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Transition Team Update May 2022

by Pastor Kari Bahe
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Thank you Zion! We are pleased to announce that 398 of you took advantage of the opportunity to let your views be heard by taking the CAT [Congregational Assessment Tool]. Although we always hope for even more involvement, we are very pleased with this participation.

What is next?

Communication, Communication, Communication, and Conversation.

We are moving right along in the Call process for Zion’s next Senior Pastor. Our next steps:

  1. The Transition Team will receive feedback and reports from HolyCow! Consulting Team, the professional consulting group who designed our survey. The congregation will have opportunities to hear all the results from the survey.
  2. HolyCow! will provide us with a follow-up plan with specific steps outlined for Zion. This will also be shared with the congregation.
  3. With feedback from the congregation, the Transition Team will prioritize the follow-up steps and then communicate to the council recommendations for follow-up steps to ready us for interviews.
  4. At the same time, the Council will be collecting your suggestions for members who may have the gifts, time, energy, and commitment to serve on Zion’s Call Committee.
  5. At the May 18 Council meeting, the Council will appoint the Call Committee. The Council will be following the procedure for appointing a Call Committee as outlined in Zion’s constitution. The Call Committee works hand in hand with the Transition Team, so that there is a seamless transfer of information from what the Transition Team learns from feedback sessions with you and from the survey as well. The Call Committee begins praying together and formulating the timeline for their work of interviewing candidates and discerning God’s preferred future for Zion’s pastoral leadership.
  6. We continue faithful prayers for the process, the Call Committee, and the Transition Team.
    Also in May, your Transition Team will be working steadily to complete the multi-paged ministry site profile that the ELCA uses as a basis for a nationwide search for potential candidates to interview. The ministry site profiles helps pastoral candidates get a “picture” of Zion. For example, the MSP summarizes the congregation’s mission, the style, the preferences, the history, and hopes for the future—-all of which were measured in the CAT survey and then summarized in the MSP.
    FYI: The pastoral candidates also fill out similar paperwork and the ELCA’s network used by the Bishop’s helps to match profiles together. This is one of the ways the Call Committee will receive names of potential candidates for interviewing. As members, you may also nominate pastors for interviewing if you know someone you think may fit our hopes and needs for leadership. Pastors are not automatically available to interview, however—so if you wish to nominate someone, this process goes through the Bishop’s office. Once the Call Committee is appointed, we will let you know when/how to nominate a pastor you think may be a possible fit for Zion.
  7. The Bishop of the Minneapolis Area Synod will meet with us as a congregation to go over the Ministry Site Profile and offer her suggestions and make sure she is familiar with and understands well what sort of pastoral leadership Zion is praying and hoping for in their next settled* Senior Pastor. The Bishop will then take our MSP and her insights from conversation with you and use those to find potential matches for the Call Committee to interview.
  8. Once the information is handed over to the Call Committee and they begin their work, we give thanks to God for the work of the Transition Team, and they are disbanded with our deepest thanks.
  9. Prayers continue for Zion and the Call Committee as they interview candidates.

A final candidate is named. Zion holds a Special Congregational Meeting to vote on extending the Call (or not) to that final candidate. If the Call is extended our prayers for that person begin as he or she discerns if the Call to Zion is where God is leading him/her to serve.

One of the most common questions at this point is: how long will this take? The answer is: there is no way to know. There are too many revolving factors to predict. Sometimes there are many pastors who are a good match and are available to interview, other times there are only a few. Sometimes pastors are available to interview right away, sometimes it is not possible for them to interview right away. The makeup of the Call Committee and their availability for meetings/interviews is also a factor. The best answer to this question is: once the new Senior Pastor is named, you will feel like it was perfect timing—because that is the way the Holy Spirit works throughout this process.

A settled pastor is the term used for what some think of as a permanent pastor. Pastor Bahe is serving as an interim pastor, which means she serves with us in the interim. Interim can be thought of as the bridge between Pastor Ted and the Call to the next senior pastor for Zion. According to the guidelines of the Minneapolis Area Synod, interim pastors are not eligible to interview where they are serving as an interim pastor.

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