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Meet our Pastor!

Hello and welcome!

My name is Bromleigh McCleneghan and I am very privileged to be the pastor of the Riverside United Methodist Church.

Though I didn't grow up thinking I would become a member of the clergy, my road to ministry probably looks pretty short to most people. After graduating from high school in the Chicago suburbs, I headed east to Boston University, drawn in equal parts by the wonderful interdisciplinary program I found there and all the delights of a New England city. I went hoping to study everything... and to eat my weight in clam chowder.

I studied sociology and philosophy and political science, literature and journalism, and wrote my senior thesis on Christian Responses to the Welfare Reform of 1996 (boy, that makes me feel old!). It seemed that, no matter what department I was in, the questions that kept me up at night were: "how are we to live? how do we bring the beloved community, the good society into being?"

A couple of mission work trips, a return to regular worship, and a summer spent working with kids at the local YMCA, and I was pretty convinced that my future lay in ministry in the church.

So, off to seminary! Well, Divinity School, anyway. At the University of Chicago I learned everything I needed to serve in the church... well, most of the important things: I am still learning all the intricacies of United Methodist polity and administration. (We Methodists seem to really love us some bureaucracy!)

While in school, I served in campus ministry and then as the Director of Christian Education at the First United Methodist Church in Park Ridge. I graduated in June of 2005 and it was just a few short months before I was appointed to Riverside in November.

When I was a kid, I used to dream of being a star on Broadway... as a teenager, I began plotting my career at National Public Radio. Now, I can't quite imagine a calling that would better suit my gifts and graces -- and I love being here in Riverside, serving with a congregation in which we are all forever discovering ways to grow in ministry and service together.

Come see us sometime. I'll introduce you to everyone... including my husband Josh and our daughter Fiona (she's brand new!)

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Bromleigh

Also: I love to read!

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