First Congregational Church Haverhill embarked on a unique search and call process in 2009 seeking a person with new church start experience, someone dedicated to the United Church of Christ and all that it Stands for. They called the Reverend Donna Spencer Collins in May 2014. To learn more about Phoenix Rising UCC you can go to the website. www.phoenixrisingucc.org
What does the Phoenix Rising logo symbolize? In the collective memory of the people of Haverhill is the “great conflagration” in February 1882. The fire destroyed large shoe factories and other businesses which were the heart of the cities livelihood rich and poor. Undaunted the people of Haverhill rallied and the area was redeveloped and named phoenix row.
The First Congregational Church, New Church Start Steering Committee, resonated with this story. The old church building had been sold and the congregation scattered, leaving a small remnant to reimagine “A New Church for a New Haverhill”. In one of the meetings while kicking around different ideas for a new name, Rev. Wendy Vanderhart had an “Aha” moment and reminded everyone of the hymn “In the Midst of New Dimensions” and the line of the song that reads, “May your blazing Phoenix Spirit resurrect the Church Again…” In that moment it was agreed by all the new name of the church would be called Phoenix Rising United Church of Christ.
Donna Spencer Collins was asked to design the logo. It is both a hand lifted in praise and an image of the Phoenix Rising Spirit of resurrection.