Associate Pastor Call Process
October 17, 2022 – I want to update you on the call process for our associate position. After conducting interviews with the first slate of candidates, the Call Committee did not see one particular candidate that clearly stood out among the others. Because of this, the committee and I have chosen to release all the first candidates from consideration and request more names. This may be disappointing, as it slows the process of moving forward with a full pastoral staff. However, it’s important to have the right person to serve in this position. We’re fortunate that Pastor Deb Kielsmeier is committed to serving among us until a new full-time associate is called.
As we seek new candidates, we have the opportunity to consider people who are rostered in the ELCA as either pastors or deacons. For many of you, the idea of a deacon may be new. In the ELCA, we have two rosters of ordained ministers. Pastors are called to a Ministry of Word and Sacrament. Deacons are called to a Ministry of Word and Service. Deacons have the same or equivalent education as pastors (Master of Divinity degree). They have discerned that God has called them to a particular area of ministry or to a particular population of people. Deacons often serve as a bridge between church and the wider community. They frequently bring slightly different gifts and perspectives that enable congregations to better meet the needs of its neighbors. Our current search for a Pastor of Discipleship and Community Mission fits well with the gifts of either a pastor or a deacon. At this week’s Church Council meeting, a motion was approved to expand the potential pool of candidates to include deacons, as well as pastors.
What would this mean functionally for how a deacon may serve in this role? A deacon or a pastor would be responsible for developing systems of discipleship across all ages and serve as a primary contact for our community outreach efforts. A pastor or deacon would preach and teach regularly, do pastoral care in homes and at the hospital, and lead the congregation’s mission and ministry. A pastor or deacon could preside at funerals and weddings, so long as communion is not part of the service. The most significant difference would be that they are not authorized or called to preside at baptisms or communion. If we called a deacon for this role, I would preside at baptisms and communion.
I want to reiterate that this doesn’t mean that we are certain to call a deacon. Being open to a deacon in this role provides potentially more candidates that would best match our profile. Since the beginning of the search, the Council and the Call Committee have been committed to finding the best candidate for the position. We remain hopeful and patient as the search continues. Continue to keep the Call Committee and this process in your prayers as they continue this important work on our behalf.
August 2022 – At the end of July, the committee held a Town Hall Meeting for the congregation to ask questions about the call process. We continue to be available to answer questions about our process. This week the committee met to refine our list of questions for the candidate interviews. Next week Bishop Lull will present the committee with a select list of candidates who we will begin interviewing as soon as the following week. Please continue to pray for us and for this process as we discern our next associate pastor.
July 2022 – The call committee has convened! We received our orientation to the process from Bishop Lull and Douglas Berg-Williams will serve as chair. We are inviting Augustana members to nominate potential candidates during a two-week period from July 10 through July 24. Bishop Lull will seriously consider these nominations when bringing forth quality candidates for the committee to interview. We will be calling a Pastor of Discipleship and Community Mission who has more than 3 years of experience as a pastor. There is a job description available in the office and on the website. Please submit your nominations either on the website or on a paper form (found at the Information Center or in the church office) between July 10 and July 24.
To submit your nomination online, open and complete the Candidate Nomination Form. Once completed, click the download icon (down arrow with a line under it, usually in the upper right corner of your screen), select the option “save WITH changes” to save to your computer. Then email your completed form as as an attachment to email@example.com.
Associate Pastor Job Description
Candidate Nomination Form
June 2022 – The process to call an Associate Pastor is underway. A Call Committee has been approved by the Church Council. Members of the committee are: Doug Berg-Williams, Jenny Sanford, Chris Blake, Luke Reisig, Mary Yackley, April Simek, Nancy Huart, and Pastor Jason. This pastoral position will be called Pastor of Discipleship and Community Mission. Based on feedback received during the Listening Sessions this spring, we have identified our need to focus on ministry with younger generations and our immediate neighbors. The Call Committee will meet in the coming weeks to identify a Chair and meet with Bishop Lull for orientation. We are fortunate that much of the preparatory work was completed during the process to call Pastor Jason. Because of this, we should be able to interview candidates this summer.