Pilgrim Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, began its ministry 138 years ago. It is located in an intentionally diverse community immediately west of Chicago in a landmark building that was dedicated in 1900. The church formed Pilgrim Community Nursery School in 1966 as a mission project. In 1979 the Oak Park Farmers Market was launched in Pilgrim’s parking lot and the church began its Donut Ministry which now provides critical financial support to the church’s 16 donut partners.
Pilgrim has about 150 members and friends and an average weekly worship attendance of 90+. We gather for worship on Sunday mornings at 11 from Labor Day to Memorial Day and at 10 during the summer. We have Sunday School programs for children, youth, and adults the hour before worship during the program year.
We are organized around 6 ministries: Worship and the Arts, Christian Community, Christian Outreach, Deacons, Christian Education, and Stewardship and Finance. The Church has one called minister and 8 staff members. In addition to the pastor there are 9 ordained clergy who are involved in the life of the church as members and friends. The Nursery School has a separate staffing structure.
We are a diverse congregation and celebrate the variety of our theological perspectives, religious traditions, racial and ethnic heritage, gender identities, sexual orientations, political views, physical, behavioral, emotional, and intellectual abilities. We strive to create a loving faith community, praying for peace and working for justice.
At our annual meeting in January, the congregation confirmed its commitment to providing support and services to families, children and youth.
STUDENT PLACEMENT OPPORTUNITIES:
The primary focus of this particular field placement will be to work with our youth and with the youth ministry board to provide opportunities for fellowship and growth for our junior high and high school youth. We welcome the student to assist in worship preparation and leadership – not only related to our youth led-worship but in other worship services from time to time as well. The student will also have the opportunity to attend meetings of various groups within the church and participate in fellowship. We will want to develop priorities so that the student’s experience at Pilgrim is fulfilling rather than overwhelming.
STUDENT PLACEMENT EXPECTATIONS:
We would like the student to be with us on Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. participating in youth programs, worship and fellowship. We would like them to be at Pilgrim one other day/evening each week depending on scheduled activities.
PHILOSOPHY OF STUDENT SUPERVISION:
As a teaching congregation we will work with the student to be effective in their work at the Church while growing in their understanding of ministry and their own call. We will encourage the student to be intentional in their work as they explore what it means to be in ministry.
As a Field Placement Site we are prepared to offer $15 to $20 per hour for the 400 hours required for the placement, depending on the student’s experience.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS:
The CTA rapid transit Green Line stops 2 blocks from Pilgrim. The Metra Train stops about 1/2 mile from the church.