First Congregational Church
(United Church of Christ)
Rev. Toby Jones, Pastor

101 State Street
Charlevoix, MI 49720

Weekly Newsletter- May 28, 2020

First Congregational U.C.C. Charlevoix –

Weekly Newsletter May 28, 2020

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Welcome to our weekly newsletter!

With the changes in our life because of the COVID 19 virus, we need to develop new ways to communicate to replace what used to happen naturally when we gathered together. So, we are giving a weekly newsletter by email a try! We will post this to our web page and email it out to all of our members. Please be patient as we figure this new thing! If you have suggestions for improvement or notes you’d like added, let us know!   

Pastor Greg Briggs and Leah Dice.

Update from the Search Committee

Candidate Sunday, June 21

Dear members of the First Congregational Church, UCC of Charlevoix,

                As members of the Search Committee, we want to express our gratitude for the trust you have placed in us. We have concluded our prayer-filled process of reviewing profiles and interviewing candidates, ultimately reaching a consensus decision. We are pleased to recommend to you our final candidate for the position of Settled Pastor to be considered by the congregation at a special meeting on Sunday June 21, 2020.

To review our steps:

  1. The Transition Committee sought your perspective on our church’s ministry through a questionnaire and a series of meetings. Your insights and ideas were incorporated into our Church Profile that candidates read.
  2. Our vacancy was listed in the UCC Ministry Opportunities where hundreds of candidates saw it.
  3. Persons authorized to complete a UCC Ministerial Profile submitted their profiles through the conference office for our committee. These profiles have information about the candidates’ sense of calling, formation for ministry, faith and leadership experience, references, an ethical self-disclosure form, and a criminal background check.
  4. We reviewed the profiles with our church profile in minds. We selected a number of initial and follow-up interviews. We called references and completed due diligence through the conference, before inviting our top candidates to a “neutral pulpit” interview. We hosted three neutral pulpits.
  5. Following the neutral pulpits, we sought God’s guidance and prayerfully made a decision. We were glad when our top candidate responded enthusiastically to our invitation for a candidate weekend. Terms of call were worked through with the candidate and our church Moderator, Vice-Moderator, and Treasurer.
  6. Then came the Shut-down and plans for a Candidate’s Weekend have had to be modified. The Moderator developed a plan to conduct the service online. This plan was approved by Council and we are moving forward.

        Confidentiality has been essential to the entire process of profile review and interviews, so we kept you in necessary suspense.  It is important to honor the integrity of our committee’s discernment and to respect the candidate’s current ministry setting. As we move forward, we ask you to keep confidential the candidate’s name and current ministry until such time as the congregational vote is affirmative and we have the candidate’s consent to publish the news of the call.

        In addition to the confidentiality needed, please understand we may need to adjust this plan as we move forward. 

        Our current plan is on June 21st you will receive a biography of the candidate. You will have a video opportunity to see and hear the candidate in the worship on Sunday when the candidate will lead worship and preach.  A “meet and greet” meeting via Zoom will occur at 11 a.m. on June 21st for the opportunity to ask questions of the candidate. This will be followed immediately by a congregational meeting and a vote on the call to the new pastor. You will have the opportunity to cast your vote by email or telephone.

We have been grateful during this search process for the leadership of Rev. Greg Briggs.

        Please plan to connect to the church service and the following meetings.  We are blessed with a wonderful church community.  With hard work and God’s guidance, we will be blessed with a wonderful pastor to guide us as we minister in the name of Jesus Christ.

The Search Committee

The Science of Return 

This week, the UCC hosted a panel of experts to discuss the Science of returning to the church building as well as the faith considerations. What should we be attentive to? What do we need to know? How can we gather together again, safely and faithfully?  It was an informative and unexpectedly faith-filled conversation. We encourage everyone to watch it. 

News From The Diaconate – Care Letters

Photo by Kate Macate on Unsplash

To keep in touch with friends and members of the church during either difficult or joyous times, the Diaconate Committee has continued to send out Care Letters  and  Birthday Cards/Notes.  We know that others in the congregation would like to have the opportunity to share in this much appreciated ministry.

 If you are one of those who would like to help with this, please just send an email to the church at to let us know of your interest, and you will be contacted by Joyce Herbert. 



Starting this month, all members will begin receiving birthday cards, regardless of their age.  If you have not provided us with your date of birth, please email the church office at At this time, we are not posting birth dates publicly, due to privacy concerns. If you would like a members birthday, please let us know and we will be happy to send it to you directly.