Saugatuck Congregational Church

Life Announcement: New Job!!

I let slip a few weeks ago that I had officially graduated from Yale Divinity School.

Well now I finally know what happens next!

Yesterday at Saugatuck Congregational Church in Westport, Connecticut I was presented for congregational approval as the search committee’s candidate to take on the role of Associate Pastor for Youth and Children’s Ministries.

The congregation voted “yes,” and so now it’s official!

I will begin my new role in mid-August.  For the rest of the summer I will be hanging out in New Haven, helping out with the International Festival of Arts and Ideas, doing a little bit of traveling, and a whole lot of brainstorming about things I want to do with this incredibly creative and energetic congregation and youth group!

And, of course, writing on this blog!

I couldn’t be more excited!!

Below is the text of a letter I wrote to the congregation at Saugatuck, which was sent out to the members of the church with an invitation to the Congregational Council meeting that occurred yesterday:

Dear Friends and Members of Saugatuck Congregational Church,

Many times during the past year I have heard others, both in Westport and beyond, speak of the courage and resilience of the Saugatuck community.  The boldness you have demonstrated in living into your current identity as “a church without walls” is inspiring and it is a great honor to be considered for the position of Associate Pastor for Youth and Children’s Ministries at this church!

Over the past couple of months while I have been talking with your search and personnel committees I have gotten a taste of the energy that drives this community of faith.  I use that term “energy” because that is the term that first came to your Senior Pastor, Alison’s, mind when describing this church to me and is also the term that best describes what stood out most to me when I met with members of Saugatuck.  After meeting with your youth, talking with many of the adult members of the congregation currently working with them, and observing both groups in action preparing for this year’s “Story Tent” program, it is very apparent to me that your community is one that is constantly moving, always engaged in some new work of the Holy Spirit.  That energy is infectious and I am really excited about the opportunity to be part of what this church community is doing and the chance to continue seeking and living out God’s calling for my own life in such a vibrant place!

I hope to bring to this community another source of creativity, helping to think about and plan both activities for youth and times of worship that engage us all in new and thought-provoking ways.  I hope to help instill in the youth a sense of personal connectedness to their faith, helping them to find meaning and value in our scriptures, practices, and traditions.  And I hope, working with those who are already engaged in our ministry with children and youth, to help our youngest members learn to love God and their neighbors and find a caring, supportive community here at Saugatuck.

I am excited to meet you all on Sunday!  And I am hopeful that we will get to spend many more Sundays (and other days) serving alongside and encouraging one another in our common faith.

Alex Marshall


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