First Congregational Church of Auburn welcomes new pastor

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After a year-long search and selection process, the First Congregational Church of Auburn is excited to welcome a new Pastor, the Rev. Dan Spacek, to itscommunity.

Spacek stepped into this position in March 2012 and brings with him, among many talents, a passion for leading creative worship. With a love of music and drama, his sermons and style aim to bring together tradition, innovation and a healthy measure of fun. He states one of his goals as celebrating the many strengths that the congregation has to offer – be they musical, decorative, reflective, energetic, etc. - and incorporating them into a shared experience of worship. He also attempts to surprise the congregation at times in an effort to wake people up from the rut of conventional, sometimes rote, worship, and enliven them toward more critical analysis of the Bible, spirituality and faith.

In his first sermon at the church, Spacek professed his appreciation for zombie movies, drawing on the parallel of the walking dead among us who go through the motions of life in a joyless, aimless manner. The message to the congregation: embrace God’s deeper vision, unbury hidden dreams and gifts and walk as people fully alive.

The systematic and comprehensive selection process for Spacek culminated in a unanimous affirmative vote by the entire congregation in for his appointment as pastor of the church.

Ben Edwards, a member of the search committee describes Spacek as being a "a contemporary pastor with a deep faith who is very present to the moment. He brings this presence to his message and it immediately translates to people."

A second member of the selection committee, Bev Hill, said that Spacek "has a heart connection to whomever he is with at the moment. He appreciates what is happening now and he has been teaching me to live life more fully in the moment."

Hill said Spacek is very comfortable with himself and, among his many talents, brings humor, spirit and deep faith to the church.

Moving to Auburn from Sandwich, Mass., (Cape Cod), with his wife, Andrea, and newborn son, Wyatt, Spacek brings a love of outdoor activities, craft-brewed beerand his beloved New England sports teams. While newly relocated from the east coast, Spacek is no stranger to California. He attended seminary in Berkeley at the Pacific School of Religion, graduating in 2002.

Spacek believes that "the walk of faith is not one of easy answers, so we must encourage each other to ask good questions." He views the Bible as a guide to be taken seriously, but not literally.

The Auburn First Congregational Church is within the United Church of Christ denomination. It is an Open and Affirming church that welcomes all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, culture, gender, marital status, mental and physical ability, differing theological perspectives, age, socio-economic background or sexual orientation.

Spacek reaffirms this stating, "Practicing radical welcome is at the heart of Jesus’ teaching, and we try to create a community where people can truly come and be loved and accepted for who they are."

Service is held at 10 a.m. every Sunday at 710 Auburn Ravine Road, Auburn. Visitors are always welcome. For more information, visit www.1congregationalchurchauburnorg.