by Drew Page
|Rev. Jenn Gingras at Jacob's Well, Nablus|
MONROE (7/20/2012) -- Rev. Jenn Gingras is born and raised Connecticut. She was raised her, educated here, settled here in her first career, and even felt the call to clergy and answered here. Yet one of the most transformative experiences of her career came over 5,000 miles away.
Gingras grew up attending the North Madison Congregational Church. At age ten, she attended Silver Lake Conference Center, where she has been active ever since. After attending the University of Connecticut, Gingras started a career in sports marketing. During this time, she was attending the Trumbull Congregation Church. Here she found opportunities to become more deeply involved in the life of the church. She was a youth group leader, a Sunday school teacher, and CE Director. When the church entered an interim period, she shared other roles, such as preaching and pastoral care.
"At that time, I realized that I was more fulfilled on my weekends at church than in my corporate life during the week," says Gingras.
Gingras attended Hartford Seminary and later Yale Divinity School where she graduated 2007. In 2007 she was called to Monroe as Associate Pastor and served in that role until December 2011 when she was called as senior pastor, the first female senior past in Monroe's history.
An occasional series welcoming those new to serving in the Connecticut Conference UCC.
"It was a deeply spiritual moment," said Gingras. "It was somewhere away enough to connect spiritually without the hustle and bustle of the crowds of old town Jerusalem."
Gingras returned to Connecticut to begin preaching on Palm Sunday. Her experience in Jerusalem gave her a desire to help people understand the people and conflicts of the Middle East and to bring more learning about interfaith partnerships to her church and the Fairfield region. In addition to this globally focused goal, Gingras is also preparing for Monroe's 250th anniversary which occurs in 2014.
Drew Page is Media Assistant for the Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ.