News From the Settled Pastor Call Committee (11/20/2019)

We have finished the Local Church Profile (LCP) and have incorporated almost all of the suggestions the committee received from the congregation. We have also incorporated a few comments from Rev Campbell Lovett. We have also submitted a single page listing for posting on the UCC Ministerial Opportunities website the following blurb:

First Congregational Church, Charlotte, Michigan, is the “festival church,” resisting bigotry with joy and cookies and following Jesus by BEING THERE. On Sunday we need spiritual relevance and uplift so that we may begin again on Monday. Worship here is laughter-prone and musical. We embrace thought, education, and dialogue. Staunchly inclusive, OPEN AND AFFIRMING, we seek a shepherd who preaches likewise. We are driven, human-centric purveyors of the teachings of Jesus Christ, and we are growing. Charlotte, Michigan is a friendly rural town of 9,000 located less than 60 miles from five major population centers and 15 miles from Olivet College, a UCC-affiliate. It is only a two hour drive to Michigan’s “north” country and the many natural wonders of the Great Lakes State. We seek a caring, approachable, inspirational pastor, unafraid to help lead our radical PROGRESSIVE church family in mission and ministry.

(Many thanks to the committee and to Curt Scott for the language in this paragraph. Our listing is unique).  With this posting will be a link to an amazing 8 minute long clip put together by Matt of pictures of our church, congregation and the gamut of activities in which we are involved. You can view it HERE:


Ministers looking for positions will see the above paragraph and the pictures and will decide to tell the Conference to forward their Ministerial Profiles to us for review. The Search Committee met with Campbell Lovett last Thursday (Nov 14) and the Committee is now getting 20 page Ministerial Profiles from the Conference. The Committee will evaluate these and determine which candidates should receive our LCP. If after looking over our LCP, candidates are still interested in us, we will begin a period of interviews and further communication. It is possible that several individuals will be in this phase with the committee at the same time. To protect privacy, this phase of the process we are in must remain confidential within the Search Committee. If you have questions about the process, please feel free to ask any of the committee members. We just can’t talk about specific candidates.

Terry Davis, Barb Anderson, Mike Fulton, Amy Slot, Bill Rinckey, Maria Davis, Katherine Johnson, and Matt Slot


9/8/2019  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