Bethesda Evangelical Lutheran Church
Transition Task Force Report
Your Transition Task Force has finished and submitted their report, and your interim work is complete. Congratulations!
The Council has formed a Call Committee, and by the time you read this, they will have met with Brenda Tibbetts from the Synod Office for orientation.
Call Process — Stage One — MSP
The Call Committee completes the Ministry Site Profile (“MSP”) for Bethesda. The Call Committee can use the Transition Task Force members, Council, and congregation members to assist them in compiling the information). Once the Call Committee completes the MSP and submits it to the Synod Office, the search begins.
Call Process — Stage Two — Candidates Sought
The Synod staff searches for appropriate candidates to submit to your Call Committee for consideration. Names of potential candidates can be received from members of the congregation. The Chair of the Call Committee will contact the Synod office with any names submitted by congregation members, and the Synod will then follow up with those individuals. Pastors may also give their names to Synod expressing their interest, and Synod will provide those names to your Call Committee.
The Call Committee will consider candidates based upon their “fit” and ability. Age, sex, race and marital status are not to be considered as primary factors. However, congregations are under no obligation to consider the names of candidates who are in a same-gendered partnership or marriage.
When the Call Committee receives the Rostered Leader Profile papers of potential candidates, they begin their review. The names and any characteristics of those candidates must be kept confidential.
Call Process — Stage Three — The Interview
The Call Committee decides which candidates to interview and arranges for that to take place. Following the interview, Call Committee members might decide to go hear a candidate preach in his or her congregation. Or they may ask the candidate for a DVD or audio resource. Confidentiality is to be be maintained at all times.
If the Call Committee does not discern that any of the candidates are a fit for Bethesda, then the process begins all over again at Stage Two. If the Call Committee does decide on a candidate, they proceed to Stage Four.
Call Process — Stage Four — Candidate of Choice
When the Call Committee decides on a candidate, it should be a unanimous or consensus decision. The committee recommends that person to the Council after informing the candidate that he or she has been selected. The Synod then conducts the mandatory background check, and the Council meets with the pastor to negotiate the compensation and benefits package.
Once that step has been successfully completed, the congregation may hold a “meet and greet” time after a Sunday worship service before the congregation holds a special meeting to vote on the pastor and the compensation package. If the congregation votes affirmatively, a “Letter of Call” form is sent to the Bishop with appropriate signatures. The Letter of Call is then sent to the pastor, who has 30 days to accept or reject the call. When he or she accepts the call, it is usually a month before the pastor can begin at Bethesda, because that pastor needs to give a 30-day notice to their current congregation.
Call Process — Stage Five — Welcome and Install Your New Pastor
Hang in there, my friends. God has been preparing your new pastor as God has been preparing you for this next stage in the life of Bethesda Evangelical Lutheran Church!
Peace, Pastor Cheryl