Rev. Sean and the Board of Trustees are excited to announce that we will welcome an Intern Minister to our congregation for the 2013 – 14 church year. (September 1 – June 1) Ja Rickard, a student at Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, will be our Intern Minister.
Ja (pronounced “jay”) is originally from Chicago but spent her summers at her father’s summer home in Ingleside, IL and fell in love with the country atmosphere. After a five-year move to Denver, CO, she came back to this area and settled in Bristol, WI where she built her own home, which was a dream come true. After living there for about 12 years, she realized that shoveling snow was not her strong point and took off for Phoenix, AZ. Then, after about 5 years, the Midwest again tugged at her soul and she returned. She currently lives in Racine, WI where from her front porch she can gaze over Lake Michigan.
She describes herself as “somewhat of a late bloomer” because she began work on her Bachelor’s Degree at the age of 55. She received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Religion from American Public University and within weeks, enrolled at Meadville Lombard Theological School where this May she received her Master of Divinity degree. In June, she began work on a Master of Arts in Leadership Studies, which she will complete in May of 2014.
Ja’s home congregation is Bradford Community Church in Kenosha, WI and as part of her seminary training, she did a two-year field placement there. She also spent four months assuming ministerial duties while the settled minister was ill and was their summer minister.
She shares her home with two dogs: Stella, a five pound Yorkshire Terrier and Sophie, an Australian Cattle dog/Beagle mix; along with two cats who are brothers: Gandolph and Oberon. In her spare time, Ja likes to, “take off and go camping.” She says, “My dogs and I have camped all over the Southwest and recently camped in Indiana while I attended General Assembly.”
Having an Intern Minister is a wonderful opportunity for the congregation and for Ja. According to the Unitarian Universalist Association:
…[An] internship offer[s] opportunities to develop ministerial skills in a supportive setting and with an experienced supervisor. It provides an environment in which to integrate historical and theological understandings with the practice of ministry—developing skills, self-awareness, confidence, ease in relationships, and a sense of vocation.
We hope you will welcome Ja warmly when she joins us September 1.