First Congregrational Church welcomes new minister

Published 7:05 am Monday, January 11, 2010

Elizabeth Endicott is back in the Midwest.

Endicott, who started as minister at First Congregational Church in Austin on Jan. 4, was raised in Colorado and Wisconsin, and she said she’s happy to be back in this part of the country after previously working in Massachusetts.

She also said she’s enjoyed her brief time in Austin, a city she had never been to before getting her new job.

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“It’s so warm and inviting,” she said.

Endicott, 52, said a big draw of the new job was allowing her 12-year-old daughter to see a part of the country she hadn’t seen before.

“When we’re living in a global world,” Endicott said, “it’s important to understand we’re not insular or insulated.”There is, however, still some work left in Endicott’s move to Austin — she said she is currently staying in a borrowed home and is in the process of permanently relocating.

During the transition, she said she’s received a lot of support from the roughly 180 members of her church.

“It’s been terrific,” Endicott said. “People have been unbelievably welcoming.”

Endicott said her main goal for the church, which is part of the United Church of Christ, is to show the community that it’s very open.

Traditionally, Endicott said, the UCC is very focused on social-justice issues and welcoming to people from all backgrounds.

On a personal level, Endicott said it’s important that she gets to know her members well as quickly as she can.

That Endicott is working toward all of this is a good example of never saying never — when she was younger, she did not see herself going down this career path.

“I was never going to be a minister,” she said.

In fact, Endicott received a business administration degree while in college in Wisconsin, and she worked in the corporate world briefly.

But she said she became disillusioned with it and her faith called her in. She later received a master of divinity degree and has been ordained for 25 years, working as a minister like her father before her.

Like with any job, Endicott said there are struggles at times. However, she said she ultimately enjoys her work and feels strongly about the need for a solid church community.

“Life is tough,” Endicott said, “and if we don’t have people there to help us along, it can be a very hard thing.”