Queer Pastoral Residency
The Queer Pastoral Residency is a pilot initiative, which started in 2022 and which provides a “first call” opportunity for LGBTQIA+ (queer) people at the beginning of their pastoral ministry. The resident serves three-quarter time at First Church Somerville and one-quarter time with the Southern New England Conference. The two-year residency provides the pastoral resident with experience in worship leadership, preaching, faith formation, and transformative community engagement in an affirming church at First Church Somerville. At the Conference, resident engages and supports local congregations in creating greater inclusion and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people within the various settings of the church and community.
Many queer candidates struggle to obtain a first call due to their identity. “This residency program grew out of watching talented, brilliant, and called queer seminary graduates who didn’t fit the ‘traditional mold’ struggle to get their first call in the local church,” said Rev. Jenn Macy. “The church needs these folx we’ve sent to the margins. We need these pastors to have rich opportunities to hone their pastoral identity in spaces that accept all of who they are. We will not be the church that exists in the dreams of God without embracing all the people God has called to service.”
With this program, First Church is trying to provide this space. Our first and current Queer Pastoral Resident, Michael Streib, is delighted that First Church Somerville and the Conference has provided this opportunity: “I am excited to live out my passion for pastoral and queer ministry and to support congregations throughout the conference in deepening their commitment to queer justice or embarking on this journey,” Michael said. “I feel blessed that I get to engage in the work of making our church a sacred space of and for everyone in an environment that actively accepts and embraces all of who I am.”
Learn more about our current Queer Pastoral Resident Michael Streib.