The Conference today (Nov. 1) launched its search for an Associate Conference Minister with regional responsibility in the Central and Hampshire Associations.
The post is currently filled on an acting basis by The Rev. Ms. Kelly Gallagher, who may apply for the permanent position. Gallagher took over the role this summer following the retirement of The Rev. Dr. Peter Wells.
Potential candidates for the position have until the end of the calendar year to express interest to the search committee, which expects to begin interviews early in 2014.
The five member search committee consists of three members from the Central Association, one from the Hampshire Associate and one from the Board of Directors. From Central are The Rev. Dr. Deborah Clark, pastor of Edwards Church in Framingham, The Rev. Ms. Carol Reynolds, pastor of the First Congregational Church of Millbury and The Rev. Mr. Steven A. Small, the Senior Pastor of the First Congregational Church, UCC, in West Boylston. From Hampshire is The Rev. Mr. Michael McSherry, Minister of Edwards Church of Northampton. From the Board is Ms. Linda Mesler, a long-time member of South Church in Andover and an attorney in the technology sector.
A position description and an expression of interest form are available on the Massachusetts Conference Website at macucc.org/acmsearch. This section of the website also includes an array of documents and links meant to serve as a Conference profile to help potential candidates familiarize themselves with the Conference. The opening has also been posted in the opportunities section of the national UCC website.
According to Conference Minister and President Jim Antal, what candidates may notice about the position description is its call for someone who will, together with colleagues, seek to “build a Conference of churches characterized by ever-greater depth, courage, and bridge-building.” This is in reference to the Vision statement currently guiding the work of the Board and staff.
The person who takes on this role will work with churches and clergy in the search process, with Committees on Ministry and with churches in crisis and in times of celebration. He or shee will also work to increase the covenantal connections among churches, clergy, Associations, the Conference and the UCC as a whole. This Associate Conference Minister will also have additional responsibilities, which currently include overseeing the Conference’s Justice and Witness Ministries.