Dear Members and Friends of First Congregational Church UCC of Charlotte, MI,

As members of the Pastoral Search Team, we want to express our gratitude for the trust you have placed in us. We have been meeting weekly for the last 4 weeks to organize our thoughts around the Local Church Profile.  Rev. Campbell Lovett, our Conference/Association Minister, visited with the Church Council at the end of April. He will be working closely with the Pastoral Search Team as we proceed with the process of calling a settled pastor. The purpose of this letter is to share with you a brief summary of the Search and Call process in the United Church of Christ.

First, we must complete the “Local Church Profile,” a snapshot of our church demographics, as well as a description of the position we are hoping to fill.  We will soon be seeking your perspectives on our church and its ministry through a series of questionnaires and small group meetings; as a result of this listening process, we will incorporate your ideas about new pastoral leadership into the “Local Church Profile” that we will develop.  This will probably require a good deal of the summer for us to complete. Our Church Profile will then be listed in “UCC Employment Opportunities,” and will be available for evaluation by Pastors seeking a new position.

Pastors, who have been authorized to complete a UCC Ministerial Profile, will submit profiles for our committee through the Conference/Association office. The Search Committee will select a small number of candidates for personal interviews.  Following this we will make arrangements for members of our Search Committee to worship with a candidate in a “neutral pulpit,” a church that is not ours or theirs.

If the candidate we recommend chooses to accept an offer from us, compensation arrangements will be clarified, and a date for a “candidating Sunday” at First Congregational will be established. The congregation will have an opportunity to meet the candidate (and family) that weekend in an informal setting as well as the formal worship service where the candidate will preach. A congregational meeting following the worship service will offer each member an opportunity to ask questions of the Search Committee, and to vote on the Call to our new pastor.

We are grateful during this time for the excellent interim leadership of Pastor Curt. We profoundly trust that God will guide both our candidates and the members of our Search Committee. We ask you to pray for us regularly. We are blessed with a wonderful church community; with hard work and God’s guidance, we will be blessed with a wonderful pastor to guide us as we minister in the name of Jesus Christ.

Search Team:  Bill Rinckey, Maria Davis, Amy Slot, Barb Anderson, Mike Fulton, Katherine Johnson, Matt Slot, Terry Davis


Sunday, July 21
The Pastoral Search Team has been meeting and organizing to gather the information needed for the Local Church Profile document. It will be submitted as part of the process for calling a settled pastor. The team will be having several “listening sessions” to get information and opinions from the congregation. There will also be several opportunities to provide written input into the process over the next few weeks. We will also be approaching groups and teams within, and from outside of the church to provide specific information to the search team over the next month.
There will be a listening and discussion session during coffee on the 21 st of July. Subway sandwiches will be provided and we invite you to answer and discuss a number of questions that have been developed to assist us with gathering input. We would appreciate your feedback.
The Pastoral Search Committee