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Work on Issues of Racism, Environment, and Open & Affirming
We are a large midsize United Church of Christ in a mostly affluent Western suburb college town. We are in one of the most churched communities in the country and a center of evangelicalism with Wheaton College within our community. St. Matthew stands as one of the few options for those looking for a more open and welcoming congregation to gays, lesbians, and transgender and to those who are looking for a more ecumenical engaged community. We have yet to go through the Open and Affirming process and are looking to do that in the coming year. We have strong lay leadership with a focus on mission and welcoming increasing numbers of young families and empty nesters.
STUDENT PLACEMENT OPPORTUNITIES:
We have a number of issues we are focused on at the present time that could use the support of a field education student. This includes our working with the Community Renewal Society on issues of racism and poverty, our working for our “Green Flag” designation (environmentally active church), and possibly Open and Affirming.
STUDENT PLACEMENT EXPECTATIONS:
The Green Flag designation is one project we could use support with. Also, how to engage younger generations.
We want a student to receive a broad based experience of ministry in a local church including preaching, leading worship, teaching, mission outreach, advocacy, and program planning and implementation. We also will offer opportunities to do visitation to the hospital and the Dupage County Convalescence Center.
PHILOSOPHY OF STUDENT SUPERVISION:
My role is to help our student begin to claim their authority as a pastor and as the leader in theological thinking in a local church setting. This will include looking at how he or she presents him or herself, learning to work collaboratively with lay people, naming gifts and challenges, reflecting theologically on what their call is in any given situation, learning to have good boundaries, and also self-care.
We are likely to find a way to provide some limited support to a student, mostly to cover travel expenses.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS:
Not completely. You can travel by Metra (Elburn line) and then long walk or best by bike. There is a PACE bus but it will not come all the way.