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Lyonsville Church is an Open and Affirming (ONA) United Church of Christ congregation with a great history. We are located in the western suburbs of Chicago near the intersection of two major expressways: I-294 and I-55. Our membership is about 190 persons, with an average Sunday worship of 50-60 people. Our membership is predominantly older, European-American (white), but we have been, and are welcoming of persons of other racial and ethnic backgrounds. We are very active in mission. We see “nurturing new ministers” as one of our missions.
STUDENT PLACEMENT OPPORTUNITIES:
We try to offer experience in as much of the life of the congregation as a student has interest and time available. Students get to help lead worship each week, and preach about once a month. Students are encouraged to attend our LEadership Council meetings, and other committee meetings as they have time, as well as social events. Students are encouraged to prepare a wedding service and a funeral or memorial service, and to participate in services as opportunities arise. They are encouraged to begin some kind of ministry of their own in the church, such as adult education events, Bible studies, retreats, youth or young adult ministries, justice ministries, or others.
STUDENT PLACEMENT EXPECTATIONS:
Students are expected to: participate in worship each week, attend Leadership Council meetings (usually on Tuesday or Thursday evenings), attend meetings of the Worship and Spiritual Growth Ministry Board (usually on Sundays after worship), meet with the pastor at least two hours each week, and do ministry!
PHILOSOPHY OF STUDENT SUPERVISION:
Lyonsville Church believes that “nurturing new ministers” is a part of its mission. This means helping students discern whether they are called to parish ministry, and giving them a broad experience of ministry in a congregation. We try to provide practical experience and theological reflection that will provide students with the skills to minister to a congregation effectively.
I believe it is important to equip students for doing ministry effectively, letting them experience doing ministry as much as possible, and then reflecting on the experience. I try to provide some theological reflection on why we do what we do in ministry, and on how God is at work in the life of the congregation.
As a supervisor, I help the student develop an appropriate learning contract, and revisit it periodically during the field education placement to be sure adequate progress is being made in meeting the objectives of the contract.
As a supervisor and pastor, I try to prepare the congregation for having a student with us–by encouraging them to be patient as a student learns, to be open to new ways of doing ministry, and to provide helpful feedback to the student.
We are hoping to get a grant that would allow us to offer a stipend of at least $100/week.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS:
Very limited public transit in the area – especially on Sunday mornings.