First Congregational Church

Camden, Maine


   
First Congregational Church of Camden welcomes Reverend Dr. Ute Susanna Molitor

Camden, Maine – The First Congregational Church of Camden welcomes Reverend Doctor Ute Susanna Molitor as the congregation’s new settled pastor. Reverend Molitor commenced her position on Monday, September 24, and will lead worship beginning on Sunday, September 30 at 9:30 am in the church sanctuary at 55 Elm Street.  
 
Reverend Molitor was unanimously confirmed by members of the congregation on June 17, 2018, following her candidating sermon. The church’s seven-member search committee met weekly from June 2017 to June 2018, reviewing a large field of candidates that ultimately led to their recommendation of Reverend Molitor.    
 
Richard Anderson and Jinx Hufnagel, co-chairs of the Search Committee, said that after one entire year of meeting every week and reviewing 77 candidates, Ute was the unanimous choice. They found that after being initially attracted by her impressive resume, the traits that kept the committee engaged in addition to her keen intellect were her lovely sense of humor, her humility, and her deep spirituality. "We all felt comfortable in her presence and are excited about her creative and open approach to new thinking about the church of the future and how it can maintain a critical role in the life of the community.”
 
Greg Worden, church moderator, said, "Ute joins us at an exciting time as we are examining what it means to become a church of the 21st century, engaging in self-reflection while simultaneously deepening our ties with the community. She brings added energy, excitement and ideas and we have high hopes for the future.”
 
Rev. Molitor has more than 20 years of ministerial experience, having served UCC churches in Wisconsin, Massachusetts, and New Mexico. Most recently, she served as Chaplain within a German partner church of the United Church of Christ. Her role included ministry with the elderly, pastoral care for chronically mentally ill and/or addicted adults, and children with behavioral and emotional challenges. As a dual citizen of Germany and the United States, Ute Molitor has studied extensively in both countries, earning advanced degrees in Theology and American Literature, as well as a Doctorate in Ministry, Pastoral Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy. Additionally, she is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, Certified Interim Minister, trained spiritual guide, and holds a diploma in Craniosacral Therapy. Rev. Molitor is currently studying with Richard Rohr, James Finley, and Cynthia Bourgeault as part of the "Living School” of the Center for Action and Contemplation (www.cac.org). The program fosters direct engagement with the suffering and joys of the world, grounded in Christian contemplative practice, and immersed in dialogue with other faith traditions as well as modern science.   
 
When asked about her hopes for her new role, she replied, "The congregation has a strong legacy of caring for the real needs not only of its members of all ages but of the wider community and our world. I hope to support them in this effort, in collaboration with other faith communities and organizations. I am particularly excited about the expressed desire of congregants to deepen their own spiritual journey across the generations. Many are asking how to journey faithfully and mindfully in our rapidly changing interconnected and interreligious global context in a time that is also marked by heightened polarization. I want to be part of this journey.”
 
Rev. Molitor and her husband, Mark Burrows, are also drawn to this area for its natural beauty and engaging cultural life. Mark’s paternal ancestors actually lived in Camden in the early 1790s. He has offered talks in Camden from time to time on subjects ranging from theology to poetry. They have a blended family with two adult daughters.
 
Founded in 1805, The First Congregational Church of Camden is an Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ. Worship service is held every Sunday morning at 9:30 am, and all are welcome. Sunday school for pre-K through ninth grade students begins at 8:45 am, and nursery care is provided during worship. A confirmation class is also meeting this fall. The congregation offers a number of outreach programs, including Heavenly Threads Thrift Shop, the Shields Mission, Soup’s On!, the Friends of Music concert series, among others. For more information about the life of First Congregational Church, visit www.camdenucc.org, follow us on Facebook, call 207-236-4821, or stop by any Sunday morning.

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