-Presenter at PCUSA BigTent 2017: Creating Spaces of Welcome: Acting in Solidarity With Refugees and Immigrants — July 2017

Ministry Best Practices Facilitation Team,  Mid-Kentucky Presbytery — 2016–Present

Coordinating Commission, Mid-Kentucky Presbytery — 2015–Present

Communication Committee Chair, Mid-Kentucky Presbytery — 2015–Present

Run Possible Steering Team Treasurer, Mid-Kentucky Presbytery — 2015–2017

Smoketown Housing Collaborative Convening Committee, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth — 2015–2016

Leadership Day Workshop Leader on Websites and Social Media, Mid-Kentucky Presbytery — February 2016

Structure Task Force, Mid-Kentucky Presbytery — 2015

Ogilvie Institute of Preaching “Micah Group” Co-Facilitator — March 2014–May 2016

Presbyterian Habitat Build Steering Team, Mid-Kentucky Presbytery — 2014–Present

Holy Conversations Church Redevelopment Facilitator, Presbytery of Detroit — 2012–2013

Metropolitan Urban Ministry Team, Presbytery of Detroit — 2012–2013

Worship Leader, Presbytery of Detroit, Pastors in Transition Conference — October 2011

Planning and Visioning Committee, Presbytery of Detroit — 2011

Pilgrimage Leader, Pilgrimage to Iona Scotland— September 2010

 

Last Updated ( Friday, 03 November 2017 13:18 )