Mission & Vision

As people of an historic and ever-renewing congregation of the United Church of Christ, we seek to know and to share the transforming power of God: Creator, Christ and Holy Spirit,

  • through following the teachings of Jesus Christ, the source of our salvation and the head of the Church;
  • through regularly gathering together for vital, Biblically-based worship of our God;
  • through shared life and learning as a community of faith;
  • through personal spiritual practice;
  • through faithful stewardship of our resources: financial, property, and human;
  • through Spirit-led, collaborative decision-making;
  • through love and service to those in need, physically and spiritually;
  • through love and respect for one another;
  • through the full discernment and expression of our God-given individual abilities;
  • through embracing, honoring, encouraging, and learning from the diversity among us;
  • through active engagement with our city and all its people; and
  • through accepting God’s challenge to look beyond our assumptions, to face boldly our questions and doubts, and to reach outside of our every-day comforts.

With God’s help, we strive in faith to be a wellspring of hope for diverse people in our neighborhood, the city, the region and throughout the world.

Mission & Vision Statement, adopted by the congregation of Old First Reformed United Church of Christ, April 4, 2008

Old First’s Financial Budget

Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. — Matthew 6:21

These pie charts depict how Old First invests its financial resources. We have other resources, of course, in the time and talents of our congregation. The investment of those resources are not depicted here, but the results can be seen in the work and life of our church.

About the image above: This painting, which hangs in the front entrance of Old First’s church building, was a parting gift to the congregation from Rev. Geneva Butz, Old First’s pastor from 1984 to 2003. The artist is Sr. Helen David Brancato, whose work also hangs in Old First’s Social Hall.


Old First has a deliberately non-hierarchical governance structure. Michael often refers to it as “our mission structure” because it intends to send the church forth in mission and ministry. Rather than a centralized board that has to sign-off with approval on ministry and mission initiatives, Old First has a very horizontal structure, few elected positions, and an openness to people’s participation and the work that people in faith feel called to do. The Elders hold an ultimate fiduciary responsibility for the Congregation. Otherwise, their responsibilities are for creating the overarching policies, from the church’s Vision and Mission statement, used for evaluating the church’s work, setting long-term vision and adjudicating or peacemaking when necessary between competing interests. After that the church relies on a number of different Standing Leadership Groups (SLGs) and Directors to get its work done: The Adminstrative SLG, The Christian Ed SLG, The Outreach SLG and a Community Engagement Director and an Endowment Director.

The working policies that the Elders have drafted (and were presented to the congregation at its 2013 Annual Meeting) are listed below. The church means to say that its people can engage in ministries related to these as long as that meet these criterion:

• No one in the life of the church shall be subjected to disrespectful, hateful, emotionally harmful speech or action, or inappropriate or unprofessional behavior by or from another person.

• Old First will not overlook, or be unaware or unappreciative of, or careless with, or otherwise undervalue the wisdom that, as a long-lived community of faith, it can develop, accrue, and pass on.

• Old First’s buildings, grounds, property and physical assets shall not be mistreated, misused, neglected for maintenance, or subjected to unusual or unreasonable risk.

• Old First’s congregation, Elders, other governing boards, leadership and staff may not waste, misuse, fail to protect, put at unusual or unreasonable risk, or dedicate to purposes other than our mission, the church’s financial resources.

• Old First shall not unnecessarily add to, or accelerate, the depletion of the Earth’s resources.