Based on the recommendation of the Pastoral Discernment Task Force and the Elders’ own discernment process, the Elders of Old First Reformed United Church of Christ hereby recommend to the congregation that Reverend Michael W. Caine be called as the church’s settled pastor.
In the elders’ recommendation to the congregation, which you can read in its entirety, Stephen W. Wilhite, moderator of the elders, cited Michael’s many accomplishments since joining the church as Covenant Minister in August 2009. Among those accomplishments, Michael has:
- Led the revitalization effort that has resulted in a significant increase in worship attendance, membership, and stewardship in support of the church;
- Connected and energized youth and young adults in the congregation;
- Modeled Christian caring for the congregation’s older members; and
- Exhibited passion, honesty, courage, and boldness in testing boundaries in ways that promoted spiritual growth in members, in visitors, and in himself.
In making the recommendation, the Elders also call upon the congregation to make certain commitments to join in the journey of leadership with Michael. These are articulated in the full recommendation, and include:
- Welcoming the change that becoming a significantly larger faith community will necessitate;
- Freeing Michael from some of the duties of a traditional pastor so he can focus on leading in ways that will grow the church; and
- Strengthening the church’s financial position.
All members of Old First are strongly encouraged to attend the congregational meeting on Sunday, November 18 (immediately following the regular 11:00 am worship service) at which time we will vote on the elders’ recommendation. In-person attendance is preferable, but voting by proxy or absentee ballot are also permitted. The details of those options will be available shortly.