June 16, 2024

Newman Congregational Church, UCC Announces New Interim Pastor


Newman Congregational Church, located at 100 Newman Ave. in Rumford, R.I. invites you to join us for worship on Palm Sunday, April 2nd, when we will be led in worship by our new Interim Pastor, the Rev. Dr. Laurene Bowers. A special coffee hour will im-mediately follow worship so that members and guests can officially welcome her.

Laurene comes to us from Christ Church in Bethlehem, PA, where she served as Lead Pastor. She has 40 years of ministry experience including six years as Conference Associate Minister for Congregational Life and Vitality with the Penn Central Conference of the United Church of Christ, where she helped churches with the search and call process for settled and interim pastors. Ironically, she served as Senior Pastor at First Congregational Church in Randolph, MA, (from 1998-2011) where Newman’s former pastor, Timoth Sylvia, now serves. This will not be her first pastorate in Rhode Island, as she served Sayles Memorial Church in Lincoln as Pastor for 7 years in the early 90’s.

Dr. Bowers is the author of several books published by Pilgrim Press, including Becoming a Multicultural Church; Transformative Worship; Designing Contemporary Congregations: Strategies to Attract Those Under Fifty; The God Beyond Organized Religion, and she has a new book coming out on the future of American Christianity. She holds three Master’s degrees and two Doctorates and has been a Professor of World Religions at Quincy College.

Laurene and her husband, also a UCC pastor, have a home in Narragansett, where they plan to move permanently to be closer to a son who lives in Federal Hill and a daughter and son-in-law, the parents of their two grandchildren, who will be living in Mass.

Laurene is excited about this next step in her journey and looks forward to helping us put our best foot forward so we can attract the best possible settled pastor. She is uniquely qualified to lead us through this interim time, and we feel blessed that she’ll be leading us.

Newman UCC is an inclusive Christian community dedicated to living Jesus' message of love, peace and justice through joyful worship, compassionate service, radical hospitality and responsible stewardship. Shared commitment and study inform our way of being as we seek to live the love and justice of Jesus in the world.

Seeking to live the love and Justice of Jesus, Newman UCC is committed to the work of Racial Justice. We are engaging in personal, group and community anti-racist work through reflection, study and action.

No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey…you are welcome here! Seriously…Jesus welcomes you, and we will too.


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