Hancock’s Role as a Teaching Parish
As a large, healthy and strong congregation, Hancock has long recognized a responsibility to sister congregations of the United Church of Christ. We fulfill this calling by providing leadership opportunities for seminary students preparing for ordination. Since 1972, dozens of students have completed their field education at Hancock, preaching, teaching, organizing, leading. Hancock is the longest continuing church in partnership with Andover Newton Theological School. We also have long standing relationships with Harvard Divinity School and the School of Theology at Boston University. Hancock alums are now serving as ministers in UCC congregations across the country; our Teaching Parish ministry is thriving, and already playing a key role in the vitality of the UCC.
And we gain so much from our seminarians, who come to us with enthusiasm and energy. They help us try new programs and ideas. They help us care for one another. They minister to Hancock members and friends of all ages.
Are you in Seminary and looking for a field placement? Read more about our Seminarian program here.
On the Green for Greater Good: A very important part of our faith journey has been our involvement with the Teaching Parish Program fr more than 25 years. In the early years, we served as mentors and supporters, providing hands-on learning experiences for these ‘would-be pastors.’ But as time passed, we came to realize that much of the learning that transpired was ours.
Through the years, these seminarians have provided new insights, new hopes, and new dreams. Their viewpoints were often more closely tuned than ours to the world we’re living in. They brought to us their faith, new energy, and courage. They brought a willingness to step with us into new territories to explore and envision the challenges and opportunities that were there. We reflect on the Affordable Housing Partnership, our new Covenant of Welcome, the Our Whole Lives program, our Hancock Mission Trips, our Hunger Ministry, and Worship at the Well as examples of programs nurtured and supported by our seminarians.
None of these things would have come to fruition without the endorsement and involvement of our clergy and congregation. But, the seminarians have helped the whole Hancock community become involved in these new endeavors and we feel blessed as we journey with them. In many ways, they have been part of why we have been ‘On the Green for Good.’
Prayer: Lord, let us be thankful for these opportunities to learn new ideas and ways that can make a difference in our community and world.
A Faith Story by Peggy and Bob Bicknell