Rev. Paul F. Goodman was welcomed as the new pastor at Plantsville Congregational United Church of Christ during a church-wide celebration on Sunday, Feb. 25. Goodman has been serving as an interim minister since Rev. Richard “Sandy” Koenig moved to another church in 2014.
With his installation as pastor, Goodman became just the 18th pastor since the church was founded in 1865.
“The installation was exactly what I hoped it would be,” he said, “a celebration of our life in Christ, the diversity of the congregation and of the joy the congregation and I have found in each other.”
Goodman, 65, grew up in Milford. He is a former special education teacher and a graduate of Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He was ordained in Oct. 1989 at First United Church of Christ in Milford, where he was an associate pastor for 10 years.
The installation ceremony began with music from the PCUCC bell choire, along with the John Smayda jazz septet. Goodman was led into the sanctuary in a conga line led by friends and colleagues. First Lutheran Church pastor Rev. Joshua Rinas read the scriptures, while Rev. Barbara Libby, a UCC minister from Rhode Island, delivered the sermon.
The ceremony culminated with a presentation of artwork from the Sunday school children—a picture of a tree, decorated with thumbprint leaves—and songs by the confirmation class and youth groups.
“We’re thrilled to have Paul as part of the Southington Interfaith Clergy Association,” said First Congregational Church of Southington senior pastor Rev. Dr. Ron Brown. “He brings great energy and gifts, and we’re happy to have such a wonderful UCC colleague here in Southington.”
Taneta McCaw, co-chair of the PCUCC board of deacons, said that she’s excited about Goodman’s vision for the church, including a number of electronic enhancements.
“I’m excited to see his visions for where he wants to bring the church. He’ll lead us forward in a new direction,” she said. “It will be fun to work with him as he takes our church to new heights.”
Goodman said that the church needs to become more digitally-friendly and use a wider array of social media to connect to the community.
Plantsville Congregational United Church of Christ is located at 109 Church St. in Plantsville. Sunday worship services and Sunday school are at 10 a.m. All are welcome.
For more information, call the church office at (860) 628-5595.