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First Parish Church Congregational
Chapel Lane

Site Description

First Parish Church, CongregationalBrief History:The First Parish Church, Congregational, U.C.C. of Manchester-by-the-Sea, founded in 1716, is located at the heart of the community on the town green, approximately 28 miles from Boston, just off route 128 on Cape Ann. The population of this bedroom room/commuter town is 5600. We are an ecumenical church that represents a broad spectrum of theological beliefs. All are welcome.Our Church membership is 270-280. Our average Sunday morning attendance at worship is 101, at Church School is 45 children (with 13 teachers on average teaching). Worship is lectionary-based and celebrates an open communion once a month. The congregation finds relevancy in relating scripture to daily life and the mission of the church in society and the world. Our vibrant musical program and creative senior choir (24) and Jr. Choir (singing in Advent and Lent), give us powerful celebration that adds depth to our worship. Jazz Celebration worship is offered each fall. Our church also offers an array of adult education, adult spiritual formation, family playgroup, bible study, and hands on mission opportunities. Our Sunday School uses the “Godly Play” format for education and worship. Our fellowship loves lunch and dinner gatherings, with an education or service orientation.Our Church staff includes a minister, music director/organist, Christian education director, youth leader, secretary, administrative assistant, treasurer, sexton, and custodian. Their work is augmented by strong volunteer and membership involvement.Our Vision:First Parish Church, Congregational, U.C.C. continues to strive to provide: 1) programs for youth vitality; 2) programs for increasing fellowship; and 3) programs for increasing membership.

Stipend Expectation

This site meets the stipend expectation

Student Involvement

First Parish Church hopes to identify a student who will benefit from participating in our educational ministry under the general direction of the Pastor, focusing primarily on adult education. One major role will be to lead, support and extend the current extensive program of adult small group ministries, including publicity for all such groups with the support of the office administrative staff. Another role will be to provide a pastoral presence in support of the Director of Christian Education and adult volunteers in the church school. This may include elements such as responding to questions of a theological nature from adult volunteers; acting as a resource for parents of church school children; and advising the Christian Ed Committee. There will also be opportunities to preach at our regular Sunday service. We are flexible and details of these activities can be tailored to the gifts and motivations of individual applicants.

Commitment to Educating Ministers

First Parish Church has a longstanding tradition of support for the education of ministers. For decades, our clergy and laity have actively participated in denominational processes and financial giving which support seminarians. In the past few years, as our congregation has grown, we have had ANTS seminarians involved in the ministry of our church, including Elizabeth Horne whom we ordained and called. Currently we are assisted on a part time basis by Martha Bays. This experience has been so positive that the Congregation has elected to be more formally and consistently involved in this process through participating in Field Education.

Special Considerations

Manchester is some distance from ANTS, so a student probably would need access to a car on a consistent basis. We are sensitive to this issue and would work with the student develop a schedule which would avoid excessive commuting. The student would need to be theologically compatible with our clergy and congregation, but we have never found this to be a problem with students from ANTS.We are blessed by the presence in our congregation of Rev. Llewellyn P. Smith, who has been active for many years in ministerial education affairs in our area and has consented to supervise this student.


Stipend is not an issue. We are prepared to offer more than the minimum to support a student whose gifts and motivations seem to be a particularly good fit with our congregation.

Contact Information

Executive Committee, First Parish Church
12 Bridge St.
617-896-3696 (day)

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