Our Resident Ministers
First Pres welcomed our Ninth Cohort of Resident Ministers on August 15. Blair Buckley, Eric Koenig-Reinke and Rev. Dorothy Parks-Piatt arrived full of energy, vision and passion for ministry and leadership here in Ann Arbor and immediately began an intentional process of on-boarding here into the life of First Pres. This cohort is more keenly focused on young adult and college ministry, social justice issues, teaching opportunities, congregational care and ministry to all generations than previous groups. They hope to be involved with Deacons, Congregational Life, Stephen Ministry, New Members and other programs, all new areas of ministry for Residents.
Rev. Dorothy Parks-Piatt
Dorothy was ordained on Sunday, July 9 in her home church, New Hope Presbyterian Church in Chattanooga by the Presbytery of East Tennessee. In a festive worship service attended by old and new friends and colleagues, she was commissioned to a life of service and witness as a Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church USA. Dorothy’s spouse, Jessica Parks-Piatt, now works as a Graduate Program Coordinator in the University of Michigan’s Department of Sociology.
Eric will be ordained on Sunday, October 29, 2017 in Noble Road Presbyterian Church, Cleveland, OH, his home church, by Western Reserve Presbytery. Both of his parents, Presbyterian pastors, will be involved. Eric is married to Essie Koenig-Reinke, our Youth Ministries Coordinator.
Blair will be ordained on Sunday, November 5, 2017 in Faith Presbyterian Church, Colorado Springs, CO, her home church, by Pueblo Presbytery.
Eighth Cohort 2015-2017
Rev. Emily Béghin
Emily began her call as an Associate Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Virginia Beach, Virginia on July 2. She is the Associate for Congregational Life, Ministry to Young Adults, and Worship. Rev. Jay Sanderford was the preacher for Emily’s Installation Service, Sunday, August 6, in Virginia Beach.
Rev. Daniel Ervin
Daniel will begin his call as the Designated Pastor at Lovejoy United Presbyterian Church, Wood River, Illinois in mid-October. He will serve as the pastor of a healthy progressive church east of St. Louis, Missouri that is the result of a merger of two congregations with strong sense of identity, worship and mission. Daniel will be preaching, launching an adult education program, and working in the community in this vibrant area.
Rev. Angela Ryo
Angela is the Assistant Pastor for Christian Formation, Kirk in the Hills, Bloomfield Hills, MI, beginning her new ministry on August 1. At the Kirk, another church in our own Presbytery of Detroit, Angela guides the children and family ministries area and shapes all manner of adult learning opportunities.
Residency at First Pres is...
First Pres residents jump into the work of full-time parish ministry on arrival in Ann Arbor. From a core engagement in worship leadership, preaching, and pastoral care, residents explore other essential facets of ministry, with mentorship from senior staff, to develop their vocational interests and skills.
Positive pastoral leadership grows from active reflection on one’s congregation, one’s community, and oneself. Opportunities for peer-based learning, self-assessment, and constructive feedback are integral to our program. Residents meet regularly as a cohort with the Program Director and Head of Staff, process challenges and develop strategies together, and build a strengths-based sense of their pastoral identities.
Residents leave First Pres ready to navigate the challenges of 21st century ministry and to flourish in diverse pastoral settings. The intensive, purposeful nature of the program equips residents with practical skills for ministry and enriches their core vocational values so that they are ready to serve God’s people with versatility and integrity.
Ann Arbor is a friendly, highly livable city offering myriad cultural, intellectual, political, and social resources, along with world-class University of Michigan academics and athletics. Resident ministers interact with a congregation that includes members of a globally diverse population of faculty and students at the University as well as residents from Ann Arbor, Detroit and Southeastern Michigan. Learn more about Ann Arbor at www.visitannarbor.org
Resident in Parish Ministry
The Resident Ministry Program gives talented seminary graduates the opportunity to make the transition from seminary to a lifetime of effective ministry and leadership in congregations. Located in one of America’s premier university towns, First Presbyterian-Ann Arbor is a vital, growing church with approximately 2000 members. We are proud to claim this teaching ministry as a key part of our mission, and after years of support from the Lilly Endowment, our congregation enthusiastically committed to sustain the program and has secured a substantial endowment for that purpose.
The Residency Program is designed to enhance the academic preparation of newly ordained graduates in powerful ways and ground them in the practice of ministry. From a core engagement in worship leadership, preaching, and pastoral care, residents explore other essential facets of ministry, with mentorship from senior staff, to develop their unique vocational interests and skills. Because the program is peer-based, it fosters reflective practice. Residents meet regularly as a group with the Program Coordinator and Head of Staff, to process challenges and develop strategies together, and build a strengths-based sense of their pastoral identities. Having participated in all facets of the day-to-day life of a large and diverse congregation, residents leave First Pres. ready to navigate the challenges of 21st century ministry in a wide variety of pastoral settings.
Residents serve two years in validated ministry positions, are compensated at appropriate levels, and participate in the benefits offered by the PCUSA Board of Pensions. During their second year, they receive careful advice and coaching so they are better prepared to respond to their next calls. Applications are due January 31, 2017.
The central purpose of the program is to prepare Residents to be effective leaders of the congregations they will serve throughout their ministries. The program assists Residents as they work with the staff and members of the congregation of the church toward these goals.
- Developing healthy work patterns and leadership styles for parish ministry. This is accomplished through the example and mentoring of the staff, through immersion in the best practices of leadership and during a series of flexible rotations in critical areas of congregational life. Active reflection on the practice of ministry is a key component of the program. Practices to encourage transformation and organizational change are learned and applied.
- Achieving a deeper understanding of the internal dynamics growing from the life, motivations, faith, hopes and frustrations of members of the congregation. Partnerships with congregants are formed through relationships, committee leadership, program development and pastoral care. Residents relate to key leaders, colleagues and staff in their rotations and to members of the Resident Ministry Work Group. They experience rich relationships with members of the congregation and community.
- Making a strong connection between theological and biblical studies and the day-to-day work of parish ministry. Residents participate in conversations about their experiences, reading and work during weekly conversations with the Program Coordinator and other pastors. They relate their academic studies to the actual programs that are a part of successful congregational and community ministry.
- Developing a greater awareness of the character and nature of their own call to Christian ministry. Through a variety of carefully selected and shared experiences in the many aspects of congregational ministry, the breadth and particularity for discerning one’s ongoing sense of call is enhanced.
If you have further questions, please contact:
Rev. Jay Sanderford, Program Coordinator
Want to Learn More?
Resident Ministry Endowment
For more than a decade, First Presbyterian has been blessed by the presence of an unusual group of young ministers who have come to our church to learn and to be inspired, and in the process, have inspired us and taught us.
Now, 16 years into a grand experiment that has succeeded well beyond our expectations, we are being called upon to make the program our own. After consultations with the Lilly Endowment, those at First Pres who formed this ministry, members of the congregation, and a capital campaign committee, an initiative is underway to establish a permanent $5 million endowment that will sustain the program in perpetuity.
To make a contribution or to learn more, visit our Resident Ministry Endowment page.