Transition happens

On July 7, 2013, the Congregation Council formally accepted the resignation of Pastor Marion as pastor of our church effective August 18 with great regret.  This constitutes a pastoral vacancy on the effective date.Pastor assured us he was not going to leave our congregation without being open to serving as a supply pastor, while we search for a new spiritual leader.  From our Constitution:

(page 10, C12.05) “When a pastoral vacancy occurs, a Call Committee of seven voting members shall be appointed by the congregation council.  No more than 50% of the call committee shall be made up of the congregation council members.  Term of office will terminate at installation of the newly called pastor.”

At the regular Congregation Council meeting on August 18, the Council elected by ballot, the seven voting members of the Call Committee, empowered as of midnight that day, when the pastoral vacancy took effect.  The Council thanks all who volunteered for the Call Committee. 

The elected members are as follows:
Carolyn Ballington
Wayne Chandler
George Lotterer
Jerilyne Santors
Mary Jane Sarvis
Kaleigh Tarabek
Tom Wilson
Menassie Ephrem, alternate

The Call committee will report to the Council at least on a monthly basis.

The first duty of the Call committee when a pastoral vacancy occurs is the contact the LCMC and Lutheran CORE requesting assistance and advice in selecting a candidate. 

Our Constitution provides for the calling of a Lutheran pastor from the clergy roles of LCMC and Lutheran CORE – (page 4, C6.03.c.) “This congregation agrees to seek the advice and counsel and call pastoral leadership from the clergy rosters of the LCMC and Lutheran CORE as available”. 

For reference and LCMC guidance, see:   http://www.lcmc.net/files/Change_Happens.pdf

As the search goes on for a supply pastor and an interim pastor, members of the congregation are conducting the three worship services, in addition to other duties.  The biggest problem is to keep the pulpit filled on a weekly basis.  The Call committee, headed up by Tom Wilson is doing an excellent job.  Although LCMC is all about congregational members rising to the challenge even to administering the Holy Sacraments, many in the congregation feel an ordained minister should administer them.  The leadership respects that feeling and will try to fill the pulpit with an LCMC sanctioned ordained minister at least monthly for Holy Communion.  We are working with Shalom ministries Pastor Warren Baker (chair) of the Shalom Ministries team  (Word of Life LC, Belview, MN) [cell:712-330-2018 or 507-856-4742]

The Shalom Ministry Team maintains a list of pastors willing to accept an interim call for both short term and long term.

 Transition is a normal part of life for individuals, families and congregations.  As we change our spiritual leadership with the retirement of Pastor Marion, we should remember that the Bible has countless examples of transitions starting with the Hebrew exodus from Egypt which changed their entire way of life but gained their freedom in the process, to the transition of spiritual leadership when Jesus turned over the task of spreading his message to his disciples, to the transition of individual character and conversion when Saul became St. Paul.Change is with us in our lives, every day in every place.  As we gather as the people of God and followers of Jesus, let us remember one thing.  God and Jesus are constant, the same yesterday today and forever.Transition is simply the process of changing from one situation to another. 

Transition scares us because we do not know what lies ahead.  From that anxiety, conflict may arise.  The impact of that conflict is directly related to the manner in which the transition is handled. 

The most successful transitions with the least conflict occur simultaneously with careful planning over a period of time.