Sharing the Journey
The Pierson Internship Program offers Seminary students and graduates hands-on church ministry under the guidance of our pastor, Joel Huntington. In the late 1980s, a bequest to South Church allowed us to set up an endowment to help with the practical education of ministers-in-training. We have been blessed by the now 16 individuals who have learned with us and served us over the past twenty-three years.
In summer 2016, we are getting ready to welcome our 16th summer Peirson intern. The Peirson program—named for a founding family of the church that left a bequest in 1989 for the training of ministers—brings a seminarian to South for the developing of skills and the sharing of gifts. The program commenced in 1992 and since then we have had a variety of students from a half-dozen seminaries. This year our seminarian, Jim Day, is from the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge. Jim is on a non-traditional track. He is a creative artist who is pursuing his Master’s in Liturgical Arts in order to enrich the life of worship and deepen the life of faith. Jim Day is also a resident here in the Berkshires and a member of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.
Barbara Rice was our 15th Pierson Intern and served as interim pastor during Joel’s sabbatical in 2013. A recent graduate of Union Seminary, Barbara shared her theological interests in classes, participated with other downtown ministers in social justice ministries, led us in Sunday worship, visited with hospitalized and home-bound parishioners, performed funerals, and supported our food pantry and St. Joe’s Kitchen ministries. Barbara has gone on to Union Congregational Church, UCC, in Montclair, NJ, where she will be ordained.