Sabbatical Pastor

First Congregational United Church of Christ | Janesville, WI
Date posted: December 7, 2021
Sabbatical Pastor
Contact Name: Rev. Dr. Tanya Sadagopan
Contact Email: [email protected]
Deadline: 01-18-2022

The Pastor of First Congregational UCC, Reverend Dr. Tanya Sadagopan, will be on renewal leave for a 3-month period within the window of May 2022 to July 2022. First Congregational UCC is seeking a 3⁄4-time to full-time Sabbatical Pastor to assume worship, pastoral care, and administrative duties during this sabbatical period.

First Congregational UCC is a community of good, hardworking, humble Christian people that work and care deeply for the many vital ministries of our church. We have always been a very giving church both in gifts of time and financial donations, and we place a high priority on mission work. We are an Open and Affirming congregation that welcomes and embraces persons of every gender, race, nationality, sexual orientation, age and ability. We are engaged in LGBTQIA+ advocacy. We encourage freedom of expression coming from our varied cultures, and we strive to create a safe place where diversity is honored and welcomed. We are also an Immigrant Welcoming congregation that seeks to learn about, support and develop practices and programs that facilitate the respectful welcome and inclusion of all immigrants into our congregation and community. We seek a Sabbatical Pastor who would feel comfortable in this kind of faith community.

First Congregational UCC was established in 1845, putting us at 176 years in the current location. We are located in the heart of the city in a low-income part of downtown Janesville. Our location has a beautiful sanctuary with stained glass windows and upper balcony; many spaces for meetings and fellowship of all sizes; kitchen facilities; large education wing and newly completed multipurpose room with vaulted ceilings and floor-length stained-glass windows used for community outreach, art gallery displays, musical events and public space for receptions. We are a multi-generational community with families, children, and many older members. Our staff includes an Office Assistant, Christian Education Director, Nursery Coordinator, Digital Communications Coordinator, Bookkeeper, Custodian, Music Director and Pianist/Organist.

In the past, congregational worship has followed the narrative lectionary but the Sabbatical Pastor will have freedom of the pulpit. During Reverend Dr. Sadagopan’s sabbatical leave, the congregation will plan and explore activities that will revolve around a theme that will be determined with the input of Reverend Dr. Sadagopan, Shared Ministry and the Consistory, prior to the start of the sabbatical period. Some discovery work has been done around a theme of spirituality and the arts.

The candidate will need to be open to facilitating a hybrid approach to worship including a combination of in-person/Facebook Live on Sunday mornings due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and the requirements of the congregation. Resources for technical and administrative support are in place to assist with these needs.

Sabbatical Pastor Job Description

This is a 3⁄4-time to full-time position for 3 months during May 2022 thru July 2022.

We recognize that the demands of church life come at all hours of the day and night, and that the office of pastor requires attention to matters at times beyond their control. For this call, we encourage the faithful management of a 30-35 hour work week (3⁄4-time minister) or a 40-45 hour work week (full-time minister). We anticipate that we will honor their time best if we agree in advance as to the days when they are available, allowing for the occasional emergency.

The Sabbatical Pastor will report to the Church President, Consistory and the Shared Ministry Team. Compensation will be determined based on experience. Responsibilities include three areas, as described below:

A. Worship

  1. Plan preaching and order of worship service with the Worship ministry team for one service on Sunday mornings based lectionary or theme they develop. A special schedule of services could be planned revolving around a theme of spirituality and the arts.
  2. Preach and lead the service on Sundays during the sabbatical period.
  3. Work with music staff to coordinate worship music.
  4. Administer sacraments including Communion on the first Sunday of the month andbaptisms as needed.
  5. Conduct funerals and weddings. Additional compensation provided.
  6. Depending on the status of the COVID-19 virus pandemic and response, there mayneed to be exceptional flexibility in how Worship is conducted (technical support is available within the congregation).

B. Pastoral Care

  1. Make pastoral calls on members and friends of the congregation in crisis, at the hospital and in care facilities, in coordination with the Pastoral Care Team.
  2. Provide pastoral care and counseling as needed.
  3. Depending on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and response, there may need tobe exceptional flexibility in how effective pastoral care can be conducted.

C. Administration

  1. Serve as a resource to Consistory, ministries, and committees. Attend monthly Consistory meetings. Attendance at other ministry and committee meetings is only required if critical issues arise.
  2. Plan and assist in leading congregational activities and experiences focused on an agreed upon theme.
  3. Oversee the day-to-day operations of the church office in coordination with staff.
  1. Write a monthly column for the Tower Notes newsletter.
  2. Supervise staff members including office, education, digital communications, music andcustodial.
  3. Depending on the status of COVID-19 all administrative duties may need to utilizetechnological options during this sabbatical period.


Ordained pastor with standing in the UCC preferred but open to denominations in communion with the UCC. Will consider persons in or having completed seminary who are working toward ordination.

Ability to collaborate with staff, members and community to facilitate experiences that focus on the agreed upon theme.

Compassionate, warm and welcoming to all with a good sense of humor. Good listener who can reach out to everyone from elderly to youth.

Interested candidates should send a cover letter, resume or profile, names and contact information of 3 references, and a preaching video/link to [email protected] by 1/18/2022.

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