My name is Jenny Jahn, and I have been attending Wright Congregational United Church of Christ in Boise, ID for four years. The United Church of Christ rather snuck up on me. My family and I were new to the neighborhood and were in that horrid search of church shopping. We test drove several and decided to try the corner church less than a mile away. While the people of the church were, and still are, lovely and welcoming people, we struggle with the obvious fact that we were the youngest people there, by decades. We struggle with the thought that the UCC community in our area is quite literally dying out. Needless to say, we have stayed and even became members. Not as a token or gesture, but because when a small church is as warm as this congregation is, having multiple pseudo-grandparents for our children is a very nice thing to have. Our church is now multi-generational and, while we are still praying for younger people and families, it is mighty and growing.
Our church believes in bringing up people to serve where they would like and are led. It has been an honor to serve in several ways. In 2018, I was invited by the pastor to lead with her for the Christmas Eve service. I still reflect as I was watching from the front the display of all those candles lit up in welcoming Jesus’s birthday in this way. In 2019, I answered an invitation to serve in South America at a newly formed birth center in Vilcabamba, Ecuador. My UCC church supported me profoundly both financially and spiritually. I am a licensed midwife, and this was a way to serve people in need with a seven-week stint, and my church held me as well as my family who stayed home. This is yet another example of how influential the UCC church is!
I serve as a lay leader, an usher, and I am also a deacon. Occasionally, I am offered to preach when the pastor is out and for Pride Sunday. It is my great joy is to read the scriptures for the congregation. I have preached at several churches in the past seven years, and I feel called to be a pastor of a small, community UCC church. This has been my calling for the last seven years and now it is time for me to answer this calling. A friend asked me if I would start my own church, but I don’t have the ego for that; there are plenty of churches that are established and in need of pastors. I am a Member in Discernment in the Central Pacific Conference of the UCC and just began the M.Div. program as Pacific School of Religion. I truly believe that the UCC here in my own community can thrive and grow with continued multigenerational congregations, and I hope to help usher this.