Transition at First Church

February 15, 2024

As we enter into the early days of First Church’s season of transition, church leaders are pleased to announce the formation of two teams to guide our journey over the coming months.

  • The members of our Interim Minister Search Team are Jim Cairns, Claire Morgan, Stephen Weller, and Linda Ziebell. They are working closely with our SNEUCC Area Conference Minister Rev. Alex Shea Will, who is providing resources on the “search and call” process. (Click HERE for more information about our United Church of Christ polity and the general process for pastoral transitions.) The team is updating our church profile so that the position can be listed for candidates to consider, and the team will be taking the lead on interviewing promising candidates.
  • The Leavetaking and Farewell Team is made up of Bruce Hoppe, Amy Matias, Beth Spaulding, and Alex Steinert-Evoy. They will begin sharing information with the congregation about these plans very soon.

Moderator Moana Bentin, Vice Moderator Phil Jones, Deacon Co-Chair Leslie Pelton-Cairns, and Deacon Co-Chair Casey Marsh welcome your questions and input as we walk this journey together.

February 6, 2024

Pastor Dan Smith has shared big news. After 20 years with First Church, Dan will be leaving his role as our Senior Minister at the end of June. As Dan shared in his letter, we know this significant change comes at a time when other things are changing all around us. At all times, but especially in the season of Lent, our tradition invites us to lean into prayer and spiritual practice, and to find courage in God and in our community.

As we enter into a time of pastoral leavetaking and transition, we ask God’s blessing upon our grief, our gratitude, and our discernment of next steps – including searching for an Interim Minister and planning for Dan’s farewell.  In this tender time, we invite your prayers for Dan and his family, and for our First Church community and its leaders as we prepare to say goodbye and open our hearts to what comes next.

Read Dan’s letter here.

Read the church leaders’ letter here.