Worship with Us Sundays at 10am (860) 887-3747 [email protected]

Pastoral Search

Park Congregational Church is on the transformative journey of searching for a new Senior Pastor. We are excited about this opportunity! It means that we currently have a range of different ministers leading worship on Sundays, bringing many different voices and styles through our doors, as we open our community to learn from each other. If you are interested in serving in Pulpit Supply, or learning more, please feel free to email the church office.

Associate Minister

Melissa Spindler-Smith


Melissa Spindler-Smith serves part-time as our Associate Minister, focused on Youth and Family programming. Melissa leads worship the first Sunday of the month. Worship on these Sundays is meant to be lively and engaging for folks of all ages, telling stories, asking folks to interact with the message, and offering music that is familiar and easy to follow. We celebrate Communion (Holy Eucharist) during this service, and all people are invited to take part; we are thrilled to share this piece of our faith with our young people. 

Melissa grew up in New London, CT where she grew up singing and finding great joy in the Congregational Church. She attended Smith College in Northampton, MA for her bachelors, focused in Spanish and Education, then moved to Washington DC where she studied and worked as an Interior Designer and completed a post-baccalaureate premedical program. Melissa left DC to begin seminary at Union Theological School in New York City, where she began working as a Director of Child & Family Ministries at Grace Church on Broadway. Melissa moved to Boston to finish her degree at Andover Newton Theological School, working at churches in West Roxbury, MA, West Hartford, CT, and Woodstock, CT. For the past 4 years, Melissa has been leading a team of teachers while serving as the Assistant Dean of Students at a boarding school for students with Autism and other learning challenges, also teaching life skills, art, math, and health classes. She is passionate about mental health awareness and education, and helping people feel empowered to work towards their best selves and the common good. Melissa and her spouse, James, welcomed their first child later this summer and are thrilled to God’s creation anew through the eyes of an infant. She enjoys spending time hiking, knitting, and is trying to learn to love biking.

You’re welcome here. Really.


We know that might be hard to believe. Every church says “Everyone’s welcome,” right? We strive to mean it–to talk the talk and walk the walk. In 2019, our congregation became Open and Affirming–a designation within our denomination (the United Church of Christ) that offers an explicit and genuine welcome to everyone and specifically LGBT+ folks. Here’s that declaration:

In accordance with our discernment of God’s will as expressed in the life and teaching of Jesus, we, the Park Congregational Church of Norwich, CT declare ourselves Open and Affirming.

As an Open and Affirming congregation, we celebrate the sacred worth of all persons as unique individuals made in the image of God. Whatever your age, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, or physical, cognitive or emotional ability, we invite you to find a safe and nurturing spiritual home with us. All are welcome to participate, fully and without reservation, in the life, leadership, ministry and mission of this church as we seek to grow together in a community of faith.