By Tiffany Vail
Associate Conference Minister for Communications
After seven years serving as the Eastern Regional Minister for the Connecticut Conference, The Rev. Dr. Thomas Clough has announced his plan to retire from his position effective June 30.
“Tom Clough has served faithfully for seven years on the Conference staff. His work in the Eastern Region of the Conference has been one of relationship building and providing resources and assistance to the churches of the Region," said Conference Minister the Rev. Kent J. Siladi. "Tom has been a valued member of our staff and brought his wisdom, experience and humor to our team. As he heads into the next phase of his life we wish him all the best and give thanks to God for his ministry and service.”
In reflecting on his time with the Conference, Clough lifted up the importance of relationship.
"My seven years in Connecticut have confirmed what I had experienced as a pastor in Massachusetts and Maine: that it is essential for Conferences to provide an available companion in ministry for our pastors who are serving local congregations," he said.
The Rev. Chuck Ericson, who provided sabbatical coverage for Clough in early 2017, will serve as the interim regional minister. Ericson is the retired pastor of the Bolton Congregational Church.
"Chuck is well respected in the region and has working knowledge of the ministry," Siladi said.
In a letter to clergy and churches of the Eastern Region, Clough pointed out what a time of transition his seven years there has been, with two-thirds of the 61 congregations seeing a turnover in the clergy serving them.
He also lifted up work that was done to streamline the governance of the region's four Associations, the enhancement of the Member in Discernment process and the work of Associations joining together to provide quality continuing education opportunities.
"Over the past three years we have created six new clergy communities of practice which have had a tremendous impact on the ministries of the participants," Clough said in his letter. "The leadership of the group facilitators has been of the highest quality, and the dedication of the group members has been testimony to just how essential healthy collegial relationships are if effective ministry is to be sustained in times like ours."
Ordained in 1981, Clough has served local churches in Massachusetts and Maine, as an associate conference minister in Massachusetts, and as a Global Ministries volunteer in Honduras. He studied psychology at Haverford College, earned an MA in teaching from Fairleigh Dickenson University, and received his M.Div. and D.Min. degrees from Andover Newton Theological School.