“To Proclaim and Embody the Good News of Jesus Christ”
Profile for the Federated Covenant Church
202 Center Street
Dowagiac, Michigan 49047
The Search Committee Chairperson is:
Mrs. Sue Vomish
52513 Twin Lakeshore Dr.
Dowagiac, Michigan 49047
The Conference Superintendent assisting our church is:
Mr. Richard Lucco
Statistics: Numbers in Church Body
There are currently 70 members in the Federated Covenant Church, with an average
Sunday attendance of 45 and a care constituency of 90. We do not have a regular
Sunday School for elementary youth or junior/senior youth groups at present.
Confirmation Class has 4 students. Sunday adult class is 12-15. Our women’s group is
called Pegerettes and has a membership of 12.
Profile of Church Members:
A. Age 0-11= 6 5, 12-18=6 8, 19-24=0, 25-34=3, 35-49=3, 50-64=7, 65 plus=53
B. Occupations: 8 are business owners, 16 are in clerical positions, 3 are the
farmers, 15 are homemakers, 7 are in the trades, and 23 are in professional fields.
When you take the above count there are 43 currently retired, and 7 are students.
C. Household Units in Congregation: 40 are married without children at home, 6 are
married with children at home, and 20 are single. There are no single parents
with children at home.
D. The ethnic composition of our congregation is: Caucasian.
E. The ethnic composition of our community is: 87.68% Caucasian, 5.99% African-
American, .84% Native American, .67% Asian, and 2.43% Other. (This is
according to the 2000 census).
The model of constitution for our church government is: Leadership Team.
Name of Group Purpose of Group Number Frequency of meetings Leadership role
of (1=pastor, 2=
members both, or 3=
Sharing Christ MinistryEvangelism-plans 5 Monthly 3
Team community evangelism
strategies, has planned a
Spiritual Formation Oversees educational 8 Monthly 2
Ministry Team ministry, sanctuary set-
up, music ministry, and
Community of Christ Creates opportunities for 3 Meets as needed 3
Ministry Team fellowship in church and
Compassion, Mercy, Oversees homeless 4 As needed 2
and Justice Ministry ministry, participates in
Team local food ministry,
Jubilee Team Plans and leads monthly 5 Monthly 3
worship for physically/
Adult Formation Spiritual formation, 12-15 Weekly all year 2
Confirmation Spiritual formation of 4 Weekly during school 1
jr/sr high year
Choir Sings at worship 7 Weekly Sept-June 3/staff
Monday Study Group Bible study 10 Weekly Nov-May 3
Monday p.m. Study Grp Bible study/fellowship 5 Weekly 3
Tuesday p.m. Study Grp Bible study/fellowship 5 Weekly 3
“Dalton’s Gang” Men’s breakfast group/ 4 Weekly 3
GALS Women’s breakfast/ Just Weekly 3
Pegerettes Women’s group- 12 Monthly 3
Our Ministry Team structure is based on Dave Olson’s The American Church in Crisis,
especially the chapter: “The Message and Mission of Jesus.” (Zondervaan. Grand Rapids.
1. Sharing Christ Ministry Team Special projects have included distributing bottles
of water throughout the surrounding neighborhoods on a hot summer day. A
scripture passage, and worship time were printed on the label. This team also
sponsored free oil changes for single mothers in the community. These oil
changes were done in the church parking lot while the ladies waited inside the
church eating snacks, drinking beverages, and talking with other ladies from our
church. This team also put together a three day revival that used a guest preacher
from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Several area churches participated
in the event, contributing music and food.
2. Redemptive Ministry Team This team is not yet formed, but will oversee
ministries that help people break free from addiction, violence, etc.
3. Spiritual Formation Ministry Team whose purpose is to oversee Christian
education, worship service, music, youth ministry, etc. A subcommittee, the
Sanctuary Team, sets up the sanctuary for Sunday and special services. This team
prepared our 24/7 prayer room for the weekend before Easter, does VBS with a
neighboring church, will host a Fireproof! event, and a fall bonfire, among other
events. As the team grows, there will be another subcommittee, the Worship
Team, that will help in planning and preparing worship.
4. Community of Christ Ministry Team whose purpose is to build a authentic
Christian community of faith within, and outside the church. This team built and
entered a float in the Dowagiac Summer Fun Fest parade, as well as the Winter
Carnival, sponsored a church booth at the Fun Fest, and is participating in the
ecumenical Dowagiac Family Reach-Out in June (an outdoor, Christian carnival
for families). CCMT put together a donkey procession through the neighborhood
on Palm Sunday with parishioners dressed in costumes of Jesus’ time, and
walked, with a live donkey, through the surrounding neighborhood.
5. Compassion, Mercy and Justice Ministry Team. Current projects are Simeon’s
Hope, a program that serves the homeless in the area, and Angel Food Ministries,
a program that provides low cost food to the community. Both of these programs
involve working with other churches in the area and are run by laity. The
homeless shelter is housed in our church and operates on weekends during the
cold months. Clergy has provided mission interpretation, brought in mission
speakers, and arranged monthly, hands-on mission projects on communion
6. Stewardship Ministry Team This team is not yet functional but will oversee
stewardship and financial education, stewardship of the earth, and identify and
develop spiritual gifts. There is a weekly course just beginning on personal
finances for the congregation and community being offered by a church member.
Ministry Team Treasurer
Sanctuary Leadership Team
ServiceTeam Responsible for spiritual
ministries and business of
church. Elected by cong.
LT chooses its own Stewardship
Compassion, officers. Must have 4-8 MT
Mercy & parishioners. LT appoints
Justice MT leaders of Ministry Teams
who gather their helpers.
of Christ MT
There are three primary industries in the community: Creative Foam, Ameriwood, and
Dowagiac, Michigan, is located in a beautiful, rural area, in the southwestern part of the
Lower Peninsula. The population of the town is approximately 8,000. Attributes of the
community consist of Southwestern Michigan College, Dowagiac Airport, Borgess Lee
Memorial Hospital, and Amtrak availability to all parts of the country. It is a large
summer resort area, with numerous lakes. We are close to the Chicago, Illinois
metropolitan area, the city of South Bend, Indiana (Notre Dame University), and the city
of Kalamazoo, Michigan (Western Michigan University). Major trends in our
community during the next five years would include a transition from manufacturing to a
bedroom community. The economic downturn has severely impacted the area, and many
businesses have closed, or moved away. As a result unemployment and homelessness are
high, and there is a large segment of young (teenage) single parent families. Also, there
is a large segment of non-church going people. This provides a great opportunity for
Our church participates in many community responsibilities. We run the Simeon’s Hope
Homeless program, are involved in the Angel Food Ministries, and host the Burgess
Consultation Group for abusive men. We also host the Salvation Army, which provides
assistance to the poor of our community. In addition, our church building is currently
used by a dance group, Weight Watchers, and the Girl Scouts.
Denominational and Conference activities:
The Federated Covenant Church has been a member of the Evangelical Covenant Church
for less than a year. However, we have embraced the many activities our new
denomination/conference makes available to its members. We encourage attendance at
conference and denominational meetings, camps, retreats, etc. We have sent members to
regional and denominational annual meetings. We have sent not only children from our
congregation to summer camps, but donors from our congregation have sponsored
children from our community, and paid for them to attend the Covenant summer camp
programs. We also sent a delegation to the women’s retreat.
Year Local Operating Loan Denominational Conference Other
Income Expense Payment Giving Giving Giving
2008 $92,061.14 $100,983.28 $0.00 $0.00* $0.00* $3771.29
2007 $80,752.64 $69,227.01 $581.30 $0.00* $0.00* $500.00
2006 $106,817.83 $100,523.48 $1600.00 $153.00 $0.00 $0.00
2005 $100,225.93 $100,881.96 $1200.00 $306.00 $0.00 $83.00
*No denominational affiliation. The 2009 budget gives $2000.00 to the ECC and
$3000.00 to the GLC.
Present savings- $12,000.00 Present investments & endowments/bequests- $101,620.00
Pay moving and travel expenses as follow $6,000.00
The group insurance program of the Evangelical Covenant Church $14,000.00
Value of Parsonage (33%) $22,770.00
Social Security $2,221.00
Total Compensation $53,991.00
Life & Disability $644.00
Health Insurance $14,880.00
Total Benefits $21,900.00
Reimburse the following ministry expenses, reviewing them annually:
Ministry Mileage $1,200.00
Continuing Education $0.00 (First Year)
Covenant External Orientation Program $750.00
Ministry Resources $785.00
Our church’s current vision or mission statement:
“TO EMBODY AND PROCLAIM THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS CHRIST”
The Federated Covenant Church seeks to build a community of believers in Dowagiac,
Michigan, who practice honesty and openness while deepening our understanding of the
gospel. We aim to touch our city with prayer and hands-on service, acting as a catalyst in
building community with area churches and nonbelievers. We endeavor to continue our
transformation into a healthy, missional church as described by the Evangelical Covenant
Church, where peoples’ lives are changed by Jesus Christ on a regular basis. We will do
this by living out the mission and ministry of Jesus to:
• Share Christ.
• Break the bondage of sin that keeps us from reflecting God’s image.
• Provide spiritual formation opportunities.
• Engage in acts of compassion, mercy, and justice.
• Establish an authentically Christian community.
• Practice faithful stewardship.
We trust in God to expand our community inter-generationally through forming spiritual
relationships with non-believers, diversifying our worship, and increasing our ministries.
Our Core Values:
1. Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and our reason for existing as a
2. Our Christian witness to others depends on how we treat one another.
3. The church is a movement of God among us, not a place we come to.
4. We honor the past, but encourage each other to follow God into the future.
5. A gospel kept to ourselves is useless to our world.
6. Getting out into our neighborhood is vital to the health of our congregation and is
part of our call from God.
7. Seeking after God, even when it means change, is the Christian’s true vocation.
8. We will love one another through change.
9. We need to seek God to understand and accept the changes in our culture.
Important events in the history of our church:
Federated Covenant Church was founded in 1917, when two long time community
churches merged together. They were the Baptist Church, and the Congregational
Church. In 1947, fire destroyed the church building, and the whole community
responded to the tragedy by helping to build a new church. In 1965, the church joined
the United Church of Christ denomination, and left it in 2006 when conflict with certain
doctrinal issues arose. Late in 2006, our pastor left to return back east to care for ailing
parents. We considered several new denominations for membership. The Evangelical
Covenant Church was a denomination we were very interested in. In 2007 we asked for,
and received, an interim pastor from the ECC who guided us in our search for a new
denomination. Not surprisingly, in 2008 we joined the Evangelical Covenant Church.
We have been a church in transition for the past couple of years, and our interim pastor
has expertly guided us through this process. Our long time governmental model changed
from a board model to a leadership team model. During this process of change the
church has gone through a number of stages in which the congregation has been largely
supportive. This period of change has not been without controversy, however. Members
have left, new people are attending services, and the change process continues to move
forward. The Federated Covenant Church is eagerly anticipating hiring a permanent
pastor who will join the Leadership Team/Ministry Teams/ and Congregation in pursuing
the vision God has given us for his church.
Our church’s preference and practice related to women in leadership, both pastoral,
Women have traditionally taken leadership roles as lay people. They have provided
leadership at all levels of governance, worship, and ministries. Our interim pastor is a
woman, and has served our church for the past two years.
Expectations for the pastor to participate in the congregation’s Christian Formation
The interim pastor has taken an active, supporting role, in our Spiritual Formation
Ministry Team. She has been instrumental in providing resources to the team, and
guiding them in all that they do. This team is the largest, and has more responsibilities
than any other ministry team at the church. We would expect the new pastor to continue
this extensive involvement with this team.
How our church builds community:
We build community, both within the congregation, and outside the church, through our
ministry teams. These teams put together events that provide opportunities for everyone
to get involved, at any level they choose. Within the congregation we have forged many
new relationships, as people have broken out of their comfort zones to participate in some
of these projects. Our church as gone out of the building, into the neighborhoods, and
town, touching directly the lives of people who need Jesus. We have been active in
putting together an ecumenical coalition of area churches, whose members have also
been involved in these many projects/activities. New attendees are starting to show up at
worship services, as a result of all of this. We truly live up to our slogan “To embody
and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ”. We are convinced that the gospel is not
just a series of stories proclaiming the good news, but rather, a lifestyle that puts the
gospel into action, in our community of faith, and in the world around us. The Lord
wants us to live out the good new of Jesus Christ, in everything we think, do, and say. In
the words of our Conference Superintendent, Richard Lucco, we “put feet to the gospel”,
and make it reach out and touch the lives of people in very tangible ways. We are
servants of our Lord Jesus Christ, and we serve him in any way that he chooses to use us.
We are excited about what God is doing with our church, and look forward to a new
pastor who will share in our enthusiasm to live out the gospel in a very real way.