Island United Church is a small congregation (membership about 40; worship attendance about 20-25) located in Foster City, just off highway 92 (the Hayward-San Mateo Bridge). This is a diverse community, burgeoning with new tech residents and nearby businesses. It is also home to a cadre of long-time established residents who have been here since the planned community of Foster City was first developed.
At its founding, about 50 years ago, IUC was triply-affiliated by covenant with the United Church of Christ, the United Methodist Church, and the Presbyterian Church (USA). However, in practice, polity, pastoral leadership, and membership, the church has long been UCC-connected and voted to relinquish connection with the UMC and the PCUSA to remain solely UCC.
The church is Open & Affirming of all persons, and diverse in ethnicity for its small size. It is dedicated in local mission to First Step for Families (a part of LifeMoves) and to advocacy for children. A primary vehicle for the latter is a Montessori preschool on the property, which was started by the church and is very highly regarded in the community.
Within the last 5 years, the church conducted a successful capital campaign, surpassing their goal of $100,000 to create a more inviting worship environment. Work continues on further ways to enhance worship. We have a small, dedicated choir, and a classically-trained (and flexible!) musical director. Our cadre of volunteer lay leaders is hardworking.
The congregation is open to changes in Sunday Worship. The church values creativity and intelligent preaching. Our small church can offer minister-in-training opportunities in a range of pastoral duties: preaching, as well as other roles in worship design and leadership, including special liturgies; small group leadership; calling on the home bound and ill as time and opportunity permit; and community outreach. Growth in this outreach component would be most important for us. Thankfully, the church has few meetings! We are generally organized around a voluntary “team” concept. However, our student would be invited and expected to attend at least some meetings in order to learn the administrative functions of our church and school.
At present, the preschool is our largest community outreach, and any and all ideas to strengthen the church-school-community relationship are welcome. If the student desires some specific involvement with the school, that can be discussed. As the church owns a large vacant lot next door, conversations have begun both inside and outside the congregation regarding the best use of this property for ministry. Community gardens and affordable senior housing have been mentioned. If this goes forward, the interested student is invited to participate in our conversations with the City of Foster City or other partner organizations.
Our pastor, Rev. Carol Barriger, is in her third year at IUC. She has 20+ years of experience in parish and Conference ministry in the UCC; teaching at PSR; and in supervising and encouraging student interns. Our church council enthusiastically embraces the proposal to seek out a field education student. We are eager to hear from you if you are interested or have more questions!
CONTACT: Rev. Carol Barriger, firstname.lastname@example.org
STIPEND: $500/mo. + mileage
CAR REQUIRED: Yes