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Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ!
It has been 3 months since I began my tenure with the Leicester and Spencer First
Congregational churches. In the midst of all the things that happen with the start of
something new, some things get overlooked. In this case a proper introduction:
I grew up in eastern Massachusetts. The son of a United Church of Christ (UCC)
minister, I had a strong sense of call to ministry from a very young age. I sang in church
choirs and at school.
Marietta College in Ohio provided me with a BA in Psychology and a secondary teaching
certificate. I taught reading and study skills for two years before attending seminary.
Andover Newton Theological School gave me a place to study and learn the practice of
ministry. I earned 2 degrees there. The Doctor of Ministry program taught me ways to
deal with challenging situations, along with learning how to help laypeople in New
England congregations talk about faith in ways that feel appropriate to them.
Ordained in 1985, I served two call positions in twelve years. I took the Interim Ministry
Network’s training program, and have served 10 intentional interim positions. These
have included UCC, Presbyterian, Evangelical Covenant, United Methodist and
American Baptist churches in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Through the Massachusetts Conference of the UCC, I trained a Church Vitality Coach.
Twelve years ago, I took an unexpected diversion from parish ministry when I was asked
to serve as Interim Director of Field Education at Andover Newton Theological School.
Previously I had worked with their Field Education program as a supervisor, and as a
small group leader for field education students integrating their ministry work with their
Since 1992, I have participated in several "border crossing"/ "immersion" travel
seminars. These include trips to South Africa and China, to Israel, to Chile (with the
Massachusetts Conference of the UCC), to South India and Myanmar (Burma).
My call to Intentional Interim Ministry has meant helping churches deal with grief, and trying to
discover what they believe God wants the church to be and do in the next phase of its life.
Often, it has also meant helping churches learn how to deal with conflict in healthy and faithful
It is always challenging, and frequently rewarding work. It has brought me to settings I would
never have considered for long term position. I have been blessed by the ways the churches I
have served have often changed, and grown spiritually. I may not know where we are going, or
how we will get there, but I know that God goes with us, leading us in subtle and dramatic ways.
Nothing else matters.
The Leicester and Spencer churches offer a new experience of faith for me. I am impressed and
excited that you already know more about healthy ways of dealing with conflict than most
churches do. I am also impressed with the ways people from both churches are being gentle,
and kind. You are showing abundant faithfulness and hospitality toward one another.
We are on an adventure - and engaged in an experiment. I can’t wait to see what God does with
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