New Orleans Ministry Opportunity

For the past couple of years year I have been working with a group of United Church of Christ congregations in New Orleans. One of those churches, Little Farms Church of Christ in River Edge, is at a turning point in its ministry. The church has voted to seek a "Revitalization Transitional Minister" could be a full-time seminary intern, a recent seminary graduate, or an ordained pastor of the UCC who is willing to make a one year commitment toward the growth and re-visioning of Little Farms United Church of Christ to help the congregation explore future ministry opportunities as it makes decisions about its future. The intern will work closely with the New Orleans UCC Leadership Council, which is exploring the denomination's future in this historic metropolitan area.

They hope to begin reviewing applications later this month.


Revitalization Transitional Minister Opportunity

Little Farms United Church of Christ

135 Sauve Road
River Ridge, LA 70123

Little Farms United Church of Christ is seeking a Revitalization Transitional Minister for one year, beginning in June/July of 2014. Little Farms United Church of Christ is actively working toward becoming a church filled with fellowship activities, service related opportunities, and a facility that is used daily by its members and the community. We hope to enrich members’ spiritual lives by being a repository of love, a beacon of solutions, and an anchor of hope for our neighborhoods and community as a whole. The ideal Revitalization Transitional Minister will provide the opportunity and environment that will allow the members to lead us toward this vision.

Our primary measurable goals over the next three to five years are to double the membership of Little Farms and become solvent. However, these are only possible through extending our reach and our capabilities in the name of ministry to others. Doing so will require active outreach to persons not currently served by area congregations. This requires an increase in scheduled programs for youth, singles, married couples, and retirees promoted by competent and qualified leadership, a safe and endearing atmosphere, and a continued presence or reach into the community structure.

The Revitalization Transitional Minister will understand the goals of others in social endeavors and communicate our potential to fulfill gaps or accentuate our capabilities. We are seeking a person who will reflect on our commitment and help in the planning of those commitments, and give force to future modifications seen as necessary for success.

Little Farms was established in 1953, and is the first ONA congregation in the New Orleans Association. The membership has survived several internal events that reflect the resilience of the membership. This resiliency of our congregation demonstrates the stability and openness to growth with the right leadership. Currently, we have between 8 and 14 children on Sunday morning. At present we have pulpit supply ministers on Sunday however in 2013 we were blessed with an Interim Pastor. The Interim Pastor was helpful in moving the congregation forward from our loss and separation of a beloved 14 year part time pastor toward preparing us to begin a new direction. Our regular attendance has been stable during this time of change. The Revitalization Transitional Minister will develop and encourage opportunities for the church members to work diligently for a spiritually grounded church, committed to serve our Lord and His people.

The Revitalization Transition Minister will lead the congregation in weekly Sunday worship and Bible study. Commitment to spiritual growth through worship is an integral part of our identity. As a part of the spiritual journey, spiritually filled worship services are important for the growth and development of our church and community.

As a residential portion of the New Orleans Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), River Ridge is approximately 20 minutes from downtown New Orleans. In recent years, the city of New Orleans has moved upward as a desirable place to live. New Orleans was rated the # 1 city for entrepreneurs, it has a younger “yuppie” type of folks relocating to the city, it is among the top ten cities in the world to celebrate New Year’s Eve, is considering renovating vacant housing to make suitable and affordable housing for teachers, it has a more stable and progressive housing market than other areas in the South and is also referred to as “Hollywood South” because of our growth within the many aspects of the film making industry. The growth of our city and neighborhoods, make the New Orleans area a desirable place to live.

Little Farms UCC has the potential to be the first liberal protestant church in this area. In 2010, the national church offered the churches in the New Orleans Association an opportunity to participate in an initiative called “Moving from Surviving to Thriving”. We are one of five participating churches. The leadership council is a body of representatives from these churches, which meet monthly under the guidance of a pastoral coach. The Leadership Council explores ways to strengthen the churches’ through ministry and mission, individually and collectively.

A Revitalization Transitional Minister could be a full-time seminary intern, a recent seminary graduate, or an ordained Pastor of the UCC who is willing to make a one year commitment toward the growth and re-visioning of Little Farms United Church of Christ. The Revitalization Transitional Minister will be responsible for developing measurable goals and objectives with the membership, setting benchmarks for evaluation during the year that addresses both growth and sustainability of Little Farms UCC.

The church will use South Central Conference Guidelines when negotiating a salary and benefits. Supervision will be provided by church leadership and a team of local UCC pastors. The Surviving to Thriving Leadership Council will serve as a resource to the transitional minister.

Candidates will be required to submit a resume which will include the names and contact information of three references. Specific comments from the reference person(s) should be on the candidate’s preparation or experience for leading spiritual growth and creative ministry in a suburban setting. Review of applications will begin May 12, 2014.

For further information, contact:
Rev. Douglas Anders
South Central Conference Minister
9022 Long Point Road
Houston, TX 77055