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Wellesley Village Church is a vibrant community of faith, centered in the heart of Wellesley with its arms stretched wide across the globe. Since 1798, faithful Christians have gathered here to worship the Triune God, grow in faith together and bear witness to the Gospel. As an open and affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ, we believe that God is still speaking and that we should still be listening! We marvel at the way God’s love nurtures our love, Christ’s grace transforms, and the Holy Spirit’s presence makes more of us together.
The mission of the Pastoral Residency Program is to provide a first call experience in which recent seminary graduates can practice and cultivate the art of pastoral ministry in a healthy congregation. While residents have been fully prepared for ministry by their seminary education and Member in Discernment process, they wish to intentionally continue their pastoral formation while serving in a local church. Our goal is to enable new clergy to build the kind of skills and practices, both professional and personal, which will provide a firm foundation for a lifetime of fruitful and faithful service to the church.
As full-time pastors, our Pastoral Residents participate in all aspects of the life of the congregation. They regularly lead worship and preach, provide congregational care, lead faith formation opportunities for all ages, and collaborate with ministry teams. Residents have the experience of both stepping into existing ministries and forming new ones. We intentionally leave space in our Residents’ portfolios so they, and we, can be responsive to the Spirit’s movement among us. With a staggered call process, our two residents have the opportunity to progress in their learning, development and leadership while having the support of a peer.
In a time when the very nature of ministry and church life are rapidly changing, we believe that the church needs pastors who can lead adaptively, while being fully grounded in God. Through the program, residents will develop skills in self-differentiated and transformational leadership, finding healthy rhythms for professional and personal wellbeing, engaging ministry at the margins, and collaborating with ministry partners—both pastoral and lay.
Intentional reflection and formation are built into the Program through:
- Regular Seminar gatherings with the entire pastoral staff to reflect on Christian Theology and the practice of ministry;
- Support for participating in a New Clergy Group through the Massachusetts Conference of the UCC and working with a Spiritual Director or other coaches as needed;
- Colleagues who are committed to their own reflection and formation and who value the nurture of new pastors as integral to their own calling.
- Have or will have graduated with an M.Div in the last 2 years
- Are a Member in Discernment in the United Church of Christ, on track to be ordained within the time frame of the program
- Have discerned a call to parish ministry
- Can make a two-year commitment to the Pastoral Residency Program
To be considered as a candidate please send the following documents (either by email or as hard copy), to be received no later than February 15, 2018.
Completed application form (see below);
A current resume;
- Three letters of reference. Please have three people write a letter about your gifts for pastoral ministry and your potential as a Pastoral Resident. Letters should be sent directly to the church;
- Three phone references. Please list three different people whom we can contact and who can also reflect on your gifts for pastoral ministry and your potential as a Pastoral Resident;
- Essay questions: each should be no more than 750 words;
- Describe your call to pastoral ministry and how you see the Pastoral Residency Program supporting that;
- Share a recent moment in ministry that was particularly successful or fulfilling;
- Reflect on one or two Marks of Faithful and Effective Ministry* that are particularly present in your ministry;
- Reflect on one or two Marks* that you hope the Pastoral Residency Program will help you develop further.
*The Marks of Faithful and Effective Ministry are widely used across the United Church of Christ for pastoral preparation, formation and discernment. They can be found at: http://uccfiles.com/pdf/THE-MARKS-OF-FAITHFUL-AND-EFFECTIVE-MINISTERS.pdf