Our Pastor

JBGS 19 (2)

The Rev. Jocelyn B. Gardner Spencer was called to serve as our pastor in May 2013.  She is the 37th in a long line of ministers dating back to our founding in 1690.

Jocelyn believes that what we do in the church has the power to transform our lives and our world, making us into agents of justice and beauty, mercy and joy, and she loves being part of such holy transformation.  She appreciates all the varied facets of ministry, and she particularly enjoys leading worship, preaching, and creating education and formation opportunities for people of all ages.

Jocelyn received her M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School in 2010 and was ordained at First Church in Cambridge, MA, in 2011.  Before coming to Woodstock, she served as Pastoral Resident at Village Church in Wellesley, MA, in a program designed to give outstanding young pastors a strong entrance into ministry.  Jocelyn has also served as Assistant Pastor for Family Life at First Church in Wenham, MA; as Ministerial Intern at Old South Church in Boston, MA; and as Chaplaincy Intern at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA.

Beyond our local congregation, Jocelyn is involved with the life of the wider church.  She serves on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ, and as Moderator of Together As One, a newly-forming unified Conference of the UCC in Southern New England.  Jocelyn recently completed a term on the National Planning Team of the 2030 Clergy Network, a nation-wide network of clergy under the age of 40 in the United Church of Christ.  She has served as a Dean at Silver Lake Conference Center, most recently leading “Food For Thought,” a program for middle schoolers about food, sustainability, and faith.  She is a trained Racial Justice Facilitator and also serves as a volunteer on-call chaplain at Day Kimball Hospital.

Prior to seminary, Jocelyn worked for the EcoLogic Development Fund, a nonprofit organization that supports community-based sustainable development in Latin America.  She holds a B.A. from Williams College in environmental studies.  Themes of sustainability and interconnectedness, as well as the people and places of Latin America, continue to weave themselves into her life and ministry.  These days, when she’s not at church, you might find her reading, making music, or visiting a local farmer’s market with her family.


Contact Jocelyn

Phone:  860-928-7405

Email:  jocelyn@firstchurchwoodstock.org