Rev. Alan Parker, a lifelong resident of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, began serving as Pastor of the United Church of Craftsbury – the “Church on the Common” - in July 2007.
Alan is the son, grandson, nephew, and brother of Congregational/United Church of Christ pastors. His father served churches in Island Pond, Hardwick, and Newport in the 1950’s and 60’s. Alan was absent from church for nearly thirty years after graduating from high school, but found himself feeling ‘spiritually adrift’ in his early forties, needing the fellowship, spiritual discipline, and intimacy of a congregation in order to re-connect with, as he says, “the Holy Spirit that was constantly calling, even when I wasn’t listening very well.”
Alan was ordained in October of 2013 as a minister with standing in the Vermont Conference of the United Church of Christ the Vermont Conference of the United Church of Christ. When not engaged in the work of pastoral ministry, Alan loves reading; gardening; fishing and hunting; and “anything that has to do with trees, wood, or flowing water.” He lives in Danville, VT, and has two grown sons, Amos and Benjamin.
Alan summarizes his call to pastoral ministry this way:
“In a world that is crying for a commitment to social, economic, ecological, and spiritual justice that grows out of an ever-deepening relationship with a loving Creator, our culture sends us the message that we are ‘on our own,’ that individual pursuits are the most important thing. This is not only untrue; it is not possible. We need to worship and act in community in order to be healthy, spiritually alive individuals.
“In our culture, a life of faith seems too often to be either dismissed as irrelevant or archaic, or it is packaged as a set of harsh, judgmental prescriptions for how we - and others - are supposed to live our lives. Neither of these paths brings us closer to God.
“The best path to an honest, sustaining spiritual life is to fall into holy love with your neighbor, say a prayer of thanks to God for the chance to do so, and keep listening carefully to God’s still-speaking voice. A life lived with Jesus Christ need not be one of smug sanctimony; nor is it embarrassing or irrelevant in a world that is fixated on material things, facts, and the privileges of comfort. A Christ-centered life is a path to the deepest kind of love; a prescription for informed hopefulness; and an ever-new way of seeing the world with the delight with which God fashioned the Creation.”
Along with all the worshippers at the Church on the Common, Alan invites all – especially including those who have lost touch with their faith traditions or have never had them – to join in this holy, challenging, and joyous journey.