The Rev. Heather Ramsey Mabrouk
HAMBURG — Saint James United Church of Christ will welcome the Rev. Heather Ramsey Mabrouk to its pulpit on Sunday, Dec. 9. Mabrouk is the church’s fourth senior pastor in nearly 75 years.
Mabrouk has spent time working in education and youth ministries, as well as in preaching and counseling.
She grew up on Massachusetts’s North Shore, where she attended and was confirmed in Second Congregational Church, a UCC affiliate. She studied elementary education at Furman University in Greenville, S.C., where she began a master’s program, teaching fifth grade in nearby Piedmont.
She was invited to chaperone a youth retreat for her home church. “I found I really longed to be able to share my faith with my students,” she said. “I felt a strong calling to ministry.”
Mabrouk then returned to Massachusetts to attend Andover Newton Seminary, where she received her Master’s of Divinity degree. She began serving as the associate for youth, education and family life at a UCC church in Marblehead, Mass., in 2005.
In 2010, she was ordained and hired by her own church, where she gained “lots of administrative experience. I worked with and managed staff and volunteers,” ministering to people “at all ages and stages of life.” She also spent the last 10 years leading UCC confirmation retreats for the Massachusetts Conference.
Mabrouk said that she was attracted to St. James “because of the energy and dedication of its lay leadership and because of its vibrant, active youth program. I was very impressed by the members’ connections with each other and with the wider community.”
She said she considers among her strengths “my teaching skills, which I know have made me a more effective preacher and communicator. I have a passion for focusing on themes that resonate with congregants, and help them make connections to God in ways that fit, who they are and where they are, in life’s journey.”
She also said she feels at home in Western New York. “I love the small-town feel of Hamburg and both my husband and I are impressed with the accessibility and diversity of Buffalo,” she said.
“I really want to get to know the stories of the church and the people of St. James,” she added. “This congregation clearly has a legacy of commitment to its clergy – a history of deep, meaningful ministries. I am thrilled with the leadership here and I look forward to finding new ways to share St. James’ Christian commitment and passion with the wider community.”