Florida Conference of the United Church of Christ
                                   EMBRACING  THE  VISION



Florida Conference of the United Church of Christ
                                Where  God  is still  speaking...

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October 25, 2014 ~ Fall Gathering of the Florida Conference ~ First UCC, Orlando

A Vision for a New Day . . . A Leader for Our Churches

The Search Committee and the Board of Directors excitedly and enthusiastically introduce—
The Rev. John Vertigan, our candidate for Florida Conference Minister

Grace and peace to you from God, from Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

Thank you for this opportunity to introduce myself.  My gratitude goes out to Ed Pritchett, Bruce Havens, and each member of the Search Committee, as well as the Board of Directors, who engaged with me in questioning and conversation before this moment became possible.

I am a United Church of Christ Pastor; licensed since 1989 and ordained in 1995 in the New York Conference of the UCC. I have been fortunate to serve faith communities of many sizes and configurations and my heart is with both the local congregations as they strive to be faithful and with those authorized ministers who serve in ministries other than the local church. The unsung chaplains, spiritual directors, community organizers, counselors and therapists, along with others who witness on our behalf, are an integral, if not always recognized, part of our community life and ministry.

My values are those of a life-long member and lover of the United Church of Christ.  In Florida, I hope we will build on those values of extravagant welcome, continuing testimony, and changing lives.  I hope we will strive toward multicultural and multiracial community building, advance the just cause of the ONA movement, and recognize the growing need for churches and buildings that are widening their welcome to the developmentally challenged while expanding their accessibility to persons who are physically able in ways other than the majority population. I also recognize not everyone in the UCC clings to these particular values with the same tenacity as I do.  My greatest hope is that the Florida Conference will embody a covenant of welcome, mutual respect, and engagement across the spectrum of social and theological understandings. When we come to the table vulnerably and willing to greet each other with Christ’s peace, we build the beloved community and further the realm of God.

I currently serve as a member of the Cabinet of the Council of Conference Ministers. I am a member of the CUE Board that aids in development efforts for our three Midwestern seminaries. I serve as the UCC representative to the General Assembly Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Relationships of the PCUSA and on the Board of Directors of the Kentucky Council of Churches.  I serve on the Board of Directors of the Indiana Interchurch Center, a non-profit office building housing the offices of five Christian denominations as well as an Interfaith Center, a Jewish Community Council, the Muslim Alliance of Indiana, and other not for profit organizations.   

I am single, and have a 24-year-old daughter, Allyson who resides in Berkeley California.