Our alumni are out in the world doing amazing things. We caught up with the Rev. Marisa Brown Ludwig and asked her give us an update:
I spent four years part-time at Hartford Seminary in the Cooperative Master of Divinity Degree (2004-2008), completing the Women’s Leadership Institute and Building Abrahamic Partnerships I and II. Then I transferred to Andover Newton (Theological Seminary) to finish, completing my degree in December of 2010. I did a year of Clinical Pastoral Education after that, and was called to my first ministry as Associate Pastor of First Church of Christ in Longmeadow, MA, UCC. I was ordained in December 2013.
I love many aspects of pastoral ministry, but particular passions of mine are growing church that is safe and inclusive for LGBTQIA community and building a local family of interfaith communities who connect in worship and mission together. Both of these things are flourishing for me in Western Mass!
While serving in Longmeadow, I am the Communications Coordinator for the Interfaith Council of Western Mass, and am Chair of the Task Force on Ecumenism & Interfaith Relations for the Massachusetts Conference UCC. I co-launched a weekly interfaith clergy/community coffee hour at our local area Starbucks, inviting conversation with a faith presence. I nurture the Open & Affirming Ministries of our church, helping to found a monthly community LGBTQ support group and marching in the local PRIDE parade with our members.
I always was drawn to bridge-building work, but it was Hartford Seminary that fostered and equipped me to be a leader in these ministries – and it couldn’t be more needed than in this post-election time! Building Abrahamic Partnerships and the Women’s Leadership Institute both gave me deep relationships with interfaith peers and mentors, and helped me learn what my personal gifts are as a faith leader who is also a woman.