The First Congregational Church of Woodstock is seeking to fill the position of Solo Pastor.
Our beloved pastor for more than 25 years, Reverend Norman A. Koop, was suddenly called home to be with our Lord on October 7, 2015.
FCCW is a vibrant, independent church of evangelical and reformed doctrine and theology with a warm-hearted, spiritually and biblically mature congregation. Worship services have been notable for solid, in-depth Bible teaching, faithfulness to Scripture, and heart-felt singing of hymns by people who know God’s grace and trust His sovereignty. The church is situated in historic and beautiful Woodstock, Vermont, a destination and resort community approximately 2.5 hours north of Boston and part of the Upper Valley Vermont/New Hampshire micropolitan area that includes Dartmouth College. We have about 160 members and normal Sunday morning worship services have about 225 attendees with many visitors, regular friends or Dartmouth students who also attend the services.
FCCW was organized as a Presbyterian church in 1781 but switched to Congregational in 1800. However, it became independent in 1977 when the church voted to withdraw from the United Church of Christ. At its bicentennial in 1981, the church adopted the motto: “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). In 1988, the church re-adopted its original statement of faith from the church’s organizational meeting of 1781, which remains our statement of faith, with some minor modifications, today.
We believe the Bible to be the inspired, inerrant and authoritative Word of God and the only sufficient rule of faith and practice. Our understanding of Scripture is set forth in the historic reformed creeds such as the Apostles’ Creed and the Westminster Confession of Faith.
The building we use has enjoyed a long history. Our original meeting house was constructed in 1807, which was extensively rebuilt in 1890. In 1955, an addition was added to the rear of the building which now houses the church nursery and the Bible-based Woodstock Christian Child Care (WCCC), which is licensed to care for children aged six weeks to twelve years and currently has an enrollment of 34 children with 8 part time staff. The present 3 manual, 36 rank Austin pipe organ was installed in 1968 and provides wonderful accompaniment to congregational singing. In 1974 a crack was discovered in the Revere Bell that was used to call the community to worship (now displayed on the south porch), which was replaced by another bell that is still rung on Sunday mornings. The interior of the sanctuary was restored in 1993 incorporating elements of the 1890 construction, and the interior of the Billings Chapel, where classes and fellowship events are held, was restored and dedicated to the memory of Mary French Rockefeller in 1997, a former member of the church. In 2014, all Sunday School classrooms were renovated and are actively used.
We are a missions-oriented church where carrying on the Great Commission is a major focus. Of a total 2016 budget of $484,000, we have committed $109,000, plus special sacrificial offerings, to the regular support of a number of missions in the United States and around the world.
We hold worship services on Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings and on special occasions. Before morning services, we also hold Sunday School classes for all children (preschool through high school) as well as for adults. We have an active ministry to students at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH, a ministry to the youth in our church, a number of weekday Bible studies, and we hold annual all-church retreats in Maine as well as women’s and men’s retreats or activities. There are a small number of fellowship groups, and we would like to see their number increased.
We have been blessed that two recent pastors served the church for 24 and 25 years respectively. In addition to the staff of WCCC, we also have part-time positions for a Music Director/Organist, an Administrative Assistant, a Custodian, a Property Manager and a Bookkeeper.
The church has a mixed form of government with power granted by Christ to both the body (membership of the church) and to the elders. The congregation elects the elders, deacons and members of other boards and committees, and it also votes on the annual budget. The elders feed and rule the church of God, admit new members, and call the church body together upon any weighty occasion. The current Board of Elders Worship Service has five members which normally also includes the Pastor. A six-member Board of Deacons serves the physical needs of the church so that the elders may be devoted to the Word of God and the spiritual needs of the church.
PASTOR POSITION DESCRIPTION
The duties of the Pastor are primarily to preach and teach the Word of God and to administer the sacraments. He is also responsible for the spiritual welfare of the church with the assistance of the Board of Elders. Responsibilities include: seeking to enlist persons as followers of Christ, leading the services of public worship, giving pastoral guidance and oversight, guiding those appointed to assist him in the music ministry and public worship of the church, and the solemnization of marriages.
Qualifications: A clear conversion testimony and assurance of salvation.
Demonstrated knowledge of the Bible; strong preaching skills with the ability to proclaim the Gospel and lead people to repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ as the risen Savior and Son of God, and to train, encourage and build up the body of Christ to maturity in the Word and faith.
Possession of the spiritual gifts of pastor/shepherd (Ephesians 4:11), teacher (1 Corinthians 12:28, Romans 12:7, Ephesians 4:11), leader (Romans 12:8), and of encouragement/exhortation (Romans 12:8).
A commitment to, embracing of and teaching in conformity with Scripture and the Westminster Confession of Faith.
Teaching experience and ability to equip people at all stages of faith with a deepening knowledge of the Word and the ability to apply biblical principles in their daily lives and in ministry to others.
Demonstrated character, leadership style and ability, and a lifestyle as depicted in Scripture (1 Timothy 3:2-4; Titus 1:7-9; Matthew 9:36; Acts 20:17-20; Philippians 2:5-8).
Thorough biblical/theological training and a commitment to biblically-based congregational life and ministry. A Masters of Divinity degree, or equivalent, is needed.
Demonstrated people and communication skills; the ability to be comfortable relating to people of all ages.
Five-plus years in some form of pastoral ministry in the United States including at least three years’ experience leading a congregation with regular preaching and teaching responsibilities.
Responsibilities: Leading the congregation in prayer, preparing for and preaching and teaching the Word, as well as administering the sacraments in Sunday worship and other services as appropriate.
Embracing and nurturing the church family, striving to build unity, healing and fellowship, and reaching out to strengthen existing, inactive and new member relationships and connections.
Providing leadership in the ministry concerning change, conflict management, reconciliation, planning and growth.
Guiding the congregation in ever-deepening personal and corporate prayer.
Providing pastoral care, including visitation and assistance to persons, crisis care, counseling and officiating at weddings, baptisms and funerals or memorials as requested.
Compensation and Housing: Compensation for the Pastor includes a salary and housing, a pension plan, medical insurance and other benefits to be determined.
Applicants: Candidates wishing to be considered for the Pastor Position should send a resume and letter of introduction along with references by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.