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First Congregational Church of Williamstown Welcomes New Interim Pastor
11:00AM / Thursday, August 20, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Rev. Mark Seifried has joined First Congregational Church in Williamstown as an intentional interim minister.  

Seifried has relocated to the Berkshires from Boston, where he most recently served as the interim senior minister at Brighton Allston Congregational Church. In addition to assuming pastoral duties such as leading worship services, counseling and administrative functions, he will assist the congregation in furthering their efforts to advance racial, social, economic and climate justice, explore contemplative practices and an emerging progressive Christian theology, as well as support the church in its search and call processes for a settled pastor.

The Berkshires are an ideal setting for this newcomer: He is an avid hiker, loves music and books, and loves to garden and spend time outdoors.

Seifried attended seminary at Andover Newton Theological School and has worked with urban, rural and suburban congregations in the United Church of Christ (UCC) throughout Massachusetts for 20 years. First Church Williamstown is his eighth interim ministry setting and follows work for an urban mission church for people living in poverty, with a focus on food ministries. Adapting to the conditions of the coronavirus pandemic, he shepherded the operations to go from serving indoors to outdoors, 400 to 700 families a month, securing PPE, re-training volunteers, and partnering with other organizations. 

That experience prompted him to declare, "During this uncertain, scary, and blessed time of global transition, local churches will have opportunities as never before to serve communities finding themselves in various states of trauma, grief, and deep spiritual need."

Since the pandemic struck, First Church Williamstown has continued to hold worship services with a wide range of guest preachers using the Zoom platform and Facebook Live. Willinet, Williamstown's public television service, also broadcasts and posts links on its web site to the recordings of the services, as does the church website.

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