Pastor Jack Cook
Second Congregational Church in Manchester is fortunate to have a pastor who has more than three decades of experience.
The Rev. Jack Cook has worked in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Texas, and Maryland. He came to Second Congregational Church after he retired from serving as the pastor of First Church of Christ in New Britain, CT for seven years.
Pastor Cook, who lives in the Kensington section of Berlin says he was attracted to Second Congregational Church for several reasons, "The church is what I would consider a small, urban church," Cook said. "It's small in membership, not in building, and it's urban but it's not inner city. That's been a little specialization of mine. Most of the churches I've served have been like that."
Cook, who was a college professor before entering the religious sector, has worked as a pastor for 36 years. He looks forward to bringing that experience to a new church.
"The whole purpose of ministry is really relationship-building," Cook said. "The goal is to build relationships that are of trust and honesty and integrity that allow people to trust you when they need to turn to you in times of need."
Cook describes Second Congregational Church, which has roughly 150 members, as being open-minded and progressive. The congregation is designated "open and affirming," which means it accepts anyone, Cook said, including members of the LGBT community.
"The big issue is equal rights," Cook said. "A number of our churches have made that vote, but a number haven't. For a church like this, in a city like Manchester, it's progressive. I see myself as a progressive
left-of-center kind of person."
Cook said no matter how much time he spends at the church, he hopes to continue its mission of supporting local neighborhoods however he can.
"This church has turned its commitment to its neighborhood," Cook said. "For a church of this size, I'm really struck by how much they do."