Rev. John Kennedy

Senior Pastor/Head of Staff • Email Me

I was raised the son of a United Church of Christ pastor. Growing up as a pastor’s son I always knew what it was like to be within the shadow of the church’s steeple. For my family our lives were spent living in a parsonage next door to the church. The church and its surrounding grounds were an extension of my home. They were the worst of times and the best of times. I experienced the pain that occurs to a pastor’s family when conflicts arose in our faith community, and I experienced some of the greatest acts of love, grace, and kindness from our faith communities. I have no memory of God not being a part of my life. The church was always like a part of my extended family that nurtured me and also tested me. Even though I was always active in the church, I never entertained the idea of being a pastor even though people would often ask me that question.

 

My point is that when I received my call to Ordained Ministry, I did not leave something I disliked, but left something that I loved and that was part of my identity. I felt limited by the badge and the gun. I felt God calling me to reach out to others who struggled and needed to experience Christ's love. God used all of my life, to minister to and with others to share the love and hope of Jesus Christ. God had rescued me through his love and I wanted to share that same hope.

 

I believe God still performs miracles and that God uses people to accomplish those miracles, and to transform, and create new beginnings out of dead-ends. I am passionate about creating safe places and spaces for people to be who they really are on their faith journeys. So I am passionate about creating and nurturing an environment where it is not only ok to seek, explore, and question, but where it is actually encouraged and can be fun. I am passionate about encouraging and helping congregations to be lay-driven churches of the 21st century and discover the joy of authentic and covenantal community with healthy family systems. I have had a life-long passion for social-justice and believe mission should address immediate needs as wells as address the systemic causes of those needs. I am steeped in the teachings of Gandhi and have studied the works of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for 34-years. I work passionately to foster a church with extravagant welcome for all God's people. Our Congregation just became officially Open & Affirming on July 14, 2014. I work hard working with the Deacons to bring members into the church. I do so in a way that listens and appreciates their story but also I share the rich story of who we are as the UCC to help searchers make a informed decision that helps them find the church home that feels like coming "home".