Last November and December, the committee asked you to respond to a survey with your hopes and dreams for Federated Church for the future. We received nearly 70 responses, a phenomenal response rate during this time of COVID! We thank you again to each of you who took the time to share your thoughts. We tallied all responses and read through your comments, grouping them under common themes and here’s what we learned:

  • It is very important to you that Federated continues to be a welcoming, affirming congregation that embraces diversity in our congregation and in thought. We want to continue to be able to lovingly agree to disagree.
  • Federated’s commitment to mission and specifically to caring for the poor is a key reason many respondents were attracted to the church and must continue to be a cornerstone of who we are as we go forward.
  • In terms of the characteristics you want in a new pastor, there were also common threads:
  • You want someone who has strong administrative skills to lead the staff and the church into the future—someone who can make the tough decisions when needed.
  • You want someone who has a heart for the people of Federated and a desire to serve alongside them, as well as provide pastoral care to them at all stages of their lives.
  • You want strong pulpit skills—a pastor who is scripturally based with sound teachings, and it’s very important that the pastor be able to relate Biblical teachings to our lives today.
  • Finally, you understand that Federated is at a crossroads in its life, as are many churches during this pandemic. You want someone who will be an agent of change, who isn’t afraid to pivot and try something new to help lead us into the future.

In addition to preparing, collecting, and analyzing the congregational survey, our committee has completed our Congregational Profile, which is a required baseline summary document that calls upon us to collect and report in depth and detailed information about both Federated and the local community.

Our next step, which we have just begun, is to determine what materials we want to prepare and share with pastoral candidates who are sent our way by the Disciples and Baptist churches. It’s a new world, since we last did this. The last search committee compiled an excellent spiral bound book for candidates; we are looking at a variety of different ways to describe who we are.  The “This is Federated” video you’ve seen recently is a great example of the kinds of things we want to use to showcase our church.

Finally, we are staying in touch with both our Disciples and Baptist representatives at the denominational level for guidance and support. They receive our weekly meeting minutes so that they are up to date on our progress and they tell us that they are very pleased by our work thus far.

Please continue to pray for this committee’s work and for the individual members who have willingly given up their Monday evenings to do this important work for you: A couple of them have attended our Zoom meetings after major surgery or while on vacation—that’s how important this is to them! The committee is:

Lynnette Biviano   Ty Cobb    Tori Reese   Dave Reif   Blair Schultz   Rita Schultz    Pauline Shen   Barb Tyner  Patty Useem

 And as you pray for the committee’s work, please pray for whoever our next pastor will be—that God is preparing their heart even now to lead Federated Church.