Online Report Submission
Office of the Bishop staff members and committees/tables/teams are invited to utilize this report as a way to stay connected to the Southeastern Minnesota Synod Council. The council is grateful for the opportunity to partner with all the expressions of the synod in equipping congregations and leaders to follow Jesus into a changing world.
July 6, 2018
Office of the Bishop Staff Member
Call Process: At the present time, we have seven congregations that are active in the interviewing process; two congregations that have completed their Ministry Site Profile and are preparing for interviews, nine congregations that are engaged in self study and two congregations that are in the beginning phases of transition. We are also working with four congregations that are looking for part time pastoral assistance.
What aspect of the synod's mission has your work/your group's work focused on lately?
Most of my work focuses on developing and nurturing spiritual and resilient leaders and congregations.
During this summer, in addition to call process, I am focusing on getting the synod's Group Spiritual Direction process organized and ready for a September launch. I am also beginning to work on the documentation and organization necessary so that there can be a smooth transition in the work I have been doing.
Helping congregations through transitions and helping leaders become more resilient always has a positive impact on the work of the synod.
Whenever I can work with our rostered leaders and congregational leaders to bring about fruitful transitions in leadership, I experience great joy. Whenever I can help our rostered leaders discern their gifts for ministry and think about where and how God is calling them to use those gifts, I experience great joy.
Our synod has been very proactive in helping me to have the resources necessary to do my work effectively.
The changing face of clergy transitions is a major challenge. There are less candidates for call than there used to be. Many of our candidates are older and more experienced - which also means their compensation packages are more expensive - and many of our smaller congregations find it difficult financially to support rostered leaders. (Especially given the continued rise in health care costs.) Rostered leaders have more choices these days, so they can afford to be more discriminating in which calls they accept. In many of our call processes, it is not unusual for us to contact over a dozen candidates (and sometimes many more than that) in order to find even 4 or 5 candidates who are willing to interview. The length of time in transition is a challenge for our congregations and creates instability and anxiety within the system.
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