Rev. Ilgenfritz is an ordained minister with full standing in the United Church of Christ. He comes to us with 35 years’ experience, most recently having served as a sabbatical minister in Massachusetts and an interim pastor in Maine.
Rev. Ilgenfritz has accepted a one-year renewable contract as our interim pastor, beginning on September 6. During this time of interim he will be responsible for the full range of pastoral duties, including: worship leadership, congregational care, outreach, church growth and development, and serving as head of staff. As interim pastor, he will also lead our congregation through developmental tasks intended to support us in our search for a settled pastor.
Rev. Ilgenfritz is 3/4 time (one week away a month plus time for vacation and study time) with Sabbath on Friday and Saturdays.
Rev. Ilgenfritz grew up in Lynnfield, Massachusetts and spent many weekends and vacations with lots of cousins, aunts and uncles in Sanbornton and the Lakes Region of New Hampshire where my mother’s family lives. He graduated from Colgate University in 1984 and Yale Divinity School in 1987. He served as an Associate Pastor at First Congregational Church in Ithaca New York (1987-1989) and as the founding director of BE—HIV (Better Existence with HIV) which served people living with HIV and AIDS and their families in north Chicago and north suburban Cook County (1989-1993).
In 1994, his former spouse and he were called as pastors to University Congregational Church in Seattle and were the first gay couple ever called to serve a church. He concluded that ministry in 2018 to start “Navigating Through Change” and follow a call and passion to work with communities and individuals in times of transition.
That call led him to lead sailing retreats in Maine and to serve as an interim pastor in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. I started on February 1, 2020, five weeks before the pandemic hit Maine until October 3, 2021. After four wonderful months of hiking, writing, and serving on the Service Corps at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, he was called as the Sabbatical Pastor to serve during the senior pastor’s sabbatical at United Parish in Brookline, Massachusetts.
His joys in life are conversations, being outdoors, running, swimming, biking, hiking, and backpacking. He is very interested in the “Wild Church” movement https://www.wildchurchnetwork.com that is exploring new ways to meet as church outdoors and make connections between spirituality and nature. He is taking part in a year-long program called “Seminary of the Wild” https://www.wildspirituality.earth that begins in November. He serves on the Program Advisory Board of the BTS Center (Bangor Theological Seminary Center) https://thebtscenter.org and looks forward to introducing you to the good work they are doing on climate change.
He has a website, “Navigating Through Change” through which he offers spiritual companionship, coaching, retreat leadership and write a blog. You can follow his blog at www.navigatingthroughchange.com.
I look forward to learning with you in this important time in your community’s life and all we will discover of what it means to be the church today in service to the wider community and world.
Dorothy Morton Music Director & Organist
Melissa Kam Director Shining Lights Learning Center
Melissa started at Shining Lights Learning Center (SLLC) ten years ago, completing her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a Certificate in Special Education from Plymouth State University while working her way from substitute to associate teacher to lead teacher and now director.