Willsboro UCC gains new minister

WILLSBORO Rev. Jan Jorgensen is sharing the love of God across boundaries. Every week, she commutes from Montreal to serve as the new pastor of the Willsboro Congregational United Church of Christ. The part-time minister started Jan. 27. Sheryl Manigo, chair of the churchs search committee, said two candidates were interviewed for the position. We felt Pastor Jan would be a very good fit with our congregation, and so far we've been quite right, said Manigo. What struck us most about Pastor Jan is she focused on relationship - not only deepening the relationship with God, but as individuals and on a human level. Jorgensen said when she received the profile, bound like a booklet, she knew the Willsboro UCC were her people. We're very new with each other, but Ive been deeply touched by the warmth and the hospitality that's offered to me here, said Jorgensen. The church search committee began work in April 2007 to look for a new minister. Committee members spent several months polling the congregation to help create a church profile, which was sent out at the end of October 2007. It was quite an undertaking, but we felt it was important we do it and do it right- gave us some much needed insight, said Manigo. The Willsboro UCC has about 50 members. We want to experience growth, but it's not merely numerical growth. We want to be seen as an active part in the affairs of the community, and be a place where they can come ... We want to be a welcoming place, said Manigo. Jorgensen said she hoped the church would be able to reach out to youth. She felt the church would be a safe place for people to grow, along with offering a message of empowerment. We have something to share that's worth sharing - the power of God at work in our lives, and the fellowship we share, said Jorgensen. Jorgensen was ordained in March 1994 by the New Haven Association, Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ. She worked for several years at Westmount Park Church (United Church of Canada), before leaving the parish ministry in 2000 to work with seniors at the Griffith McConnell Residence until 2003. She married her husband, Ted Krasnicki, in 2003, and took time off to help settle their blended family. The couple has three children, Adam, 18, Gwendolyne, 17 and Miranda, 15. Jorgensen holds a bachelors degree in creative writing, a masters degree of arts and religion from Yale Divinity School, along with a masters of divinity. Some people give Christianity a bad name - Ive never been one for threatening and fear. God is a source of joy, and we need joy in this world because we're really surrounded by despair, and hatred, and the world is polarized. We make room for the healing in this world when we allow God to come into our lives, said Jorgensen.

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