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July 17, 2014 40 Under Forty 2014

Erica Ann Thompson

Age: 39

Title at work/what do I do: Associate minister at Asylum Hill Congregational Church – United Church of Christ. I am charged to be pastor, preacher, and teacher to a large, diverse congregation. I provide pastoral care to parishioners in need, which means meeting people where they are at in their lives at any given time, celebrating with people as they experience great joy, walking the journey with people as they grieve and mourn. I help plan and lead worship, which means I preach periodically, participate and preside at the sacraments of Baptism and Communion, and perform weddings and funerals. I am involved with the programmatic life of AHCC, especially as it relates to Youth and Young Adult Ministry, membership activities, and Women's Spirituality and Fellowship.

Town where I work: Hartford

Town where I live: West Hartford

College I attended: Concordia College (undergrad); Princeton Theological Seminary (graduate)

My passion, hobby or special talent: I love to travel and I am a fluent Spanish speaker.

Favorite place to network: I am an old fashioned Facebook girl!

Favorite drink at a networking event: I will always go for a good cold beer over everything else!

How do I create connections in your professional life?

Each year I attend various conferences and workshops (local and national) where I continue to be connected to colleagues. I also sit on a number of boards and committees, both within our ecclesial structure, as well as in the larger community. Currently I am the chair of the Hartford Association's Committee on Church and Ministry.

What's been my biggest challenge professionally?

Knowing how and when to divest appropriately from the congregation I serve, striking that ever elusive work-life balance. I am a wife, a mother, and a pastor and at times navigating these different roles can be complicated and exhausting. Ministry is about caring for God's world and God's people. Healthy boundaries are incredibly important but it's a challenge to get it just right.

What is the best advice I received?

Growing up, my dad always reminded my sister and me: “Remember who you are.” That simple, yet profound, phrase has helped me through more of life's tough situations than I could ever count. Remembering who I am as a child of God has shaped the moral, ethical, and emotional landscape of my very being.

What do I want my legacy to be?

It has always been the same thing – I don't care if others see me as smart or successful, I want to be remembered as being wise.

Check out the other 40 Under Forty for 2014 winners

Benjamin Howarth

Ashley (AJ) Johnson

Garrett Kenny

Vincenzo M. Landino

Heather Loranger

Ashley M. Maagero

Kim Margolis

Lindsey Mathieu

Tracy I. McKaveney

Ryan McKeen

Adam McLaughlin

H. Scott Miller

Alison Morris

Peter J. Murphy

Kristina Newman-Scott

Brandon Ojakian

Michelle M. Pandolfi

Erin Pirro

Ken Procino

Steven Raider-Ginsburg

Brian Rich

Matthew Ritter

Robert Ruffolo

Lindsay Ryan Jensen

Zachary Schwartz

Jarrett Solomon

Jason J. Warnke

Tim Yergeau

Jennifer Young

Christopher R. Zito

McKinley Albert

Keshia Ashe

Dr. Jill Buban

Stephen Carrabba

Leticia Colon de Mejias

Erin M. Concepción

Molly Devanney

Jennifer R. Fiereck

Betsey Castle Gainey

Martin Gugliotti

Bryan Hall, II

Check out the Digital Edition of this year's 40 Under Forty.

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