LOCAL CHURCH PROFILE

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1 LOCAL CHURCH PROFILE Saron United Church of Christ Sheboygan Falls, WI Minister and Spiritual Leader Northeast Association, Wisconsin Conference [Validation Date] LOCAL CHURCH PROFILE CONTENTS Position Posting Who Is God Calling Us To Become? Who Are We Now? Who Is Our Neighbor? References Consent and Validation God is able to provide you with every blessing, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.

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3 POSITION POSTING LISTING INFORMATION SCOPE OF WORK COMPENSATION & SUPPORT WHO IS GOD CALLING TO MINISTER WITH US? LISTING INFORMATION Church name: Saron United Church of Christ Street address: W3830 Cty Rd J, Sheboygan Falls, WI Supplemental web links: Additional ecumenical affiliations: None Conference: Wisconsin Association: Northeast UCC Conference or Association Staff Contact Person Name: Rev. Franz Rigert Title: Conference Minister Phone: Summary Ministry Description: Saron continues to be a strong church with many deep roots that have been built with the foundation of a tight knit congregation. Saron will continue to embrace its warm welcome where people want to worship together. Saron will need the continued support of our members to help guide us through this faith journey. We seek a pastor who wants to become a faithful leader and support our congregation in moving forward in our faith ministry. Photographs: PAGE 3

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6 What we value about living in our area : We are nestled in a beautiful area just 10 miles away from the shores of Lake Michigan. We are located just an hour away from both Milwaukee & The Fox Cities. We have a multitude of exciting areas to visit just minutes from our doorstep which include: Road America, The Kettle Moraine State Forest & many world renown golf courses. In addition our local economy is very vibrant as we have several large companies located in our county including Kohler Company, Johnsonville Sausage, Sargento Cheese, Bemis Corporation, and Acuity Insurance. The county also boasts strong public schools and a variety of post-secondary educational institutions--lakeland University (A UCC founded private four year university); UW-Sheboygan and Lakeshore Technical College. All of these institutions are within a half-hour of Saron Church. Current size of membership: 531 PAGE 6

7 Languages used in ministry (other than English) : None Position Title: Minister and Spiritual Leader Position Duration: Settled a called position intended for longer-term ministry in which the minister moves church membership to the congregation and moves standing to related association Compensation Level : Full Time Does the total support package meet conference compensation guidelines? Yes. SCOPE OF WORK Core Competencies: Approachable Passionate Empowering Leader PAGE 7

8 COMPENSATION AND SUPPORT Salary Basis : $50,000 - $70,000 annually. This includes the housing allowance or parsonage. The salary range is based on the Wisconsin Conference guidelines. Benefits : Salary plus Benefits What is the expected living situation for your next minister? The minister will have the option to live in the parsonage or living nearby with a housing allowance. Comment on the residential/commuting expectations for your next minister. The minister will have the option to live at the parsonage or live nearby. State any incentives (e.g. school debt reduction or retention bonus after a certain number of years in position) : None Describe peer and professional supports available for ministers in your association/conference: The minister will have a cohort peer support structure available. This would be a Community of Practice structure within the conference. If applicable, describe how your church will adopt part-time adjustments in the pastoral schedule to support a minister s bi-vocational employment: Not applicable. PAGE 8

9 WHO IS GOD CALLING TO MINISTER WITH US? Describe the ministry goals you envision your next minister co-collaborating with the congregation to achieve. Saron is a vibrant and active congregation that has continued to thrive without a long-term, permanent pastor since During this time our active members have joined forces and taken over leadership roles that have allowed our ministries to continue. Saron has some ministry needs and goals that would welcome the collaborative efforts of an empowering leader for our new pastor. Christian education is an important part of our congregation. We have a large enrollment in our elementary and middle school Christian education program, but we have goals to continue this excellence with our older youth and adults. One of Saron s ministry goals is to get our older youth program up and running again. After our youth get confirmed, there is not anything established for them unless they are willing to join the adult groups. We have many members and resources that are available but just need some direction as to what will work with today s teens. For adults, a goal would be to renew an adult christian education experience. Our congregation has enjoyed continuing to learn how to be better Christians in our day to day living throughout our lives. Our members have demonstrated continued enthusiasm for christian education as both leaders and participants. We would have numerous members who would welcome the opportunity to collaborate with a pastor to build on the excellence of our current thriving Christian education programs. Describe how your vision of the minister you are now seeking will assist the congregation in making an impact beyond its walls. Saron is a congregation that has shown a concern for needs outside of its four walls. We have demonstrated this with donations to a local food pantry, support of needy families at Christmas and continued financial support of One PAGE 9

10 Great Hour of Sharing offerings throughout the year. We would like to expand this vision to the needs of our county regarding drug abuse, meals for needy families and family resource programs. In addition we are seeking to get our youth exposed to different ways of life, whether it be eating at St. Ben s Community Meal in Milwaukee, working at a work camp through Group Mission Trips, or any other adventures that would come our way. We are looking to empower our church members to use their personal gifts to help out our community whether it is teaching, singing, listening, etc. Specify language requirements or culturally-specific capacities preferred in a next ministerial leader, and why those matter to the congregation s sense of calling. Saron does not have specific language requirements at this time. Based on what you have learned about who your church is, who your church s neighbor is, and who God is calling the church to become, describe four areas of excellence from The Marks of Faithful & Effective Authorized Ministry that your next minister will display to further equip the congregation s ministry in these areas. Our next minister will display: Bringing life to sacred stories and traditions in worship, proclamation, and witness. Understanding community context and navigating change with a community. Exhibiting strong moral character and personal integrity. Praying actively and nurturing spiritual practices. PAGE 10

11 WHO IS GOD CALLING US TO BECOME? Who is God calling you to become as a congregation? The congregation of Saron feels that God is calling us to be more involved in the surrounding community to fill the needs that are evident in the community. There are many people in the congregation that are eager to lend their personal gifts, such as teaching, singing, and listening to help with the community needs. The congregation feels that the church can empower them to become more involved by providing more opportunities to share their gifts for the improvement of the church and surrounding community. Describe how God is calling you to reach out to address the emerging challenges and opportunities of your community and congregation. The members of Saron recognize that there is a declining quality of young adult programs in the community. We would like to provide activities for the youth that can provide a safe environment that the young adults of Saron can look forward to attending. We have a large Sunday school group that is active in the church. At the confirmation age and older is where we see limited to no participation in scheduled activities. Quite often those young adults are too busy with school activities or other extracurriculars. We have members of our church who are willing and able to assist with potential activities and programs for our young adults. In fact, we have used pre-seminary students from a local college to assist us and several members have taken the initiative to organize and implement programs. What Saron is in need of is a clear direction for a young adult program to keep this vital resource active and involved in Saron s future. Another issue in the wider community that affects the young adults is PAGE 11

12 drug use. This is a specific topic that the church can help by providing guidance and safe activities for the young adults in the surrounding communities. PAGE 12

13 WHO ARE WE NOW? CONGREGATIONAL REFLECTIONS 11-YEAR REPORT CONGREGATIONAL DEMOGRAPHICS PARTICIPATION AND STAFFING CHURCH FINANCES HISTORICAL INFORMATION CONGREGATIONAL REFLECTIONS Describe your congregation s life of faith. At Saron UCC we worship a loving and compassionate God who calls us to lives of service to God and others. Although it may be difficult to identify our congregation with a specific theologian, clearly our best example of life and faith is Jesus Christ. With a weekly reading of the Gospels as our guide, our worship services focus on God s forgiving love for us, and we are left with a charge to follow Christ s example of self-less service to our community and beyond. Describe several strengths or positive qualities of your congregation. The word family was used every time that the congregation was prompted about why Saron church is the place that they choose to worship. Saron has a strong sense of family within the congregation and is extended to our guests. The church family with the large number of youth in the congregation that participate in Sunday school and confirmation. We have many multigenerational families that have attended Saron for many years. There is a rich tradition within the church for the style of worship and the calendar events for the church, such as Easter, Lent, and Christmas services. PAGE 13

14 Many of our members have a musical talent that they are eager to share with the rest of the congregation. The entire congregation embraces that joy in music and adds a liveliness to the celebration of Christ at Saron. Describe what worship is like when your congregation gathers. Worship at Saron UCC is a celebration of our common faith. Two worship services are held each Sunday morning, which is pared down to one in the summer months. Our worship focuses on our hope and trust in God and includes a celebration of our gathering, a confession of sins and an assurance of pardon, followed by scripture and a sermon. Also included is a strong and vibrant music to add to our celebration, be it from a bell choir, children s choir, junior choir, senior choir or one of many talented musicians from the congregation. Also our congregation loves to sing and we enjoy a variety of both traditional and contemporary hymns and praise songs. Finally, of course, we share our gifts and commitments to God and Saron and we receive a charge to go forth and serve God and others. Members of our church are involved in worship as ushers, acolytes(confirmands), readers and an occasional mission moment statement. We have Wednesday evening worship during lent and the usual Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas services as well as Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services. We begin the fall church season with a special, Welcome Back service held outside with a band and a light lunch to follow. We also observe the sacrament of communion once a month and have frequent baptisms as well. Communion has been served in different ways and has been well received by all. Baptisms usually include the support of sponsors and always incorporate a commitment of support from the congregation and a welcoming song by the entire congregation at the conclusion of the baptism. Congregants at Saron enjoy preaching that brings the Biblical message to real life situations. Messages that move, challenge and inspire us to be better servants of God in our daily lives are most meaningful. PAGE 14

15 Describe the educational program and/or faith formation vision of your church. Faith formation at Saron is a vital and strong part of our church. It begins with a Little Disciples class for preschoolers that is conducted immediately after the children s sermon and then concludes at the end of the 10:15 service. Kindergarteners through sixth grade have Sunday School classes from September through May between the two morning services. These classes are extremely well attended and are taught by two volunteer teachers in each classroom. An elected Christian Education Board oversees the curriculum and Sunday School teacher meetings are held several times during the year, to ensure the continuity and success we have enjoyed in our Sunday School program. Saron currently uses the Spark Lectionary Sunday School curriculum, as it follows the calendar lectionary allowing consistency between the Sunday emphasis in worship and the lesson used in Sunday School. A testament of the quality of our Sunday School is that we have maintained, if not improved, the attendance during our years without a full-time pastor. Each advent season, our Sunday School produces a Christmas program that is enjoyed by the entire congregation. Confirmation classes are held on Wednesday evenings from September until the beginning of lent. In the past, we have had a high school Sunday School class as well as an adult Sunday School class/bible Study. During the time we had these two classes, they relied on some dedicated volunteers. Our confirmation classes have held a successful overnight retreat at a variety of locations for many years. In addition confirmation classes have participated in mission projects locally. We have also had several out-of-state mission trips for young people. Each of these have enjoyed great support from the congregation and the young people who attended the trips have given enthusiastic and faith-lifting reports afterwards. PAGE 15

16 Describe how your congregation is organized for ministry and mission. Our church is organized according to the by-laws of the UCC. We have an elected consistory of 3 elders, 3 deacons and a treasurer, each serving a 3-year term. The consistory oversees the ministry of the church and meets monthly with the pastor and any other invited guests. The most experienced elder serves as the president of the congregation during the last year of his/her term. In addition we have a 3-member group of trustees who also serve 3-year terms. The trustees oversee the physical needs of the church and the church grounds. In addition we have a 4 member pastor-parish relations committee, whose task is to be sure the pastor s needs are being met. In addition this committee serves as a vital liaison between the pastor and the consistory as well as the pastor and the parishioners. We have an annual meeting each January and as needed congregational meetings are held to ensure consensus on important decisions. Communication regarding pending decisions and actions by the consistory are shared in a variety of ways including announcements during worship, articles in the monthly newsletter and as a part of the weekly greeting. In the absence of a full-time pastor of any length for the past 5 years, our church leadership has functioned extremely well. Thanks to our dedicated, elected people we have continued to maintain an excellent ministry that is the envy of many surrounding churches. If we have a lack of vision in our leadership it is because we have not had a full-time pastor for so many years. Clearly, finding a pastor who can pursue a shared long-term vision with our dedicated leadership would result in an exciting new chapter in the life of Saron and its ministry. When it comes to decision-making, how many hours are spent in meetings per month? Saron does not track that information. Think of a time when action had to be taken quickly, for example when a PAGE 16

17 crisis or disaster occurred. How was that accomplished? A very challenging time for our church was in the middle of July in 2011 when our pastor at the time was diagnosed with cancer. She began immediate, extensive chemotherapy and had surgery with an extended recovery. This occurred during a very busy time in the church calendar--just prior to the beginning of the start of the fall activities. Out of love and concern for our pastor and love for our church, our membership came together in almost miraculous ways. Parents and other volunteers stepped up to handle confirmation. Our consistory secured the services of a local seminary student who served as a pastoral assistant. In addition retired ministers were asked to help serve the needs of the sick and homebound. Parishioners began serving as worship greeters, scripture readers and leaders of the children s sermon to lighten the load on our fill-in worship leaders. Little did we know at the time, but this commitment to the needs of our church by members of the congregation that helped us through this short-term crisis, would in fact be the key to our continued success for the years to follow. Following recovery from successful treatment of her cancer, our pastor decided to leave to assume the duties of a chaplain, and we have functioned without a long term, full-time pastor since because of the dedicated and competent volunteers who serve our church. Can you provide the next minister with a copy of an organization structure, bylaws and/or annual report to further explain the patterns of the church s activity and governance? Yes PAGE 17

18 11-YEAR REPORT PAGE 18

19 CONGREGATIONAL DEMOGRAPHICS Describe those who participate in your church. Number of active members: 531 Is this number an estimate? (check if yes) Number of active non-members: 10 Total of church participants (sum of the numbers above): 541 Percentage of total participants who have been in the church: Is this percentage an estimate? (check if yes) More than 10 years: 69% Less than 10, more than 5 years: 15% Less than 5 years: 16% Number of total participants by age: Are these numbers an estimate? (check if yes) Ages = 87 Percentage of adults in various household types: Single adults under 35: 11% Is this percentage an estimate? (check if yes) Joint household with minors: 14% Single adults age 35-65: 6% Joint household with no minors: 22% Single adults over 65: 2% PAGE 19

20 Education level of adult participants by percentage: High school: 50% Is this percentage an estimate? (check if yes) College: 30% Graduate School: 5% Specialty Training: Other (please specify): Percentage of adults in various employment types: Adults who are employed: 71% X Adults who are retired: 23% X Adults who are not fully employed: 6% X Is this number an estimate? (check if yes) Describe the range of occupations of working adults in the congregation: There is a wide range of occupations and industries represented in the Saron congregation. Saron has a strong tradition of members within the farming community. Describe the mix of ethnic heritages in your congregation, and the overall racial make-up. Most UCC congregations tend to describe themselves as diverse. Yet, the vast majority of UCC congregations are mono-cultural. What does diversity mean in your context? Our congregation is 99% caucasian with a European descent. List the date your congregation has had or will have a conversation using a resource such as the Welcoming Diversity Inventory. Comment on the results. This has not been used at Saron. PAGE 20

21 PARTICIPATION AND STAFFING Complete the following chart. Please leave blank any fields that are not applicable to your congregation. Ways of Gathering Estimated number of people involved in attendance Who plans each of the listed gatherings? (list any and all worship planners, such as various lay leaders, pastors, musicians, other staff) Adult Groups or Classes Pastor Baptisms (number last year) 7 Pastor Children s Groups or Classes 113 Christmas Eve and Easter Worship 670 Pastor, board of Christian education Pastor, organist, musicians, admin assistant, worship enhancement Church-wide Meals 50 various church groups Choirs and Music Groups 35 Choir director, junior choir leaders Church-based Bible Study Communion (served how often?) Community Meals Confirmation (number confirmed last year) Drama or Dance Program Once a month and special occasions 8 Pastor Pastor, confirmation lay helpers Funerals ( number last year ) 4 Pastor Intergenerational Groups Outdoor Worship 216 Pastor, consistory Prayer or Meditation Groups Public Advocacy Work Retreats PAGE 21

22 Theology or Bible Programs in the Community Weddings ( number last year ) 1 Pastor, admin assistant Worship (time slot: 8:00) 92 avg Pastor Worship (time slot: 10:15) 152 Pastor Young Adult Groups or Classes Youth Groups or Classes 3-6 lay leader, university intern Other Additional comments: List all members or regular participants in your congregation who are ordained, licensed, or commissioned ministers. Indicate those with current United Church of Christ Three-Way Covenants (i.e. serving in a congregation) or Four-Way Covenants (i.e. serving in a ministry beyond a congregation). Name Three-Way or Four-Way Covenant? (3 or 4 or No) Ministry Setting Type of Ministry Role Retired? (Y or N) Rev. Becky Johnston 3-way Interim Pastor at Bethlehem UCC, Kiel Interim N Rev. Arlan Schlundt no Y Rev. Ernest Huntzinger 3-way Interim Pastor at Saron UCC Interim Y If one or more previous pastors or retired ministers currently hold membership in the church, describe their role(s) in the life of the congregation: None PAGE 22

23 List all current staff, including ministers. Exclude the position you are seeking to fill. Indicate which staff person serves as head of staff. Staff Position Office Administrator Head of Staff? No Compensation (full time, part time, volunteer) Full time Organist No Part time Supervised by Pastor, consistory Pastor, consistory Length of Tenure for current person in this position 32 years 40 years Custodial staff No Part time Consistory 1 year Financial secretary Special music coordinator No Part time Consistory 2 years No Part time Consistory 2 years REFLECTION Reflection: After reviewing the congregational demographics and activities above, what does this information reflect about your congregation s overall ministry? Our congregation has a strong farming background with a wide range of occupations. Our diversity of members by age, occupation and interests makes for a lively group that participates in a variety of church programs. The breadth of our members talents and their commitment to Saron allows our church to minister very well to each other and the surrounding area. The large number of children involved in our Sunday School programs speaks well of the fine job we do in ministering to young people and also is an indicator of the future vibrancy of our congregation. PAGE 23

24 CHURCH FINANCES Current annual income (dollars used during most recent fiscal year) Source Amount Annual Offerings and Pledged Giving $226,708 Endowment Proceeds (as permitted within spending policy, such as a cap of typically 4.5%-5% on total return) Endowment Draw (beyond what is permitted by spending policy, drawing down the principal ) $ $ Fundraising Events $ Gifts Designated for a Specific Purpose $ Grants $ Rentals of Church Building $ Rentals of Church Parsonage $ Support from Related Organizations (e.g. Women s Group) $ Transfers from Special Accounts $ Other (specify): Perpetual care $93,209 Other (specify): $ TOTAL $319,917 Current annual expenses (dollars budgeted for most recent fiscal year): $24,679 Attach most recent church budget, spending plan, operating statement, or annual treasurer s report as shared publicly with the congregation, or if your church does not pass an annual budget list current budgeted expenses here. PAGE 24

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26 Considering total budgeted expenses for the year, compare total ministerial support. What is the percentage? 39% PAGE 26

27 Has the church ever failed to pay its financial obligations to a minister of the church? No. Is your church 5-for-5, i.e. does it include each of the following contributions during the church year? (indicate those included during the most recent fiscal year) _X_ Our Church s Wider Mission (OCWM Basic Support) _X_ One Great Hour of Sharing _X_ Strengthen the Church _X_ Neighbors in Need _X_ Christmas Fund In what way is OCWM (Basic Support) gathered? If calculated as a percentage of operating budget, what is that percentage? Based off membership recommendation from conference. What is the church s current indebtedness? Total amount of loan debt: $0 Reason for debt: Are capital and other payments current? Yes If a building program is projected or underway, describe it, including the projected start/end date of the building project and the total project budget. If the church has had capital campaigns in the last ten years, describe: No. Year(s) Purpose Goal Result Impact $ $ $ $ If a capital campaign is underway or anticipated, describe: No. Year(s) Purpose Goal Result Impact PAGE 27

28 $ $ $ $ Describe the prominent mission component(s) involved in the most recent (or current) capital campaign. Does your church have an endowment? Yes. What is the market value of the assets? $86,121 Are funds drawn as needed, regularly, or under certain circumstances? N/A What is the percentage rate of draw (last year, compared to 5 years ago)? N/A Describe draw on endowment, if any, to meet operating budget expenses for the most recent year and the past five years: N/A At the current rate of draw, how long might the endowment last? N/A Please comment on the above calculations or estimates: The church needs to have the endowment fund at $100,000 before using any of the interest. Other Assets Reserves (savings): $ Investments (other than endowment): $ PAGE 28

29 Does your church have a parsonage? Yes. Fair market rental value of the parsonage: $1,300. How is the parsonage used? Offices and meetings Street / City / State / Zip: W3834 Cty Rd J, Sheboygan Falls, WI Finished square footage:2,200 sq ft Number of Bedrooms, Number of Bathrooms: 4 bedrooms, 1.5 bath Assessed real estate value: Available for minister residence: Yes Expected minister residence: No. Condition of structure, systems and appliances: Very good. Entity in the church responsible for review and needed repairs: Consistory Describe all buildings owned by the church: House and a free standing garage. Describe non-owned buildings or space used or rented by the church: None. Which spaces are accessible to wheelchairs? Worship space, fellowship space, facilities, etc. Reflection: After reviewing the church s finances and assets described above, what does this information reflect about your congregation s mission and ministry? Saron has enjoyed financial stability through the contributions of an active congregation and diligent financial management. This has allowed the church to care for and maintain the church building and grounds while still allowing for funding for the congregation to be active in serving the community. PAGE 29

30 HISTORICAL INFORMATION Name one to three significant happenings in the history of your church that have shaped the identity of your congregation. Add the most important event in the life of your church in the past 10 years. In 2005 Saron celebrated its 150th anniversary. This was a year-long celebration that highlighted the strong and stable growth Saron has enjoyed for many years. It is a testament to the faithful service and ministry of Saron that it has served Sheboygan County for so long. Our church is blessed with a large number of multi-generational families who have been a part of the church for decades, so the 150th anniversary was a joyful time of remembering our past and looking forward to more years of continued ministry and service to the area. Saron has a strong and rich history display of all confirmation pictures in the church basement. Confirmation is important part of the lives of our youth that helps mold our youth into young adult s as they grow in their faith. There are many generations of families that continue to attend Saron church. The 150th year celebration of Saron along with the history book and member picture directory helps identify the church. An important event that continues to inspire our youth and adults is our Welcome Back Outdoor Worship Service in September. The inspiration of our strong musical background shines with the Dixieland Band performance that includes music and a message from the pastor that welcomes back our Sunday School children and families after the summer season. Describe a specific change your church has managed in the recent past. Being without a long-term, full-time pastor for the past 6 years has been a real challenge for Saron Church. We have a faithful and dedicated membership and God has used the talents of many of these people to keep our church growing and thriving during these years. Saron has managed to stay together as a strong church during challenging times of changing pastoral leadership.the continued support and faithful members of Saron have shaped and solidified PAGE 30

31 this church together. The Saron church family always steps forward and continues to lead and support each other with their faith and willingness to insure the strong future of the church. Our total membership has enjoyed a slow, but steady growth during this time and attendance at worship services has also been stable during this time. Clearly this is a reflection of the way our congregation has remained committed to each other and in our service to God. Every church has conflict, some minor, some larger. Where two or three are gathered, there will be disagreement. Describe your congregation s values and practices when it comes to conflict. Saron s congregation values all members opinions and concerns involving the life of our church. Saron has a very strong consistory that leads our congregation. Should a conflict arise, our church membership is very close and there is quick and easy communication between the membership and the consistory. This allows any potential issues to be brought forward in a timely fashion. Our consistory has always been proactive and responsive to any needs expressed by our members, be they physical improvements to our buildings or spiritual needs of our membership. The humble and responsive leadership of our consistory for so many years and the cohesiveness of our members means we have avoided any large conflict that could have divided our church in any way. In the case of a need of repairs or improvements that require a large amount of financial support our consistory will follow the protocol by calling a congregational meeting. Open discussion and a congregational vote is required to move forward with an improvement or repair. Conflicts and or disagreements are avoided or resolved with an informative meeting that includes facts, discussion and a congregational vote. PAGE 31

32 Ministerial History (include all previous ministerial staff for the past 30 years) Staff member s name Years of service UCC Standing (Y/No) Rev. Daniel Borchers 1 Yes Rev. Kathryn Kuhn 4 Yes Rev. James Martin & Rev. Jennifer Dawson 20 Yes Comment on what your church has learned about itself and its relationship with persons who provided ministerial leadership: Saron church has learned that during a time of transition we have members of our congregation that are willing and capable to provide guidance for the church. Our church secretary is very dedicated and helps enhance detail to our weekly worship service. Our organist provides our church with the beauty of music that inspires us all. We have members of the congregation that are always willing to step forward and bring their gifts and talents to help provide the ministerial leadership when needed. Within the last six years Saron has had a change in ministry leadership that has brought trying times to our congregation. In the previous 20 years our congregation was blessed with two empowering and engaged leaders as our pastor. This brought great stability to our church family. We have endured some strong and vital leadership but have also dealt with leadership that has left our congregation with divided feelings for our future growth. Through the work of our congregational leadership and interim pastors any divisions have been healed. PAGE 32

33 Has any past leader left under pressure or by involuntary termination? Y/N/Ask us Yes Has your church been involved in a Situational Support Consultation? Y/N/Ask us No Has a past pastor been the subject of a Fitness Review while at your church? Y/N/Ask us No PAGE 33

34 WHO IS OUR NEIGHBOR? COMMUNITY VISION MISSION INSITE COMMUNITY VISION How do the relationships and activities of your congregation extend outward in service and advocacy? Saron UCC continues its tradition of living our faith as an open welcoming all inclusive body of Christ. Saron is not just a building,we are a family joined together in relationships and activities that extend outward in service to surrounding communities and the world. Mission connections help transform our faith into action. Participating in short term opportunities such as the Milwaukee Guest House, food pantry, visiting homebound, elderly, sick and nursing homes allow us to serve Christ beyond Saron. Mission trips to other states where members have built or repaired homes and shelters, care for the sick, give food to the hungry extends our mission beyond Sheboygan County. Saron has financially and spiritually supported a student in Haiti through Sponsorship Program Aiding Relationship and Education (SPARE) so she could afford to go to school and have one meal a day. We are thankful that she graduated this year and will go to college to become a nurse and help others in her country. We are now initiating a relationship with a new Haitian student and look forward to the future graduation of another young person with the help of our sponsorship. Describe your congregation s participation in meetings, relationships and activities connecting the wider United Church of Christ (association / conference / national setting). PAGE 34

35 Saron s participation in meetings,activities and relationships connecting us to the wider UCC are ever evolving. Numerous groups and individuals are living their faith by serving others. Members of all ages are able to find ways to serve and share their gifts. In April 2015 Saron UCC was featured in the Sunday Bulletin telling about Peace Cranes. For three years, 1000 origami Peace Cranes have been passed on to UCC churches in cities that have experienced tragedies. The cranes were created in Sheboygan Falls by members of Saron UCC. The cranes have been transported to cities after school shootings, to Boston after the bombing at the Boston Marathon, to observe the 10th anniversary of 9/11 in 2011 and more. Each time the cranes are transported from one church to another they are accompanied by the prayers,compassion and love of the previous congregation. Sadly, there is no shortage of violence so the peace cranes move on. Saron is represented at the Wisconsin Conference UCC annual meeting and the Northeast Association of Wisconsin Conference of the UCC annual meeting. We are also a participating congregation in the Five for Five Program and actively participate in the county UCC volleyball league. We have multiple members of our congregation who participated in the UCC Lay Academy. Saron regularly has youth that attend the NYE (National Youth Event). Check all of the following statements of witness that apply to your UCC faith community. (Find more information on these statements at ucc.org.) _X_ Accessible to All (A2A) Creation Justice PAGE 35

36 Economic Justice _X_ Faithful and Welcoming _X_ God Is Still Speaking (GISS) Immigrant Welcoming Inter-cultural/Multi-racial (I M) Just Peace _X_ Global Mission Church Open and Affirming (ONA) WISE Congregation for Mental Health Other UCC designations: Other similar designations in affiliated denominations None Reflect on what the above statement(s) mean(s) to your community. Is your congregation interested in working toward any of the above statements of witness in the near future? Accessible to All - Faithful and Welcoming Talking with people in the community who have participated in worship or special events at Saron whether they are from near or far their comments always include welcoming and friendly. Striving to live our faith as a church family we become more inclusive, not ministering to all but ministering with all. God is Still Speaking Our Saron faith journey continues. God still has a lot to say. There is more good news to be heard. Indeed, the word of God is living and active (Hebrews 4:12). We listen by spending time in silence for it is in the silence of the heart that God speaks. Be still and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10) Global Mission Saron has been actively sponsoring Haitian students through SPARE so they can get an education and look forward to a brighter future. Some of our members have visited these students. We have members who have been called to PAGE 36

37 organize and participate in mission trips. Money is budgeted to assist in defraying costs for those who participate in these trips. Our church is 5-for-5 in contributions in Describe your congregation s participation in ecumenical and interfaith activities (with other denominations and religious groups, local and regional). Saron s mission participation in ecumenical and interfaith activities involve all ages. Multiple means of engagement are utilized; electronic, small groups, music, recorded worship services and personal contact. Invitations are extended to other churches, denominations and community groups to join us for activities such as tours, day trips and special services,mission trips, and social events. Examples of some projects showcasing how our congregation extends service locally and regionally. Collect food and volunteer at food pantries Visiting homebound and nursing homes Shawl Ministry Super Bowl Sunday our youth and confirmation class collect money for the cause. Hunger Task Force Advent Angel Tree- During Advent a Christmas tree in our narthex is decorated with ornaments listing needs for county families and nursing home residents. The ornaments quickly disappear and are replaced by beautifully wrapped gifts for the needy. We decorate our church for Harvest Home Service each Autumn to celebrate the bounty of a good harvest. Members of the congregation graciously contributed PAGE 37

38 their personal harvest to decorate the sanctuary. Members of our congregation purchase a variety of beautiful flowers to enhance the vestibule and sanctuary on Easter morning. A tragic house fire in nearby town resulted in the loss of the house and 3 young children. Saron and many other surrounding churches, businesses, individuals,and emergency crews quickly came forward to help the family in any way possible. Lakeland University students participate in our worship as part of their education. We have been fortunate to have students as Senior High Youth Coordinators with qualified members of Saron serving as mentors. If your congregation has a mission statement, how does that mission statement compare to the actual time spent engaging in different activities? Think of the range of activities from time spent gathering, to governance, to time spent going out. Saron s Mission Statement: We envision Saron Church as an active, welcoming community of faith, an embodiment of Christ-like grace and love, which ministers to the community and the world. Building upon our heritage of strength, we will strive to grow in numbers, in faith, and in commitments to the ways of Christ. Saron is a very welcoming and active community of faith. Saron not only ministers to it s own congregation but to the surrounding community and the world. Saron continues to grow as a congregation and is faithful and committed to Christ. PAGE 38

39 Saron offers a wide variety of ways to get involved to its congregation. From mission trips to community service projects such as The Food Pantry and The Advent Angel Tree. Saron does have a strong consistory that has a solid relationship not only with the pastor but also with the congregation. Our consistory does meet monthly and is very involved in the life of the church. There are also numerous committees that assist in keeping the church a thriving and faith filled community from Women s Guild to Shawl Ministry. There are several groups that minister to the congregation. For instance, Shawl Ministry goes to visit the sick and the homebound and bring them a homemade shawl that was made in love to bring them peace and comfort. We also have several dedicated and compassionate members that make visits to the nursing homes and homebound to see the sick. Reflect on the scope of work assigned to your pastor(s). How is their community ministry and their ministry in and on behalf of the wider church accounted for in the congregation s expectations on their time? The congregation s expectation of the pastor is that they minister to the sick and the homebound by visiting them and providing them communion. The congregation would like the pastor to actively show an interest in the different groups and committees of Saron. This would be demonstrated by making occasional visits to the groups. The pastor leads the confirmands and educates them in their faith journey. PAGE 39

40 MissionInSite Comment on your congregation s MissionInsite report with data for your neighborhood(s) or area. What trends and opportunities are shown? The community around Saron is relatively conservative and does not have a great deal of diversity compared to the national average. Many of the beliefs in God and Jesus in the area match what is believed around the nation. How do your congregation s internal demographics compare or contrast to a) the neighborhoods adjacent to your church, and b) other neighborhoods with which your church connects? The demographics of Saron church are very similar to churches within the county and the surrounding counties. Saron s members are made up of both blue collar and professionals. It has a rich heritage of numerous generations of families that belong to the church and have for years. How are the demographics of the community currently shaping ministry, or not? The time demands on families in today s culture has impacted our church s ministry. The need for families to juggle work, school, athletic and social activities has impacted the time and attention that is devoted to church activities. Saron s large and involved Sunday School and committed attendance of the confirmation program is an indication that many families in Saron church make time to support Saron s ministry despite the ever increasing demands of time. An issue that has not seemingly directly affected Saron church is drug use and abuse. This has been an evolving problem in many communities including ours. This issue has touched Sheboygan County and our congregation is aware of the problem and interested in taking action. While we have no current program or ministry at this time, it is a problem we are aware of and interested in confronting. PAGE 40

41 What do you hear when you talk to community leaders and ask them what your church is known for? Saron is a church that is known for its open-arms acceptance of all. Our congregation s make-up consists of people with a variety of faith backgrounds. Our building is readily available and used by other organizations and denominations. We also have a reputation of having a strong, vibrant and active membership, despite being located in a rural area and drawing members from many surrounding communities. What do new people in the church say when asked what got them involved? People who join Saron Church are consistent in praising the welcoming and loving environment of the membership. Most new members comment on how quickly and easily they become a part of the ministry of the church. With a variety of opportunities to be involved in our ministry, new members can easily find their niche and use their talents in our service to God. PAGE 41

42 REFERENCES Name up to three people who have agreed to serve as phone and written references. Make sure they are not members of your church but are persons who know your church well enough to be helpful to candidates seeking more information. Request a letter from each reference in answer to the four prompts below. Attach the letters (up to three) as desired. REFERENCE 1 Name: Dale Miller / Position: Lay Minister Telephone:Home Cell / Relationship to the Congregation: Pulpit Support. REFERENCE 2 Name:Sam Suchon / Position: Funeral Director Telephone: / Relationship to the Congregation: Provides Funeral Services at Saron REFERENCE 3 Name: Kathryn Kuhn / Position: Director of Mission & Ministry Cedar Community Nursing Home Telephone: Cell / / Relationship to the Congregation: Former Pastor PROMPTS FOR REFERENCES Describe some areas of strength in this church s ministry. Describe some areas for improvement in this church s ministry. Describe a significant experience you have had of this church s ministry. Anything else you wish to share. PAGE 42

43 CLOSING THOUGHTS CLOSING PRAYER STATEMENT OF CONSENT CONFERENCE/ASSOCIATION VALIDATION CLOSING PRAYER Jeremiah 29 Verse 11 I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, welfare and not evil, to give you a future and a hope. We are grateful to our Lord Jesus that has established Saron Church. Where the Lord blesses us with love and mercy in the word and the sacraments. We are thankful that his word is proclaimed in truth and purity. May the Holy Spirit fill our people that it may be said, they continued in the apostles doctrine and fellowship and in breaking of bread and in prayer. Help us to do our part to keep it so for Saron s spiritual good. Use Saron for the building of the Lord s kingdom on earth. Make Saron a power to bring good to our community and bless our efforts to bring the holy gospel to all people. For your glory, hear our prayer Lord Jesus. Amen. PAGE 43

44 STATEMENT OF CONSENT The covenantal relationship between a church and those called by that church to serve as pastors and teachers and in other ministerial positions is strengthened when vital information is openly shared by covenantal partners. To that end, we attest that, to the best of our abilities, we have provided information in this profile that accurately represents our church. We have not knowingly withheld any information that would be helpful to candidates. As the committee charged with the responsibility for identifying and recommending suitable new minister for our church, we have been authorized to share the information herein with potential candidates. We understand that a candidate may wish to secure further knowledge, information, and opinions about our church. We encourage a candidate to do so, recognizing that an open exchange of relevant information builds the foundation for continuing and healthy relationships between calling bodies and persons seeking a ministry position. 1. Which individuals and groups in the church contributed to the contents of this Local Church Profile? (for example, church council or consistory, transition team, etc.) Using small focus group meetings, our pastor search committee sought input and suggestions from a variety of church organizations. Separate meetings were held with Saron s choir, Women s Guild, Christian Education Board, Shawl Ministry and Consistory to gather ideas for the completion of this profile. In addition on consecutive Sunday s using an alphabetic break down, one-third of congregants were invited to meet with the pastor search committee to provide valuable information needed for this profile. Because of the multiple opportunities for members of Saron to share their thoughts, the contents of this profile is an accurate and comprehensive reflection of Saron Church as we search for a new leader to work with us. PAGE 44

45 2. Additional comments for interpreting the profile: Signed: Name / Title / Date: PAGE 45

46 VALIDATION BY CONFERENCE/ASSOCIATION The congregation is currently in good standing with the association / conference named. Staff Comment: To the best of my knowledge, ministerial history information is complete. Staff Comment: To the best of my knowledge, available church financial information is presented thoroughly. Staff Comment: My signature below attests to the above three items. Signature: Name / Title: Rev. Jane B. Anderson Phone: Date: 5/25/17 This document is created through support to Our Church s Wider Mission (OCWM) and is only possible through the covenantal relationships of all settings of the United Church of Christ. PAGE 46

47 Jesus answered them, Have faith in God! Mark 11:22 PAGE 47

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