“No matter who you are or where you are on your life journey, you are welcome here.” These words from the United Church of Christ reflect our desire, at Edwards Church, to extend an extravagant welcome. We invite you to come as you are. Bring your doubts and questions, your passion and yearning, your hopes and dreams–they are welcome here! In February 2000, we voted to become an Open and Affirming Congregation, adopting this statement of welcome:
In the name of God and Jesus Christ, Edwards Church, a congregation of the United Church of Christ, welcomes all who seek to know and worship God. We invite everyone to join in our faith journey and participate in our congregational life.
As a community of faith, we take seriously the Biblical call to love God and our neighbors as ourselves, and recognize that although we are many members, we are one. We celebrate the uniqueness of everyone. We rejoice in our diversity of views and understandings of our shared faith. We commit ourselves to work diligently to help end oppression and discrimination. We affirm all relationships founded on the principle of God’s love and justice.
We declare ourselves to be an Open and Affirming congregation. Seeking to be the Body of Christ, we welcome into full fellowship and membership all persons of every race, language, age, gender, sexual orientation, physical or cognitive ability and economic status.
This site is a project of Rick Seaholm, now in his eighth year at Edwards Church, having taken over choir directing duties in the fall of 2009, and becoming a church member in the spring of 2011. A lifelong church musician, Rick earned his Master of Music in Sacred Music (choir directing and vocal performance) at Westminster Choir College in 2001, and Bachelor of Music in vocal performance at the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 1999.
Rick grew up in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, and spent his formative years as a United Methodist in Natick. Prior to college, he served as acolyte, liturgist, choir member, substitute organist/choir director, music committee chair, and soloist. While at Lowell, he managed to continue most of these activities on most weekends. The extraordinary resources for church enthusiasts in the greater Princeton area kept him and his wife in New Jersey for several years following his Westminster graduation. During that time, he worked in administrative capacities at First Presbyterian Church of Plainsboro and as music administrator at the venerable Nassau Presbyterian Church, handling all the non-performance duties of the music program and its fifteen choirs. He also served as the church’s web manager. Following a return to the greater Boston area in 2006, Rick served a number of seasons as the manager of the New England Philharmonic, until church music came a calling in the spring of 2009. Upon seeing a fortuitous listing for Edwards’ position, it was immediately clear that he belonged here, and he continues to love the position.
Rick was published in the Fall 2014 issue of the UCC Musicians Association’s quarterly journal, Worship, Music & Ministry with an article outlining the steps taken at Edwards to hold an international hymn-writing competition in honor of its 185th anniversary, culminating in the premiere of Joshua Hummel’s setting of Pastor Debbie Clark’s text “Let There Be Light” as the hymn tune “EDWARDS CHURCH”. The article is available on this site.
In the summer of 2015, Rick was approved by the Massachusetts Conference Central Association’s Committee on Ministry to pursue Commissioned Ministry of Music status in the UCC, a process which will strengthen his role at Edwards and the greater community, all the while fusing two words which have always meant so much to him: Music and Ministry. His commissioning paper is available on his personal website.
In February 2016, Rick presented “Empowering the Volunteer Choir through Technology” at the American Choral Directors Association Eastern Division Conference in Boston, highlighting this website, and the many ways he has employed audio and visual media in the rehearsal room. At that same conference, he participated in a roundtable discussion on “Saving the World Through Singing”.
Outside of the musical world, Rick is the Associate Director of Interactive Technologies at Boston University Questrom School of Business, where he has worked since 2006.