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Call Committee Update 2022.08

by Pastor Bahe
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The members of the Call Committee have the responsibility of prayerfully considering who will be Zion’s next Sr. Pastor.  They were prayed for and blessed during worship services on July 17th.  We are grateful for the commitment and on-going work.  Please keep them in your prayers:  Josie LaFave, Andy Kohls, Dominic DesMarais, Taryn Bullert, Phyllis Bengtson, Eric Mattson, Jennifer Gustafson , Joan Halderson (alternate), Paula Herda (alternate), Hannah & Tyler Peterson (alternate).

A few things to remember about a Pastoral Search …

The Call Process Is a Time of Prayerful Discernment

Process is the perfect word, because things work in a sequential order, guided by the Holy Spirit. However, it is not a time-line based process. Because there are many variables, we can’t give a precise time-table, which can be frustrating in a world that demands quick fixes. Taking time to pray and ask: “Is this the person the Holy Spirit is calling us to be in relationship with?” and then listening for God’s direction is essential to the future relationship with that new pastor and to the mission and ministry of the congregation.

Pastors are Called to Serve, Not Hired.

What’s the difference? A Call is a mutual understanding and commitment between God, pastor, and congregation.  Both the congregation and the candidate must have a sense of Call from God regarding the relationship and the candidate must have an internal and external sense of Call that this is where God is leading him/her to serve in public ministry. The relationship of pastor and congregation begins when all voting members of a congregation have had the opportunity to pray, consider, discern, and vote on the particular Call of a specific pastoral candidate.

Commitment to Confidentiality

The congregation will be kept informed about the process, but who the Call Committee is interviewing is, by necessity, a confidential matter.  Please do not ask the members to break that covenant by asking who the candidates are.

Relationship with the Synod/Bishop’s Office

The Call process is specific to each congregation, but integrally connected to all other ELCA congregations.  Therefore, we work in concert with the Bishop’s office all throughout the Call process. The pastoral candidates must be a member in good standing of the ELCA Roster.  Therefore, all interviewees will be contacted first by the Bishop or a member of the Synod staff on behalf of the Bishop. We cannot know all of the moving parts in a congregation where a candidate may be presently serving, so we rely on the Bishop’s office to help discern which candidates are available to interview at a given time and to help us find good matches.

National Search

The ELCA has a system that matches pastoral candidates from the entire ELCA to find potential candidates for interviews. Members of Zion are also welcomed to submit names of pastors who are currently serving ELCA congregations to the Call Committee, who will turn those over to the Bishop’s office.  The Bishop will then let us know if that pastor is currently available to interview or not.

Pastor Kari Bahe

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