Students at commencement

CPL Site List

Important note: The following listing includes Christian Public Leader mentor sites for Master of Divinity (M.Div.) students from Fall 2014. New sites for Fall 2015 will be posted in mid-August.

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[SITE FULL] Macalester Plymouth United Church

Address:1658 Lincoln Ave
City:Saint Paul

Student Information

What kind of Christian Public Leader student would be right for you:A student interested in exploring general pastoral ministry in an established, healthy intergenerational congregation.
How many students have you worked with in the past:3
How many rising students or seminarians do you work with currently:0
For this coming semester, what is the maximum number of students with whom you could work:1
What is the optimal length of learning for students working with you:2 semesters
Why would this length of time be best:Ministry opportunities expand as relationships grow. It takes a minimum of one semester to get to know each other. We might be open to something longer than one academic year if all goes well.

Site Information - [THIS SITE IS FULL]

Site keywords:Worship revitalization Visual arts Environmental justice Campus Outreach Youth ministry Children's ministry Relationship with Shift UCC/transgender community Peacemaking
What is your congregation or nonprofit organization all about:Macalester Plymouth United Church is a vibrant faith community in St. Paul, Minnesota next door to Macalester College.

We do not claim to have all the answers but, together, we strive to ask the right questions as we seek God’s will in our lives.

We are mid-sized: Small enough to be friendly, large enough to be vibrant and diverse.

We believe that God calls us into the church, binding us in covenant with faithful people of all ages, races, genders and sexual orientations.

We support each other in Christian love and concern. We reach out to those in greatest need locally and globally with our time, talents and resources. As a congregation, we are known for our actions that support social justice across a wide span of long-range and immediate issues.

In and through our church, we strive daily to bear witness to Christ, coming together to celebrate, explore & live our faith.

Throughout our history, we have grown through the uniting of congregations of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Church of Christ. Macalester Plymouth is an Open and Affirming and More Light congregation which is church jargon for being welcoming of the GLBT community. We are also a Just Peace church, committed to working towards Peace with Justice.
Please tell us a bit about your site:This congregation is the result of many mergers, so it has many starting points. But the primary merger happened over 40 years ago between Plymouth Congregational (UCC) and Macalester Presbyterian (PCUSA). Macalester Presbyterian Church had been meeting in the current building, what had been the chapel of Macalester College, and Plymouth Congregational came and joined them. Continuing in both denominations has been wonderful and challenging given the different ethos of each. While we take both of our denominational affiliations seriously, we take a laid back and practical approach to polity. The merger of congregation was facilitated by a sense of shared vision and mission, serving God through worship and mission. Our proximity to Macalester College has meant we value education and the importance of encouraging the next generation. We do this currently through our youth program, and have in the past through our relationship with Macalester students. We hope to revitalize that relationship in the future.
Please tell us what a student can learn at your site:Students here will join a vibrant community of faith as it seeks to discern its identity and future. This is a challenging time for all mainline churches. This is a community that is open to change and has demonstrated great courage in its commitment to justice. It helped resettle refugees in the 1980s, organized peace protests in the 90s, and pushed for GLBT rights and marriage equality in the last decade. The challenge it now faces is to deepen the theological reflection on these commitments and strengthen the spirituality of the congregation.

Mentor Information: Adam Blons

Current position:Senior Minister
Please tell us a little bit about yourself as a Christian public leader:I am a graduate of Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA. I was first ordained in the UCC and served 12 years in a UCC church in California. All of my professional ministry experience has happened since 9/11 and has been shaped in part by our responses to that event. I was called to this church in June of 2013 because they thought I would help them take risks. My goals include revitalizing worship, creating a more intentional and intimate church culture, establishing a long-term relationship with a congregation that is culturally different than ours, and integrating children and youth more in the life of the church.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself as a mentor of students:Effective Christian public leaders are constantly translating between Christianity and the dynamics of everyday life. They must be grounded in their faith having integrated the Christian story into their own. They must be open to the experiences of people around them and across the world. The kind of mentoring that has helped me involved good questions and gentle, but sometimes firm encouragement. As a mentor, I try to offer appropriately challenging opportunities for growth and support for self reflection.