Dear Church-

I am pleased to report that the Transition Team has had its first meeting. The team is made up of six people plus myself: Hank Dermer, Darlene Hoskins, Bob Kuch, Ginny Lozinski, Muriel Rose and Steve Wendland. They bring a tremendous variety of skills and experiences, and I am confident that they will do an exceptional job with the task at hand.

Unlike the Call Committee which will be formed later in 2023, the Transition Team is not a representative task force. Instead they are charged with developing a group of documents called the Congregational Profile. It includes the following:

  • The Ministry Site Profile, which is a computerized form, used by all synods of the ELCA for congregations needing a pastor. It includes information about the congregation and its preferences for specific pastoral skills.
  • A brief history of the congregation
  • Demographic information
  • Budget and actual financial figures
  • An audit certification from an external financial professional
  • Position description for the pastor
  • The most recent Annual Report of the Congregation
  • The choice of whether to receive one candidate at a time or multiple candidates for consideration.

It is helpful to think of the Congregational Profile as the congregation’s resume. Just as most job applicants prepare a resume when they are seeking a job, so ELCA congregations prepare a Congregational Profile when they are seeking a pastor.

Before a pastoral candidate ever interviews at a particular congregation, the candidate is sent a copy of the congregation’s Congregational Profile. After examining the Congregational Profile, the candidate then decides whether to allow his or her name to be sent to the Call Committee. This approach avoids the awkward situation where a Call Committee might try to interview a candidate who is not interested in a particular congregation.

It is worth remembering that an interview of a pastoral candidate is always a two-way street. The pastoral candidate is always interviewing the congregation just as much as the congregation is interviewing the candidate.

At the next meeting of the Transition Team we will be assigning tasks and making decisions as to how we will receive congregational input for the Ministry Site Profile. There are a number of strategies that can be used and hopefully we will find the right mix for Good Shepherd. Any surveys or written inquiries will be sent by special email. Those members who do not use email will receive the same documents via first class mail. Please watch for invitations to participate.

If you have any questions, please let me know. May God bless your new year with joy and a delight for sharing the good news!

Pastor Heidi Rodrick-Schnaath