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First Church of Swampscott, Congregational
Contact Person(s):Rev. Ian Holland
The First Church of Swampscott, Congregational is a member congregation of the United Church of Christ. It is a small but vital congregation with a weekly worship attendance of about 80 people and with about 180 people who regularly attend services. Anywhere from 10 to 30 children will participate in our Sunday School program on any given Sunday. It is set just a few hundred yards up from the beach and ocean in the North Shore town of Swampscott. Our people come from Swampscott and the neighboring towns of Lynn, Salem, and Marblehead. This is a time of spirit-led joyful renewal and renovation for our congregation. This year we initiated both the Open and Affirming Process to understand how we might fully express our welcome to all of God's children, and a visioning process to clarify our mission, purpose and God's call. These processes will be ongoing in the following year. We are also in the process of renovating rooms, replacing doors and updating many parts of our building so that our building communicates a warm spirit of hospitality.
Our Sunday worship service is joyful, spirit filled and welcoming. Our preaching is progressive and provocative. First Church Swampscott is a partner with our neighboring faith communities. This past year we hosted the town interfaith Thanksgiving Service, an interfaith prayer vigil following the Boston bombing, and an interfaith feast to break the Ramadan fast with our Muslim neighbors. We hope to increase our activities with the interfaith community in the years to come. The congregation has a long tradition of working on issues related to homelessness. First Church is a long term covenant partner with Habitat for Humanity; it has sent mission teams join in the rebuilding following hurricane Katrina; is a partner with the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless; and hosted the recent North Shore Forum on Homelessness. Church members are also involved in mission work in Nicaragua.
Opportunities for Student Involvement:
The opportunities for student involvement include participation in the full breath of the life of the congregation from worship leadership as liturgist and preacher, sacramental (adhering to the denominational requirements of the student), teaching (adult, youth and children's spiritual formation and education), pastoral care, outreach and mission. They will have the opportunity to join our governance and other ministry teams, and become a member of the staff - to learn how our church organizes and manages the operations of the church in support of our mission. The specific portfolio of responsibilities and participation will be aligned with the individual student's learning goals and objectives.
There are commuter rail and bus stops within walking distance from the church, though access to a car is recommended. Parking is available onsite.
Arts of Ministry Competencies Offered:
- Administration and Program Development
- Denominational Polity
- Pastoral Care and Counseling
- Public Leadership, Community Organizing, and Planning
- Preaching and Worship
- Religious Education and Spiritual Development
Weekly meetings with the supervisor, as well as monthly support from a seminarian support committee.
Number of Students: 1
Total Compensation: $4,000
Type of Compensation: direct pay from site