First Congregational Church Welcomes Interim Pastor

The First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ (UCC) of Bridgton, recently welcomed Annette Mott as its Interim Pastor.

Reverend Mott assumed the pastoral role when Reverend Richard L. Bennett retired late last year.

In the UCC tradition, the process of transition from one spiritual leader to another calls for congregations to intentionally select an “interim” minister who serves a short period of time, typically one to two years, before a “settled” minister is chosen. Settled ministers then remain with congregations long-term. Interim ministry is a focused ministry and pastors receive specialized training.

“This practice allows a congregation to go through the natural grieving process when a beloved member of their family moves on,” said Pastor Mott. “It gives the church time to be able, emotionally and mentally, to fully welcome a new pastor. It makes it possible for a good strong beginning with a settled pastor.”

Pastor Mott has lived in Maine since she was 12 years old and her father was stationed at Brunswick Naval Air Station. She graduated from Wellesley College in Massachusetts, where she majored in Religion and Biblical Studies and met her husband David Engler. The couple has three grown sons and a one-year-old granddaughter. They make their permanent home in Bowdoinham; currently Pastor Mott divides her time between there and Bridgton.

Pastor Mott was raised in the Lutheran Church, but as an adult was attracted to UCC by the church’s “emphasis on justice and peace.” While raising her family, she worked part-time in professional church ministry including 26 years as Christian educator and resource director at the Maine Conference UCC in Yarmouth. During this period, she was asked to preach several times a year at UCC churches throughout the state. Each time she preached, she says she felt called to become a pastor. She enrolled at Bangor Theological Seminary to complete her ministerial preparation and graduated with a Master of Divinity degree in 2008.

Bridgton is Pastor Mott’s second position as an Interim Pastor. Previously, she worked at Woodfords Congregational Church in Portland. She was looking for a permanent, settled position when she was approached about the interim position in Bridgton. After much thoughtful consideration and prayer, she agreed to be considered for the interim position.

Interim Search Committee Chairwoman Judy Oberg said, “After reviewing several qualified candidates, the committee felt that Annette was the best fit for our church. Her Biblical knowledge, compassion and calm demeanor have provided a wonderful transition time for our congregation.”

The First Congregational Church is located at 33 South High Street in Bridgton. Sunday services are at 10 a.m. There is childcare available. An open and affirming UCC church, it has a strong Christian education program, music ministry, and community outreach program. All people are welcome.

For more information, call 647-3936 or visit the First Congregational Church website at www.firstucc1794.com

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