You are here

Position Open
2015-2016
South Congregational Church
110 South Street
Pittsfield
MA
1201
Email
Email: 
sochurch@berkshire.net
Phone
Phone: 
413-442-7357

Site Description

South Congregational, United Church of Christ, is a work in progress. Currently the church has about 200 members, a small Sunday School, some very active small groups, and some very active mission projects. It is not ethnically diverse and consists mostly of middle-aged and older parishioners, who are generally economically middle-class, some struggling more than others. Having left behind its longstanding status as a prestigious downtown church, this congregation has for a number of years been seeking to deepen its identity as an intentional community of faith. This has opened the door for many dimensions of creative ministry. While maintaining a warm sense of tradition, this congregation is a supportive, caring community that has a lively commitment to practical mission, shared ministry, and worship that practices the presence of God. South Church is located in Pittsfield, a small, struggling city in the heart of the Berkshires, a county known for its majestic hills and numerous expressions of art and culture. At one time Pittsfield was sustained by the large presence of General Electric and its many manufacturing venues. With the departure of GE, Pittsfield began a decline similar to that of many other small cities. In recent years the city has had an influx of new ethnic groups and the beginnings of a cultural renaissance as artists and new shops have blossomed in the downtown. At the same time Pittsfield continues to struggle with poverty and an overall population decline.

Stipend Expectation

This site meets the stipend expectation

Student Involvement

South Church is a mixture of progressive, informal, and traditionally minded parishioners. This reflects its history, by abolitionist-leaning folk in 1850, to support of civil rights in the 1960s, to its growing edges at the present. The spiritual task is to continue to discern the way of Christ in this time and place. A minister-in-training will have the opportunity to share in this mission by learning elements of ministry and partaking in the larger task of listening for and acting upon the Voice of Christ. A seminarian can expect to be warmly received and encouraged whether participating in worship, teaching an adult class, partaking in visitation, sharing in our weekly community meal, assisting with senior high youth, or focusing on a new dimension of ministry. The pastor, Rev. Joel Huntington, has worked with numerous seminarians and enjoys the vitality and grace that comes with new perspectives and questions.

Commitment to Educating Ministers

In 1992 South began utilizing a scholarship bequest to bring seminary students to the church for what was named a “Summer Peirson Internship” program. Since that time the church has had 15 summer interns from Union in New York, Yale, Andover Newton, Harvard, and Bangor. A few of the interns continued on for the school year. Rev. Huntington supervised each of these interns with the support of a small committee. The congregation has grown accustomed to the energy, creativity, and vitality seminary interns bring to the life of a congregation. At this juncture South seeks to deepen and expand this program by working directly with Andover-Newton. The Teaching Parish Committee will consist of four persons who represent some of the diversity and giftedness of this congregation. They are prepared to offer support and guidance as a seminarian learns the differing elements of ministry in this setting.

Special Considerations

Rev. Huntington serves the Berkshire Association Church and Ministry Committee as co-Chair and has served as Chair of the In-Care/Discernment sub-committee. He has been advisor for a number of in-care candidates as they worked through the ordination process with the Berkshire Association.If a seminarian decides to spend a night on site, provision can be made to make this possible.

Comments

Given the congregation's history with seminarians and this new relationship with Andover-Newton, a seminarian can expect both supportive continuity and the energy that comes with being a formative influence as a congregation embarks on something new.

Contact Information

Joel
Huntington
Title
Title: 
Rev.
105 Pollock Avenue
Pittsfield
1201
Phone
Phone: 
413-499-2183
Email
Email: 

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.