LOCAL CHURCH PROFILE

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1 LOCAL CHURCH PROFILE Union Congregational Church Hackensack, MN Settled Pastor Minnesota Conference April, 2018 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. (2 Corinthians 9:8)

2 POSITION POSTING LISTING INFORMATION SCOPE OF WORK COMPENSATION & SUPPORT WHO IS GOD CALLING TO MINISTER WITH US? LISTING INFORMATION Church name: Street address: Supplemental web links: Additional ecumenical affiliations: (E.g. denominations, communions, fellowships) Union Congregational Church 401 East Lake Avenue P.O Box 10 Hackensack, MN Conference Minnesota Conference Association UCC Conference or Association Staff Contact Person Name: The Rev. Mr. Richard Wagner Title: Associate Conference Minister Phone: Summary Ministry Description: In a short paragraph, reflect on where your church is going and what it might look like when you get there. What do you need to get there? Who are you seeking to join you on this part of your church s faith journey? Union Church is comprised of a vital though aging membership eager to grow and to serve its elderly members and the local community. While its membership is slowly shrinking, current members sustain a dynamic program of worship, education, fellowship and service. Having recently completed both the ONA and the New Beginnings processes, and having faced the retirement of our beloved Pastor of some twenty-five years, we now seek an energetic, personable leader and Pastor who will help us to fulfil our stated goals of 1) fulfilling our PAGE 2

3 affirmation of our Open and Affirming status; 2) continuing our Parish Nurse outreach; 3) sustaining our ministry to the retired and elderly; and 4) continuing and increasing our service to our community. Photographs: Union Church in Mid-winter Men s Fellowship Fish Fry. A View from the Kitchen into the Fellowship Hall June, 2015 VBS Closing Program, June 2016 VBS June, 2016 Children Learn to Play the Bell Choir s Chimes Vacation Bible School Students and Teachers with Gifts for The Faith Project in Haiti. Cleant Junior, an aspiring Haitian Medical Student, Stands at the Left Rear of the Photo. PAGE 3

4 Men s Fellowship Members Pack Food Boxes for the Holidays at the Hackensack Food Shelf Women s Fellowship: Dessert and Conversation Winter, 2014 What we value about living in our area (2 3 sentences): We value rural living in Minnesota s northland. We value the community-spirited residents who live here. We enjoy helping those who are struggling to maintain their independence. We hold great value in our lifestyles and in the abundance of lakes, forests, and wildlife. We value our heritage and historical motivations that brought us here. Current size of membership: 160 (members and friends) Languages used in ministry (other than English): None Position Title: Settled Pastor Compensation Level: Full Time Does the total support package meet conference compensation guidelines? The Church Council has determined that we can afford to offer our new pastor a total of $75,000 (salary and benefits). This is less than the conference compensation guidelines recommend. The Union Church Pastoral Support Picture for 2018 is below, as is our offer for our new Pastor. PAGE 4

5 Clergy Compensation Worksheet 2018 Our Offer Minister's Compensation Salary Basis 1 Cash Salary (pp. 2-3, p. 14) $ 35,404 $ 35,000 2 Housing Allowance $ 14,640 $ 14,000 Fair Market Rental Value of Parsonage 3 Salary Basis Subtotal (add lines 1 and 2) $ 50,044 $ 49,000 Employer's Expenses 4 Social Security Offset (p. 5) (7.65% of line 3) $ 3,828 $ 3,748 General Benefits (pp. 6-7) 5 Annuity (14% of Ln 3 or 14% of Ln 1 x 130%) $ 7,006 $ 6,370 6 Life and Disab. Ins. (1.5% of Ln 3 or Ln 1 x 130%) $ 750 $ Health, Dental, & Vision Insurance $ 11,320 8 Criminal Background Check Reimbursement N/A Business Expense (pp. 7-9) 9 Business Travel ($.53.5 per mile for 2017) $ 3, Continuing Education $ 1, Professional Expenses $ 1, Employer's Expenses/Benefits Sub-total (lines 5-11) $ 25,176 $ $ $ $ 3, ,000 22,252 Total Compensation (lines ) $ 79,048 $ 75,000 PAGE 5

6 SCOPE OF WORK (add here the Scope of Work developed by your church using Call Agreement Workbook) Full-time Minister (40 hours) preparation and leadership of Sunday worship crafting the liturgy, scripture study, sermon prep, including bulletin preparation, music choice, finding and guiding lay liturgists, preaching, prayers, etc. faith formation and vitality through prayer, Bible study, service, identifying helpful resources and opportunities and helping lay persons take advantage of them leadership development working with people in the church to create ministry and programs community engagement leading the way for the church to be an ambassador of God s love pastoral care in collaboration with spiritual council or other lay people at least the elderly and the sick and those grieving weddings and funerals for participants in the worshipping community strategic planning for current and new directions in ministry faithful financial development attend meetings and give leadership as needed in relation to church programs, always in collaboration with lay leadership meetings of the governance board, committee meetings, administrative work such as planning and training of lay leaders be available to the community for funerals, weddings, special service programs and as a representative of the church in community organizations participate in wider church meetings and activities such as conference and association meetings administration responsibilities (unless delegated) such as , web-site, regular mail, church supply choices/purchasing, filing or resources, record-keeping responsibility and authority for supervision of all/some staff (Office Manager, Parish Nurse) counseling when there are special needs, listening and referral study and pray to keep learning and improving skills and understanding so as to lead, teach, and preach better inspiring, energizing, and deepening the spiritual connections and faith understanding of our congregation involvement and leadership in community ecumenical services and programs Core Competencies: These are the core competencies that we are looking for in our pastor. Caring Organized Articulate Knowledgeable Sensitive Detail-oriented Inspiring Understanding Sociable Time Conscious Well-read Comfortable Loving Self-disciplined Humorous with Pastoral Outgoing Administratively Charming Care and Engaging Skilled Able to lead Visitation PAGE 6

7 COMPENSATION AND SUPPORT Salary Basis (from the Call Agreement Workbook, equal to Cash Salary plus Value of Parsonage/Housing Allowance): $49,000 Benefits (choose one): X Salary plus Benefits Please see the Clergy Compensation Worksheet on P. 6, above. What is the expected living situation for your next minister (e.g. parsonage, living nearby with a housing allowance, living elsewhere to commute as needed)? We have no parsonage, but provide a housing allowance for our Pastor. This is a rural area, and while there are many homes for sale, rental housing is not abundant. A local real estate agent provided the following information: A 3 bedroom, 2 bath home rents for $700 - $1,000 per month. Comment on the residential/commuting expectations for your next minister. We expect that our pastor will live in our community, within reasonable commuting distance of the church. State any incentives (e.g. school debt reduction or retention bonus after a certain number of years in position): We do not have a precedent for incentives and have not addressed this issue in our planning. Describe peer and professional supports available for ministers in your association/conference: 1. The NE Cluster of the Minnesota Conference UCC gathers once a month in Brainerd (50 miles). Those who participate are Authorized Ministers in the UCC from the area (Walker, Hackensack, Wadena, Brainerd, Staples, Little Falls, and St. Cloud). 2. A Walker-Hackensack Ministerial Group is beginning to meet once a month. 3. Ecumenical collaboration occurs with St. Paul s Lutheran (ELCA), Sacred Heart (RC) and Union UCC. The three faith communities share weekly LOCAL CHURCH PROFILE JUNE 2016 PAGE 7

8 worship, ministerial staff, and a meal during Lent. Union and St. Paul s also share weekly services and a meal during Advent. 4. Cass County Chaplaincy program is an opportunity for ministers from all traditions to gather (once a month) for a meeting and then volunteer to be On-Call for the Cass County Sheriff s department. 5. The Minnesota Conference (UCC) offers many opportunities to gather and serve. Authorized Ministers and lay leadership are encouraged to participate in the Annual Meeting of the Minnesota Conference (UCC) at The College of St. Benedict north of St. Cloud on the second weekend of June. 6. Leaders in the Minnesota Conference are invited to participate in the Fall Convocation at a central location. 7. Excellent resources to Clergy in Minnesota are the four seminaries in the Twin Cities. Courses and conferences are provided. WHO IS GOD CALLING TO MINISTER WITH US? Describe the ministry goals you envision your next minister co-collaborating with the congregation to achieve. We would like our minister to lead with an emphasis on parish visitation, congregational growth, and community involvement. We envision someone who will not only minister to our congregation but also to our community. We would like to see a continuation of our work serving children and families in our community through our family ministries. We would also like to continue the ecumenical Lenten and Advent services we hold with the ELCA and RCC in our community. We want to continue the Parish Nurse program, and we would like to increase programming which focuses on faith development for the congregation. Describe how your vision of the minister you are now seeking will assist the congregation in making an impact beyond its walls. We want to continue our connection with community organizations. Our church has always provided weddings and funerals for anyone in need, and we wish to continue this ministry and extend an extravagant welcome to all people. We would appreciate someone willing to participate in the Chaplaincy program through the County Sheriff s office. We would like to have someone who would PAGE 8

9 be comfortable serving the elderly, both through parish visitation and by participating in community organizations and addressing justice and equality issues. We would like our minister to be willing and eager to visit our members and to reach out personally to befriend and welcome potential new participants in the life of our congregation. In short, we would like someone who has a willingness to provide a welcoming and comfortable environment for all people. Specify language requirements or culturally-specific capacities preferred in a next ministerial leader, and why those matter to the congregation s sense of calling. We are not an ethnically diverse community. However, we would like to see someone who is interested in learning about our Native American neighbors and would work with us on equality, justice, and peace issues. 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. 1. BUILDING TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP SKILLS Our community, like most others, is demographically heterogeneous. Our Pastor will work with sensitivity to economic, cultural and generational differences to bring differing individuals and families together into an integrated congregation in which all feel welcome and at home with each other and experience the presence of the spirit of the living Christ. Competent administrative skill is a key to effective leadership. In cooperation with the Church Council our Pastor will plan and schedule work mindfully, developing effective communications, measures of performance and keeping and recording performance data (pastoral visits, baptisms, confirmations, weddings, funerals, program attendance and other measures of congregational vitality) carefully and thoroughly, providing appropriate accountings to the Church Council, the Congregation and the Minnesota Conference. PAGE 9

10 2. ENGAGING IN SACRED STORIES AND TRADITIONS Union Church holds skilled preaching in high regard. Our Pastor will bring a breadth of knowledge from literature, including the Scriptures of the Christian and other religious traditions; history; science; philosophy, current events and life experience to the lively, literate, humorous, entertaining, inspiring and redemptive delivery of the weekly sermon. In full awareness of the origins, history and evolution of Christian liturgical tradition, our Pastor will lead worship with thoughtful and careful crafting of the liturgy, with attention to detail and preparedness in the conduct of services and a sense of the dignity of the pastoral role and of the sacred character of corporate worship including the celebration of baptism, holy communion and other ceremonies of the Church s tradition. 3. CARING FOR OTHERS Our Pastor will bring to the practice of ministry knowledge of human development and of individual and group psychodynamics that will foster healthy personal and congregational growth in spirit and intracongregational harmony, vitality and courage. We look for a Pastor whose human sympathy and understanding will undergird our efforts both to care for our congregants and to reach out to our community with appropriate programs of meaningful service. 4. ENCOUNTERING THE OTHER WITH JUSTICE AND MERCY In preaching, in pastoral and administrative work and through our congregation s educational programs, our Pastor will exemplify the bearing of Jesus Christ and the tradition of Christian social justice both locally and in the wider community of state, nation and world. We look for a Pastor who is creatively able to help our congregation practice the radical hospitality of God, particularly as expressed in our new Open and Affirming Statement. PAGE 10

11 WHO IS GOD CALLING US TO BECOME? Who is God calling you to become as a congregation? We are called to be an open and welcoming church, where everyone is accepted and loved. We endeavor to respond to the needs of our congregation, our community, and the world. We are called to a profound ministry which engages and serves elders who live or have retired in our community and includes an active Parish Nurse out-reach program. We are called to be a church for the community, providing services to those who may not have a relationship with a faith community and offering a space for community activities. God is calling us to be Christ-like in all our actions and words - being just and tolerant, loving others, caring for all people and the world, promoting peace, and being of service to others. Describe how God is calling you to reach out to address the emerging challenges and opportunities of your community and congregation. For example, describe two experiments your congregation has initiated or engaged in the past year, what were the results and where do you see your next steps? Has your church had a multiyear strategic plan or vision statement; if so, where do you see that plan/vision taking you? As described elsewhere, salient experiments have been 1) the New Beginnings Process and 2) the Open and Affirming Process. Both of these processes have sought with considerable success to engage a large portion of our membership in well-defined processes of discernment, sharing and, ultimately, deciding, first, to redefine our mission and second, to become an Open and Affirming Church. The New Beginnings process has resulted in the decision to redefine our mission under four headings: 1. Affirm and implement our Open and Affirming Statement. 2. Continue our Parish Nurse ministry. 3. Continue our Ministry to the Elderly. 4. Continue our work of mission and service locally and to the wider community. PAGE 11

12 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. For example, who is a favorite theologian admired in the congregation and why? How is God most often described in worship liturgy? In what ways would you describe the Holy Spirit in your midst? We are a progressive Christian community, sharing life together in the belief that we are God s children and that our hope and inspiration are in God, the source of ultimate meaning in our lives. We regard the Bible with seriousness, while allowing also for seriousness with respect to the insights that the study of history, science, biography and other faiths has to offer us in our search for inspiration. In recent years our pastor has given special attention to the writings of the late Marcus Borg, along with those of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite and John Shelby Spong. We are sensitive to the riches of Native American spirituality. We gladly subscribe to the UCC motto: God is still speaking. We are not a doctrinaire congregation but are open to varying ways of expressing God s identity and the roles of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We begin every Sunday service with the welcome: No matter who you are or where you are on life s journey, you are welcome here. PAGE 12

13 Describe several strengths or positive qualities of your congregation. Signs of the caring character of our congregation are, for example, our support for many years of a rich Parish Nurse program, sponsorship of an ecumenical Vacation Bible School each summer, and provision for the mutual support given to one another during weekly fellowship hours following worship and our school-year weekly Family Table program, all of which point to an underlying concern of our members for one another and for families in our congregation. Our care for our local community is clear in our offering of our building for the activities of local community organizations such as Bone Builders, Triad (a program to reduce victimization of the elderly), the Family Safety Network, The Izaak Walton League, local lake associations and the Northwoods Arts Council. Looking outward, our active support of Cass County Faith in Action program, two local Food Shelf programs, and a program of outreach to the local Native American community are signs of our care for the community beyond our own congregation. We enjoy a full program of worship, with weekly Sunday services and weekly ecumenical services during Advent and Lent. Our choir is loyal, and provides a valuable dimension to our liturgy and worship. A primary characteristic of our congregation is its welcoming nature. We are open and welcoming to all (we are an Open and Affirming Congregation) and are consistent in our efforts to make both old timers and newcomers feel welcome and appreciated. Describe what worship is like when your congregation gathers. For example, where does worship take place, and what is it based around? What was a recent baptism like? What are some words used to describe good preaching? Worship occurs in an open, friendly social environment. We worship in our sanctuary from April through December, and, in the winter months in our spacious and attractive Fellowship Hall. We celebrate Communion monthly, almost always by the method of distribution in the pews. Baptisms, while not frequent, are administered at the font, and are joyous occasions always delightful both to baptismal families and to the PAGE 13

14 members of the congregation. While we generally follow the lectionary and a traditional liturgical form, our service is not elaborate or highly formal. We are happy to be present during worship among friends, and grateful for the presence of newcomers. We enjoy the language of scripture, the comfort of the music of the organ, piano, choir and bell choir, the consolation of prayer and the opportunity to give for the support of our congregation s life and mission. We particularly value the stimulation of preaching, which, at its best, is engaging, informative, educational, thought-provoking, inspiring, entertaining and gives us God. Describe the educational program and/or faith formation vision of your church. For example, how are young people in leadership? How do people continue to form their faith over a lifetime? Name a topic studied or curriculum used recently; what was the impact of this study on those who attended? Our Christian Learning Ministry Team has provided educational opportunities for youth and families in the past Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, a Wednesday After School program followed by a family meal to which the whole community is welcome, and a Morning Out (Friday Day Care) program during the school year. In the past few years, our youth population has dwindled to a point where Sunday School and the Wednesday After School program are no longer offered. We continue to host a very strong and successful Vacation Bible School which is a community endeavor (approximately 40 students and at least that many adult leaders and helpers), we provide a meal every Wednesday night during the school year for children, families, the congregation, and the community (from participants). From time to time in recent years we have held after-worship adult study/discussion sessions for adults. A weekly Bible study led by a congregant has been meeting for over a year. Members of that group feel this study group has changed their lives. Describe how your congregation is organized for ministry and mission. For example, how are decisions communicated in your church? How are teams or committees organized? Where does your church struggle for vision? Union s principal leadership team is the Church Council, which is comprised of four officers: Moderator, Clerk, Finance Chair and Personnel Chair, plus four to six Ministry Team Leaders including PAGE 14

15 Facilities, Worship, Christian Learning, and Congregational Life. This is an experimental structure which has evolved as the congregation has aged and diminished in number and can no longer populate the structure of its conventional constitution. Visitors are always welcome to the meetings. A map of this structure follows on the next page. Our church has struggled for vision most recently in its 2016 New Beginnings Process and in its Open and Affirming process, both of which efforts have been led by ad hoc leadership teams. Otherwise we search for vision in our worship, Church Council meetings, and other church gatherings. PAGE 15

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17 When it comes to decision-making, in how many meetings does the minister participate? We expect our pastor to attend the Church Council s monthly meetings, which typically last 1-1/2 to 2 hours. The Finance Board s 1- to 2-hour monthly meetings are also very important. Attendance at hour-long ministry team meetings is sometimes needed. Attendance at the occasional Facilities Ministry Team s meetings and help with facilities projects is desirable. It is impossible to tell precisely how many hours our Pastor and congregants spend in meetings, but an estimate might put the figure close to 8 to 10 hours per month. Our Pastor probably spends 2 to 5 hours per month in these sessions to provide information, guidance and leadership support. Think of a time when action had to be taken quickly, for example when a crisis or disaster occurred. How was that accomplished? Church leadership manages church affairs efficiently and effectively; crises and disasters are extremely rare. In case of a crisis, the Pastor or lay leader may call other leaders, as appropriate, to address the situation, as when the church suffers a break-in, kitchen or other equipment break down, or when, as happened not long ago, someone scrawled an anti-muslim message on the church door. Otherwise, as, for instance, when the 2005 General Synod s vote to approve Gay Marriage threw our congregation into turmoil, we launched a series of meetings in which we used established group processes to allow members and friends to express their anxieties and concerns to each other in an orderly and respectful way. Competent volunteers facilitated these groups and served effectively to defuse the issue for many. Though we did lose several families as a result of our church s sympathy with the Synod s decision, we found majority support for it in our congregation. 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/No] Yes. See the Map of the Church Governance Structure on the preceding page. Previous years Annual Reports are readily available. PAGE 17

18 11-YEAR REPORT 1 In the 11-Year Report, for reasons not clear to us, many of the financial figures are inaccurate and the membership columns for are in error. The chart does not show deaths, transfers, and new members and membership figures are grossly inflated. These tables are not to be relied upon as an accurate profile of Union s finances and membership over the past 11 years. PAGE 18

19 CONGREGATIONAL DEMOGRAPHICS Describe those who participate in your church. Number of active members: 95 Is this number an estimate? (check if yes) Number of active non-members: 65 Total of church participants (sum of the numbers above): 160 Percentage of total participants who have been in the church: More than 10 years: 85 Less than 10, more than 5 years: 45 Less than 5 years: 30 Is this percentage an estimate? (check if yes) Number of total participants by age: Are these numbers an estimate? (check if yes) X Percentage of adults in various household types: Is this percentage an estimate? (check if yes) Single adults under 35: 0% X Joint household with minors: 1% X Single adults age 35-65: 4% X Joint household with no minors: 70% X Single adults over 65: 25% X PAGE 19

20 Education level of adult participants by percentage: Is this percentage an estimate? (check if yes) High school: 30% X College: 54% X Graduate School: 6% X Specialty Training: Ministry, Law, Medicine Other (please specify): Technical training or studies Percentage of adults in various employment types: 5% X 5% X Is this number an estimate? (check if yes) Adults who are employed: 11% X Adults who are retired: 86% X Adults who are not fully employed: 3% X Describe the range of occupations of working adults in the congregation: Occupations range through sales, management, services, and professional services. Nearly every person employed is performing a different job and for a different employer. 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? Union s congregation is almost entirely white, Anglo-Saxon. Our diversity comes from our previous and various faith traditions, our political views, our socioeconomic status, and from where we have come. Some of our congregation were born and have lived in the area, others moved here some time ago. There is also a portion that is recently retired to the area and still another that is only seasonally present. These differences and the life experiences that our participants have, makes our diversity. PAGE 20

21 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. Union has no plan for such a conversation at present. 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 8 Pastor and Lay Members Baptisms (number last year) 2 Pastor Children s Groups or Classes Vacation Bible School Morning Out 40 6 Board of Christian Learning Christmas Eve and Easter Worship 80 Pastor and Lay Members Church-wide Meals During Advent- Christmas and Lent-Easter 60 Lay Members Choirs and Music Groups (Bell Choir) 20 Choir Director Volunteer Bell Choir Director Church-based Bible Study 6 Pastor and Lay Members Communion (served how often?) Monthly Pastor Community Meals Family Table 30 Board of Christian Learning Women s and Men s Fellowships Confirmation (number confirmed last year) 0 Pastor Drama or Dance Program 0 Funerals (number last year) 10 Pastor Intergenerational Groups 1 - VBS Board of Christian Learning PAGE 21

22 Outdoor Worship 0 Prayer or Meditation Groups 0 Public Advocacy Work Justice Ministry Team 10 Lay Members Retreats 0 Theology or Bible Programs in the Community 0 Weddings (number last year) 3 Pastor Worship (time slot: 9:00 AM Summer) 75 Pastor Worship (time slot: 10:00 AM Winter) 35 Pastor Young Adult Groups or Classes 0 Youth Groups or Classes 0 Other Additional comments: None. 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) Tom Cox Y Fred Smith 2 Y 2 Fred is a seminary-trained, but not ordained, retired university professor. PAGE 22

23 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: One retired pastor currently serves as Moderator. A seminary-trained layman serves as Co-chair of the Justice Ministry Team. Two or three other ordained ministers are members of the worshipping congregation from time to time, most often in the summer months. None of these has ever served as Pastor of this congregation. 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 Head of Staff? Compensation (full time, part time, volunteer) Supervised by Length of Tenure for current person in this position Interim Pastor Yes Full Time Church Council (8 Months) Parish Nurse No Part Time Pastor 1 Year Secretary No Part Time Pastor 5 Years Treasurer No Part Time Finance Board 2 Years Choir Director No Part Time Organist(s) No Part Time Worship Ministry Team Worship Ministry Team Intermittently for Several Years Intermittently for Several Years Custodian No Part Time Facilities Board 10 Years Morning Out Director Morning Out Assistant Director No No Part Time Part Time Education Ministry Team Morning Out Director 10 Years Less than One Year Youth Coordinator No Part Time Education Ministry Team 1 Year PAGE 23

24 REFLECTION Reflection: After reviewing the congregational demographics and activities above, what does this information reflect about your congregation s overall ministry? Vitality and engagement are two terms that come to mind. Though not large in numbers, there is energy in our group, an eagerness to support meaningful programs and a desire to be relevant to the needs of our local community. CHURCH FINANCES Current annual income (dollars used during most recent fiscal year) Source Amount Annual Offerings & Pledged Giving (incl prepaid) $ 152,854 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 ) $ 0 $ 0 Christian Learning (from Treasure s Sale of gifts) $ 2,070 Gifts Designated for a Specific Purpose $ 0 Grants $ 0 Rentals of Church Building $ 680 Rentals of Church Parsonage $ N/A Support from Related Organizations (e.g. Women s Group) $ 1,000 Transfers from Special Accounts $ 0 Other (specify): Misc & interest $ 206 Other (specify): Operating carryover from 2016 $ 6,563 TOTAL $ 163,373 PAGE 24

25 Current annual expenses (dollars expended for most recent fiscal year): $151,893 Attached is the 2017 Financial Statement and 2018 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. The following material summarizes the church s current financial condition. Board of Financial Stewardship The congregation held its January Semi-Annual meeting on January 28, The main purpose of the meeting was to present the 2018 budget to the congregation, which wa approved. Budgeted expenses for 2018 are estimated to be $153,800, and the estimated income in support of the budget is estimated to be $154,380 including carryover from In 2018, if we spend the budget estimate and achieve the projected income, we will have a small surplus. This would mean there would be a very small carryover into A summary of the Reserve Savings account and Certificates of Deposit is: Funds held in principle (used only with congregational approval) $141,346 Funds available for committed purposes (i.e., Music, Youth, Scholarship, MRI, etc.) $45,271 Funds available for any purpose $9,616 The funds available for committed purposes is about $5,000 less than in 2016 because of the costs incurred in the past years for a new LP gas Furnace and Heat Pump, and the costs of upgrading lighting in the Sanctuary, Friendship Hall, Secretary s Office, and the Pastor s Office to LED lights, which reduces our electric costs.. Stan Kumpula, Chair of Board of Financial Stewardship; Don Hoppe, Financial Secretary; Sheryl Kaubisch, Assistant Treasurer, and Ron Merritt, Asst. Financial Secretary; Treasurer. PAGE 25

26 Considering total budgeted expenses for the year, compare total ministerial support. What is the percentage? Total ministerial support for 2017 was $77,238, which is 51% of total budgeted expenses. Has the church ever failed to pay its financial obligations to a minister of the church? Union has never failed to meet its financial obligations to its ministers. 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? (recommended 10%) Money Union contributed to OCWM is budgeted annually and paid out of members and friends contributions as payments on pledges, as freewill (i.e., plate ) offerings and as special freewill contributions during one month of the year. In 2017 Union contributed $4,800 to OCWM, or 3% of its operating budget. What is the church s current indebtedness? Total amount of loan debt: $0.00 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. A building program is not underway, and none is projected at this time. The last capital campaign was in the late 1990s and early 2000s. This was for construction of a church addition that included a new Friendship Hall, New Kitchen, Library, Music Room, Storage area, and a new Pastor s Office. PAGE 26

27 Describe the prominent mission component(s) involved in the most recent (or current) capital campaign. The capital campaign enabled the church to expand its facilities to meet the needs of its then-growing congregation, as well as the future needs of the church for gathering space, fellowship and dining space and a commercial kitchen, music rehearsal space and a base from which to provide pastoral services. Thus, it upgraded and expanded the physical base from which the congregation could pursue its mission of worship, fellowship, education and service. Does your church have an endowment? Yes; it is called the Bequests & Special Gifts (B&SG) Fund. It is comprised of the assets in our Reserve Savings bank account, investment accounts, and in CD s. What is the market value of the assets? $101,956 in principal and available funds. Are funds drawn as needed, regularly, or under certain circumstances? Funds can be drawn from the principal with congregational approval, but none drawn for many years. What is the percentage rate of draw (last year, compared to 5 years ago)? Nothing has been withdrawn from principal in the past year. Some money has been used from the available funds in the last year. Please comment on the above calculations or estimates: The money market CD s and the recent investment account are the only investments and interest rates have been low. Does the church have an investment policy? Union has a Policies & Procedure s Handbook which includes the church s Constitution, Organization, and Polices. In the Policies Section, there is a PAGE 27

28 four page Bequests and Special Gifts Policy which is administered by the Board of Financial Stewardship (BdFS). In general, all funds outside of regular operating funds and funds given to current missions can be invested with the approval of the Council. Currently the BdFS is managing the funds conservatively in a Savings Account, Certificates of Deposit, and recently, a small amount in investment accounts. As the funds do not exceed approximately $100,000, all monies available for investment are being used for infrequent maintenance or special projects. Some examples are the new furnaces recently installed, LED lighting installations as part of the church s Earthwise Congregation efforts, and underwriting our New Beginnings Assessment with funds given in memory of loved ones. Other Assets Reserves (savings): $59,204 (not including the Bequests and Special Gifts (B funds) Investments (other than endowment): $26,000 in Memorial Scholarship CD and $4,000 in Youth CD. Does your church have a parsonage? No. Describe all buildings owned by the church: The only building the congregation owns is the church building. The building includes on the main level a sanctuary seating approximately 200; entry hallways and narthex; a spacious and bright Friendship Hall with an accompanying commercial kitchen; an attractive library; offices for the pastor and secretary; ample handicapped accessible restrooms, including a large family restroom; and an elevator. On its lower level is a large social gathering space and kitchen; meeting/classrooms for children and youth; office space for the Parish Nurse; a spacious music room with storage space for the choir and bell choir; four restrooms and a shower room; and utility rooms for furnaces, storage, etc. PAGE 28

29 Describe non-owned buildings or space used or rented by the church: None. Which spaces are accessible to wheelchairs? (worship space, pulpit, fellowship space, facilities, etc.) All spaces in the upper level of the church except the chancel and pulpit are accessible to wheelchairs and the church has two wheelchairs available. All of the lower level main areas and one of the lower level restrooms are handicap accessible. Reflection: After reviewing the church s finances and assets described above, what does this information reflect about your congregation s mission and ministry? For example, when was a time the church made a major budget change? How is the budgeting process done? What new ministry initiative has your church financed? The financial information presented in the previous pages indicates that the church is in relatively good financial condition. However, the church s budget income and expense projections and actual results have continued to be on the borderline of being balanced as our congregation membership has slowly declined and expenses have increased. Also, our church building additions and improvements are aging and are requiring more maintenance. The church has also embarked on being an Earthwise Congregation and is making energy efficiency improvements, some of which will reduce future costs but require expenses now. Otherwise it is clear that more and more of our financial resources are required to maintain our facilities and support our staff, while less is available for support of OCWM and other mission outreach. This is an issue we hope the new minister will help us address. 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 1979 we built our new (and current) sanctuary. During the building process, we worshiped in St. Paul's Lutheran's sanctuary. This sharing led to a great relationship with St. Paul's Lutheran Church and to joint Lenten services. This has been increased to include Advent worship services and we are now joined by Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Our community has benefited from this great ecumenical relationship. Union Church was yoked for a time with Community Church, United Church of Christ of Walker, about 15 miles north of Hackensack. This yoke was broken by mutual agreement in 1991 when the Senior Pastor was retiring and felt it was time that each congregation needed and could support their own pastor. Union flourished and we called Rev. Michael Small to be our full-time pastor in In 2005, Union Church held its Centennial Celebration. This was a time of homecoming of many former members and included many community and denomination activities. This was a time for remembrances, but also at time to look toward our future. The most important event at Union Church during the last ten years has not been a single event, but multiple events and a process of evolution, sadness, and finally definition of traditions and beliefs. This begins with the issue of Marriage Equality and the 25th General Synod resolution on Marriage Equality for All. Union Church has always been a welcoming church and has had participants who are members of the LGBTQ community, but the General Synod resolution opened some new wounds. We were saddened when some of our members decided that they could not remain at Union. The Minnesota Marriage Amendment of 2012 and the "Vote No" movement opened another rift within the church and we again were saddened when some left the church over the marriage equality issue. This led to beginning the process of becoming an Open and Affirming congregation. We had a time of study, conversation and prayer. The New Beginnings process clarified that this was important to our church and after an overwhelmingly positive vote, were happy to follow our traditions, our beliefs, and our Mission Statement and proclaim ourselves an O & A congregation. PAGE 30

31 Describe a specific change your church has managed in the recent past. Union s congregation has done an excellent job of addressing LGBT issues, though not without cost in members. 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. For example, what is an example of a recent conflict and something your congregation learned from it? Describe an occasion when Does your church have policies, protocols or structures for dealing with conflict?) In 2005 the 25 th General Synod s approval of gay marriage provoked considerable anxiety within Union. With our pastor s guidance and the help of lay leaders, listening groups assembled to give members an opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings on the issue. Lay leaders served as facilitators, and members gathered at convenient times in some half-dozen circles of from 10 to 30 participants. Sitting in a circle, members were encouraged to speak without interruption. In a given circle s first two cycles, speakers were simply to share their own thoughts and feelings without responding to those of others. Then, in subsequent cycles, members responded to what they had heard others say. The result of this process was to reduce anxiety and increase trust and mutual respect among group members. One objective of utilizing this process was to avoid prematurely bringing the issue to a congregational vote, which could have resulted in an immediate split in the congregation with damaging consequences to the spirit of the congregation and the mutual friendship of its members. In the course of the process, it became clear that the majority of members supported the General Synod s action, or were neutral with respect to it. As a result, sadly, a number of individuals and families left the congregation, which both deprived them and the congregation of each other s fellowship and dealt a blow to the congregation s numerical and financial strength. However, the congregation emerged from the process with a clearer sense of its own identity and of the implications of its interpretation of Christian teaching. The congregation s early work on the gay marriage issue resulted twelve years later in its voting by secret mail ballot to approve overwhelmingly a congregational Open and Affirming Statement. 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) Wendy Jaine Summers (interim pastor) 8 mos. August 2017 present Michael J. Small 25 years 1992 July 31, 2017 Arden L. Johnson 22 years Comment on what your church has learned about itself and its relationship with persons who provided ministerial leadership: Union has been fortunate in its ministers. Over the past half-century relationships have been cordial and constructive. The congregation has proved itself to be cooperative with and supportive of its ordained leaders. Both of its most recent pastors have been well-loved, have enjoyed long tenure and have or will have served until the times of their respective retirements. Has any past leader left under pressure or by involuntary termination? Y/N/Ask us No 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 32

33 WHO IS OUR NEIGHBOR? COMMUNITY VISION How do the relationships and activities of your congregation extend outward in service and advocacy? As a result of our 2016 completion of the New Beginnings Process, Union has identified four priorities in its desire to redefine its mission: 1. Become an ONA Congregation (completed, 2016) 2. Sustain our Parish Nurse Program 3. Focus on Our Ministry to Elders 4. Focus on Our Mission to the Community 1. ONA Congregation In the fall of 2016, after an extended study and reflection process, the congregation voted overwhelmingly to become an ONA congregation. 2. Parish Nurse Program With the retirement of our long-time Parish Nurse at the end of December, 2016, the congregation has made it a priority to continue the Parish Nurse program. To that end, the congregation engaged a new Parish Nurse in March Ministry to Elders 83.4% of the Union Congregation is in the Boomer or older Generations. Boomer and older generations are also the largest cohort in our geographical area. Our ministry to elders is thus one of our four New Beginnings priorities. Our support of Cass County Faith in Action, and the Food Shelves in Walker and Hackensack represent our ministry to elders and others in our wider community, as does our Parish Nurse Program and our leadership of a weekly Bible Study open to all. Of course, our weekly worship services, and our Advent and Lenten services also represent our ministry to elders, as elders are the largest portion of the members of our worshipping congregations. 4. Mission to the Community PAGE 33

34 4.a. Our mission to our Community. Family Table Each Wednesday evening during the school year, volunteers prepare and serve a meal to which all members of the community, regardless of church or religious affiliation. Attendance is intergenerational, and ranges from babes-in-arms to the very elderly, and typically numbers from Annual Vacation Bible School Each June Union joins with other local congregations (Lutheran and UCC) to organize and implement a VBS program for local children from Hackensack and Walker, both churched and unchurched. Some children enroll, and about 50 adults and teenagers take responsibility for teaching, feeding and leading recreational activities for the children. Food Shelves in Walker and Hackensack Volunteers serve in turn with those of other congregations at the Walker Food Shelf. Men s Fellowship packs food boxes for others at Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas at the Hackensack Food Shelf. Members serve on the governing committees of the Walker Food Shelf. Cass County Faith in Action (FIA) Union members volunteer with Faith in Action, which provides transportation and home services, mainly to the elderly in the wider Hackensack area. Union hosts FIA informational and training activities. Union members serve on the FIA Board of Directors. Justice Ministry Team Meets approximately monthly during spring, summer and fall to discuss strategies to improve relations between the local white and Native American Communities. PAGE 34

35 In May of 2013, volunteers organized three criminal justice forums on Understand the Court System for the Walker- Hackensack-Akeley-Onigum (Leech Lake Indian Reservation) community. Volunteers and the Pastor attended Beyond Diversity s Courageous Conversations two-day workshop in Bemidji in January, Volunteers annually attend and provide financial support to the local Ojibwe Pow Wow. 4.b. Wider community mission work. Union annually budgets support of Our Church s Wider Mission. Also an element of our mission to the world is our initiation (2016) of an Earthwise Church effort in our church building to reduce the church s carbon footprint. To date we have switched from fossil fuel-burning furnaces to electric heat pumps and replaced incandescent and fluorescent lighting with LED lighting. Describe your congregation s participation in meetings, relationships and activities connecting the wider United Church of Christ (association / conference / national setting). Union s Pastor served on the Board of Directors and the Church and Ministry Committee of the Minnesota Conference. Union sends delegates to the MN Conference Annual Meeting. Check all of the following statements of witness that apply to your UCC faith community. (Find more information on these statements at ucc.org.) Accessible to All (A2A) no formal statement, but effectively so. Creation Justice no formal statement, Earthwise Church Initiative. Economic Justice Faithful and Welcoming God Is Still Speaking (GISS) no formal statement, but effectively so. Immigrant Welcoming Inter-cultural/Multi-racial (I M) no formal statement, but effectively so. Just Peace PAGE 35

36 Global Mission Church X Open and Affirming (ONA) - Statement approved January, 2017 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? Union has wrestled with the issues of gay marriage and with open and affirming issues. It has supported its pastor s celebration of gay marriage, and in the fall of 2016, after a year s study, approved its own Open and Affirming statement. Our embrace of this struggle has been a transformative experience, in that it has clarified for both the congregation and for the local community Union s position on LGBTQ rights. The struggle has not been without cost, as in in its course we have lost a number of long-time and generously giving families to other congregations. During monthly summer forums following Sunday worship, the Education Ministry Team has sponsored presentations on the environment, global warming, racial justice and other topics of current Christian concern. For one of these programs, a young Muslim couple was invited to make a presentation on Islam. The program was publicized in the local paper, and shortly thereafter someone scrawled an anti-muslim message on the outside of the church s entrance door. We have learned that there are elements within our community who are uncomfortable with our congregation s generally progressive stance on social issues. Describe your congregation s participation in ecumenical and interfaith activities (with other denominations and religious groups, local and regional). Union s ecumenical/interfaith participation has involved joint sponsorship with other Hackensack and Walker Churches of an annual Vacation Bible School, and of ecumenical Advent and Lenten mid-week worship services, which have in several years included leadership by a UCC-Lutheran-RC combined choir. PAGE 36

37 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. Union Church Mission Statement Union Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, is a community of diverse believers, sharing with one another and accepting of all. With God's unconditional love, we come together to worship, to nurture each other and to reach out with love to all persons. We worship for an hour weekly, and for two hours weekly during the four weeks of Advent and the six weeks of Lent, for a total of 62 hours per year. If we use the figure 4380 to represent the waking/working hours available in our lives (12 hours/day X 365 days), then we spend about 1.41% of our collective congregational life at worship. We spend roughly 10 hours a month, or 120 hours/year in governance, i.e., church meetings (Council, Board and Ministry Teams), 0r 2.7% of our collective congregational life in a year. It s impossible to tell how many collective hours are spent in service to others, since we don t collect data on the time our members spend in preparation for worship (e.g., choir rehearsals), driving or doing other work as Faith in Action Volunteers, as Food Shelf volunteers, or in attending Native American Pow Wows. Nor do we collect data on the person-hours spent planning and implementing Vacation Bible School, Family Table, the Annual Fish Fry, the annual Treasure Sale and other, special activities through which we reach out to our community. Suffice it to say that members of our congregation take the service dimension of our mission seriously and are sensitive to the needs of others in our community and in the world at large. Those who are able spend a good deal of their time, both in formal church activities and in informal, personal activities, reaching out to others. PAGE 37

38 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? We support our Pastor s involvement in the life of the Minnesota Conference, and in the ministry of the Chaplain s service sponsored by the Cass County Sheriff s Department. We haven t logged the time spent in these activities, but are comfortable with the amount of time involved, believing that they provide an important extension of the ministry of our congregation to the community. MissionInsite Comment on your congregation s MissionInsite report with data for your neighborhood(s) or area. What trends and opportunities are shown? Union Church is located in Hackensack, in Cass County. Cass is one of the poorest counties in Minnesota. There is no large urban center; instead there are 5 small town centers Cass Lake, Pillager, Pine River, Walker and Longville. Data for our neighborhood reflects a stable population that is 90% white and 8.4 % Native American. Single parents with children is a group that is growing at about 4% a year. We also have growth in the over 65 age group. 26% of our families make $15,000 $35,000 a year. 38% make $35,000 - $75,000 a year. White families make significantly more than Indian families. 37% percent of our neighborhood has a high school degree or GED. Another 25% has some college. There are few professional positions in our area. Trends or opportunities: Single-parent families are often stressed families. There is only one wage earner parent to provide for the needs of the children. Older adults are stressed as they age and have more difficulty caring for themselves. This group often needs transportation assistance and help with minor household chores. 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? Many of our participants have children who are grown and have their own children. We are actively involved in supporting our grandchildren as they grow PAGE 38

39 up. Many of us have worked as professionals in large urban areas. These folks bring many skills to the neighborhood and often have a higher income than the families in the area. How are the demographics of the community currently shaping ministry, or not? We reach out to community families with our Morning Out program and with our Family Table which offers a free meal and conversation each week. We also are partnering with Faith in Action to provide rides and other supports to older individuals that will help these folks stay in their homes. We support local Food Shelves which provide food to low income people. We provide food baskets to local families at Easter, Christmas and Thanksgiving. We are actively involved with our Native American neighbors around justice issues, i.e., clean water, treaty rights and criminal justice. What do you hear when you talk to community leaders and ask them what your church is known for? We are known for our openness towards all people. We are eager to collaborate with other groups and churches. We are generous with our resources. What do new people in the church say when asked what got them involved? People often say that they feel the love at our church. We are very welcoming and friendly. We are truly interested in others. PAGE 39

40 REFERENCES Provide names and contact information for up to three people who have agreed to serve as phone 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. Obtain agreement from each reference to receive phone calls from selected candidates. REFERENCE 1 Name / Position / Setting (Telephone / / Relationship to the Congregation) The Rev. Ms. Judy Gustafson, Pastor, St. Paul s Lutheran Church, Hackensack, MN Office Phone: Cell: (preferred) The Rev. Ms. Gustafson is good friends with Union Church. She personally knows and works with, and is well known by many members of our congregation. She enthusiastically supports and participates in our ecumenical Vacation Bible School Program and our ecumenical Advent and Lenten worship services. On several occasions she has filled in for our pastor both in the pulpit and pastorally when he has had to be away. REFERENCE 2 Name / Position / Setting (Telephone / / Relationship to the Congregation) Ms. Teresa Eclov, Director, Cass County Faith in Action PO Box Whipple Avenue Hackensack, MN Telephones: or (Toll Free) PAGE 40

41 Ms. Eclov is familiar with the Union congregation, as Union members serve on the Board of Directors of Faith in Action and are FIA Volunteers. At least annually for several years Ms. Eclov has made presentations during our moment for missions during the Union Sunday worship service. She has also made use of our building for FIA meetings and trainings and fundraisers. REFERENCE 3 Name / Position / Setting (Telephone / / Relationship to the Congregation) Sheriff Tom Burch, Cass County Sheriff Sheriff's Office 303 Minnesota Ave W, Walker, MN Cell: Sheriff Burch knows Union Church from having brought his Walleye Fish Fry team to the church for the past five years to prepare and cook Walleye for the annual June Men s Fellowship Fish Fry. He also meets with Triad in the church building, and the church often serves as the venue for his periodic community update meetings. Our pastor worked with Sheriff Burch in the Sheriff s Department s Chaplaincy Initiative. PAGE 41

42 CLOSING THOUGHTS CLOSING PRAYER STATEMENT OF CONSENT CONFERENCE/ASSOCIATION VALIDATION CLOSING PRAYER Include here any prayer or dream for the minister you imagine journeying toward you a poem, for example, or a Scripture passage or a piece of music that is meaningful to your Search Committee: As Union seeks to redefine its mission, it also seeks to grow in numbers in order to carry out its mission more effectively. To that end, Union seeks a minister who is attuned to congregational growth issues, sensitive to the wide social and economic variations in our local demographic, winsome in his or her preaching and skilled at reaching out and winning the interest of both seasonal and permanent residents of all walks of life in the mission of our congregation. As we pursue the redefinition of our mission, these verses from the 14 th chapter of the Gospel of Luke provide food for thought. Luke 14: Then Jesus said to his host, When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous. The Parable of the Great Banquet 15When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God. 16Jesus replied: A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, Come, for everything is now ready. 18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me. PAGE 42

43 19 Another said, I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me. 20 Still another said, I just got married, so I can t come. 21 The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame. 22 Sir, the servant said, what you ordered has been done, but there is still room. 23 Then the master told his servant, Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. 24I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet. 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 a 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.) Members of the Church Council the Moderator, Finance Board Chair, New Beginnings Task Force Chair, the ONA Task Force Chair, the Education Ministry Team Leader, the Communications Ministry Team Leader, the Called-to-Care Ministry Team Leader and the Facilities Board Co-chairs contributed to the development of the Profile. 2. Additional comments for interpreting the profile: All the evidence presented in the MissionInsites report, and in our own data regarding church attendance, finances and demographics, points to a declining congregation. National data pointing to the decline of mainline denominations and the end of white Protestant Christianity in the U.S. PAGE 44

45 would seem to reinforce a conclusion that Union Church s days are numbered. However, certain contrary data point to population growth in Cass County s lake country, particularly among the retiree demographic. In fact, there seems to be evidence from experience that in addition to others, some white Protestant Christians are choosing to retire to the north country, and that at least some of these folks will find Union Church to be a congenial church home during their retirement. Union is not intentionally a white congregation; in fact, it welcomes and enjoys the fellowship of people of other ethnicities, but overall, demographic realities indicate that Union s congregation will be predominantly white for the foreseeable future. In any case, regardless of ethnic demographic realities, Union seeks to grow in numbers, and the population trends in its area would seem to indicate that growth is possible. To test this hypothesis, Union seeks a congenial and outgoing minister whose strengths are in reaching out sensitively both to those who are local, i.e., who have lived in the community for some time, and to those who are newly arrived and who seek to be connected to and active in their newly chosen local community. To put it one way, we are seeing a mission Pastor. We see effective pastoral calling, both on settled Union members and on unchurched members of our community, including the younger folks who are likely to have children at home, to be a key skill in a pastor we will call and a principle activity of that pastor once he or she has assumed the position of our settled pastor. April 25, 2018 PAGE 45

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