You are here

Position Open
Mt. Vernon Larger Parish/Moosup Valley Church
81 Moosup Valley Road

Site Description

For the ANTS student interested in rural ministry, the Mount Vernon Larger Parish offers the opportunity to develop experience and competency working with three historic country churches, two UCC and one, ABC. The Moosup Valley Congregational, Mt. Vernon Baptist, and First Christian (Rice City, Coventry) churches, serving southern Foster and nearby Coventry, are yoked as the Mt. Vernon Larger Parish with its minister(s) compensated through the Waterman Trust established in 1838 for a “Calvinistic Baptist Minister (now, ABC) who shall preach within [three] miles of my dwelling house….” The congregations are small with a combined membership of perhaps 75 and an average worship attendance of about 30 to 35. Weekly Sunday worship is held at Rice City at 9 a.m. and at Moosup Valley at 10:30 a.m.; Mt. Vernon hosts a hymn sing and communion service one Sunday afternoon a month. Although the parish has been served by one full-time minister in the past, currently the churches are served by two half-time ministers, one UCC and one ABC. The churches participate in events and offerings and reach out to the needy in Coventry and Foster through each town’s Department of Human Services and area schools and nursing homes. Moosup Valley hosts a women’s retreat each March, and Rice City is famous for its suppers. Members range from life-long residents to those who move from the city to enjoy country living – although they may continue to work in professional settings in southeastern New England. The churches are about one-half hour from Providence and about an hour or so from Andover Newton.

Stipend Expectation

This site meets the stipend expectation

Student Involvement

Since the site is composed of three churches, the student would have ample opportunity for worship design, preaching, teaching, and visitation. One might also explore developing a youth program or experimenting with a specialized form of ministry of one’s interest. All three churches are open to “new ways of doing things” and will welcome some innovation in worship. Because the three churches are discussing the most appropriate model for a settled pastor and beginning a search process, the student also would be able to enter into discussions about emerging models for small churches. In addition, the Moosup Valley Church is exploring the option to purchase an historic library across the road and invite the community into the planning process.

Commitment to Educating Ministers

The Larger Parish Council has endorsed the proposal to apply to ANTS for a Field Education student, an arrangement they had experienced previously under the direction of a full-time minister. Each of the churches has teachers and others among its members, sufficient to bring together a Site Committee. As part of her or his responsibilities, the student would be supervised by the UCC Interim Minister who is active across Rhode Island in ecumenical and interfaith affairs, especially around poverty and justice issues, and has extensive experience working with nonprofit organizations. She has an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School and holds standing in the RI Conference UCC. Because of the Waterman Trust’s Baptist interests, she also has invested in a Baptist polity course and is seeking standing in ABC of Rhode Island.

Special Considerations

The Mt. Vernon Church owns a parsonage that potentially might serve as an overnight accommodation for a student on weekends, although that would be dependent upon the search committee’s conversations with prospective settled pastors.


The Larger Parish, and the Moosup Valley Church in particular, might be interested in a formal relationship with ANTS in serving as a training site for pastors interested in rural ministry. A field placement student would be able to help develop our readiness for such a venture.

Contact Information

Betsy Aldrich
31 Strand Avenue

Visiting for the first time? Please introduce your self here | Enrolled Student or alum? Please check the Community Login above and enter your given credentials.