Name of Church: United Presbyterian Church (UPC)

Address: 109 Seaside Ave, Milford, CT 06460

Phone: 203-874-7088



Primary Contact: Janice Fletcher-Yarson, Elder and President., 203-214-4079

COM Liaison: Rev. John Sandel

Description of the Congregation and its Ministry:

The United Presbyterian Church of Milford, CT has 64 members (16 male), all European-American, with an average attendance of 30–35. The median age is about 60. The congregation started as a neighborhood Bible study of a Congregational church in 1921 and became a Presbyterian congregation after WWII. Few current members were raised as Presbyterian; many were raised as Roman Catholic and some as Baptist. Milford is “a small city with a big heart” between Bridgeport and New Haven with about 53,000 residents, predominantly Irish and Italian.

We have a Music Director who plays the organ 3 Sundays a month and leads our small choir, and a half-time Office Administrator and Financial Secretary. We offer Sunday School the second and fourth Sundays with an average attendance of two, as well as nursery care as requested. We support, and volunteer en masse at, several local missions: the Beth-El Center for the homeless and the hungry, where we have prepared and served a hot meal the third Tuesday of every month for the past 3 years, the Mary Magdalene House (a halfway house for women), the Milford Pastoral Counseling Center, the Greater Bridgeport Council of Churches and Chapel on the Green in New Haven.  As part of a community outreach effort we share our church building with over a dozen outside groups every week, including several sessions of Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Birth to Three, and local music clubs.

In the past year, following the sale of an unused building lot, we have made many repairs and capital improvements: replacing the cedar shakes and windows, painting the church building, sealing our parking lots, cleaning and repairing all our equipment and musical instruments.

A series of interviews of members of the congregation conducted by a friend of the congregation, who is a marketing consultant, has resulted in a number of recommendations to enhance the vitality of the congregation. At its October 2018 meeting, session enthusiastically committed itself to working with and building upon these recommendations. We are not looking for a pastor to do all the work. Much of this work must be done by the laity. Already (to take one example) we have begun asking the community to donate used plastic bags for members of the congregation to convert into “Plarn” (plastic yarn) and crochet into waterproof mats for the homeless. We hope that the branding of our church as “My Place” will provide a useful tool to invite others to make our church their place too. In the long run we will build on our mission phrase “Hope, Healing & Hospitality.”


Top Five Traits:

Strategy and Vision

Bible-Based Preaching and Worship

Change Agent

Financial Management

Motivator and Bridge Builder


Specific Areas of Responsibility:

We are looking for a pastor that can has a proven track record of helping a congregation implement a strategy to strengthen their presence and help grow the church, through engagement with other churches and organizations in the community. Someone who is able to guide us through the process with a non-judgmental approach but with a loving firm hand. The candidate should have an appreciation for finance and help us set short- and long-term financial goals. At the same time being able to provide Bible-based, faith-driven preaching, that speaks to us and the world we live in today. Someone who can evoke Christ’s love in us to guide us in our daily lives as well as to help us serve the greater community. A tolerant and open-minded pastor that will be able to demonstrate empathy to individual members’ concerns and needs.

Terms of Call:

Working Units per Week              8/13 Units

Effective Salary                               42,842


Description of Larger Community around the Congregation:
UPC is located in a residential neighborhood sandwiched between Long Island Sound and the Milford Harbor.

The town’s website description of Milford:

Welcome to Milford, “A Small City with a Big Heart!” Strolling through downtown you get that small town feeling coupled with the charm and the sense of history of an English settlement dating from 1639. Walk over the Hotchkiss Bridge, gaze at the gorge framed by the arch of the Memorial Bridge, stop for an ice cream cone, and rent a bike and tour, then return to have a lobster dinner. Or you might opt for a romantic Victorian setting at a classic New England Inn.

Seventeen miles of Long Island Sound coastline funnel into our harbor that winds its way to meet the Wepawaug River in the heart of town. The sixth oldest town in Connecticut, 50,000 residents are proud to boast of a meticulously maintained “town green,” the second longest in New England. Multiple memorials in honor of those who have served in past conflicts parade down the grassway. A memorial bridge provides a stone passageway of history of our ancestors.

A feeling of “Milford Pride,” along with ample cultural, recreational, educational and employment opportunities make the City more than just a great place to visit. Many high quality arts and crafts shows, varied festivals and events make Milford a destination for daytrippers. Water recreation abounds with access from boat launches, the Milford Lisman Landing Marina, multiple city beaches, and Silver Sands State Park. The Connecticut Audubon Coastal Center at Milford Point offers views of the estuary and Long Island Sound and their inhabitants and an educational program to explain all. The new architecturally awarded addition to Milford Hospital provides for health care needs as it has for the last 80 years.

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