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Call Committee Update 2022.09

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The Call Committee met with the Transition Team to learn more about the results of the CAT (Congregational Assessment Tool). The conversation was lively and filled with excitement for the future at Zion. Thank you, again to over 400 of you who participated in the CAT assessment. There is much to glean from what you told us through this tool and the Call Committee will use the feedback to guide and direct the search for Zion’s next Senior Pastor.

The Call Committee has also met with Pastor John Hulden, Assistant to the Bishop of the Minneapolis Area Synod of the ELCA. Pastor Hulden led the group through the procedure that is followed in the ELCA when a congregation is seeking to call a pastor. The process is clear and used by all ELCA congregations. It begins with the synod office helping the congregation focus their search for candidates that fit with the goals, ministry, and mission of the congregation. Each candidate is a member of the ELCA’s roster for ordained ministers, which helps us know that they have the required education, certification, and endorsements to serve in a congregation.

The synod office helps us navigate through the process which means they are with us every step of the way as a valuable resource and partner in this process. Once the Call Committee has compiled our paperwork, which introduces potential candidates to our hopes, goals, mission, and ministry, the bishop will begin helping us match with pastoral candidates for interviews.

Pastor Hulden stressed the importance of confidentiality throughout the process. Not because there are any secrets, but to respect that some candidates may currently be serving in a congregation and it can be disruptive for a congregation to learn their pastor is interviewing. It is also important for the Call Committee to center their work in prayer and give themselves the time and space they need to discern God’s will for this next chapter.
The congregation will continue to be kept well informed as to what phase of the call process we are in. For example, you may see an update that our paperwork has been submitted, that we are interviewing candidates, or that a final candidate has been named. In other words, the details are kept confidential, but not the process.

We will all celebrate at the end of the process when the Call Committee can announce to the council that they have a final candidate! From there, we will gather as a congregation and learn the name of that final candidate and then we pray, discern, and eventually hold a vote to decide if we are calling that final candidate or if we will continue to interview other candidates. There is no way of knowing exactly how long the process will take because there are so many variables involved. Even so, we can know for certain that God is in the midst of it all.

Please continue to pray for the Call Committee: Jennifer Gustafson, Phyllis Bengtson, [Judy Sandeen from the Transition Team, Pastor John Hulden from the Minneapolis Area Synod], Joan Halderson (alternate), Eric Mattson,  Josie LaFave, Paula Herda (alternate), Taryn Bullert, Dominic DesMarais, Andy Kohls (not pictured), Hannah & Tyler Peterson (alternate, not pictured).

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