Rev. Rebecca Spencer
At Central Church, we invite you to join us in worshipping God. In coming to know the people of this community, you will discover an amazing array of faith journeys and perspectives, and uncover your own relationship with God. We are fortunate to have a beautiful place in which we gather to worship, and from which we send forth our ministry. Our mission work reaches out to our community and the world through the action and stewardship of our members. Our ministry exists to serve others, to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ, to comfort and to challenge one another and to share our joys and concerns.
Through all this, we endeavor to follow God's Word. "We covenant with the Lord and with one another and do bind ourselves in the presence of God to walk together in all the ways which are revealed to us by God as the Word is made known to us." We strive to be a community of God's people in a way that calls each of us toward active discipleship. Our purpose is to work for the increase in the love of God and neighbor through worship, caring, sharing and outreach. You are invited to participate in the ministry of Central Church. We look forward to welcoming you.
The Rev. Rebecca Spencer has served as Senior Minister of Central Church since 1988. Before coming to Providence, she served as Associate Minister and Acting Senior Minister at Second Congregational Church in Greenwich, CT from 1980-1988. She was also a national Semi Finalist for the White House Fellowship in 1988. Before her ordination she was Special Assistant in the office of Boston University President, John Silber, working to establish Boards of Visitors for the Schools and Colleges of the University.
She is currently a Distribution Committee member for the Champlin Foundations, a Trustee of the Wheeler School and member of the Bio Ethics Committee for Women and Infants Hospital.
She is a graduate of Wellesley College, graduating as a Wellesley College Scholar and doing Foreign Study in Philosophy through Dartmouth College's program at the University of Edinburgh. She also graduated from Harvard Divinity School, with Honors in Senior Examinations, receiving an M.Div. degree.
She was married to the late Charles B. Rice and is the mother of two sons, Thomas Rice, Trinity College, '17 and Ezra Rice, Bowdoin College, '19. Raised in rural Middlebury CT, she currently raises white faced Hereford cattle in Little Compton, RI.
Rev. Claudia Demick
The Reverend Claudia P. Demick is the Associate Minister of Program and Family Life at Central Congregational Church United Church of Christ, an Open and Affirming congregation on Providence's East Side. Her passions in ministry include pastoral care, mission, education, worship design, and strengthening congregations by connecting members with one another.
Her educational background includes a B.A. in Music Education and English from Westfield State College and a Master of Divinity from Andover Newton Theological School, graduating summa cum laude. She earned a Doctor of Ministry from Hartford Seminary in 2011. Her thesis work was on Muslim and Christian relationships.
Claudia grew up in Swansea, MA just over “the line” from Providence. In a successful teaching career she lived and taught in Granville, MA, Sandisfield, MA, Swampscott, MA, Fall River, MA and Barrington, RI. Claudia is certified in K-12 music as well as K-8 elementary education. Claudia has taught in elementary classrooms, various types of music classrooms including choral and instrumental music, and English literature and creative writing. She was Director of Music in her last teaching position in a private school in Rhode Island. Claudia is in the 2005 and 2006 editions of Who’s Who Amongst America’s Teachers, an honor given to a little over 1% of the teachers in this country.
For over 20 years Claudia was the Minister of Music at Seekonk Congregational Church coordinating the music program for a growing and diverse congregation. She has participated in hundreds of weddings and funerals and has extensive experience in pastoral care and outreach. Claudia also has great knowledge and understanding in the formation of small group ministry.
Claudia is active in the wider community through ecumenical activities. She was co-chair for Worship for Celebration VIII, a New England United Church of Christ women’s event that happens every four years, attracting about a thousand UCC women. She is the Moderator for the annual Craigville Theological Colloquy that takes place every summer on Cape Cod. This ecumenical gathering brings together lay people, ministers, and theologians from throughout the United States to discuss various theological topics each year. Claudia is a member of the Rhode Island Conference United Church of Christ Board of Directors in addition to serving on the RICUCC Personnel Committee and the Women of the RI Conference Committee. She is also the Chair of the RICUCC Conference Meeting Planning Committee. Claudia and her spouse, James, have lived in Barrington for 25 years and are the proud parents of two sons, David and Matthew.
Rev. Aidan Kelley
Reverend Aidan Kelley has served as the Associate Minister of Youth and Young Adult Ministries of Central Church since January 2013. He is a graduate of Wheaton College in Norton, MA where he received a B.A. in Religion. He also graduated from Boston University School of Theology in 2012, receiving a Master of Divinity.
Aidan is married to Kathryn Kelley and is the father of Abraham Kelley, born in October 2015. He and his family live in Katie’s hometown of Cranston, where Katie teaches high school Italian.
Aidan is grateful to be a part of Central Congregational Church where he has the opportunity to dive deeply into the questions and mysteries of our faith with youth and young adults. He believes in the power of shared stories, humor, and a sense of wonder to spirit our walk with Christ. He is always looking for tennis partners and jumps at the slightest excuse to grab a cup of coffee.