The calling of a pastor represents a valuable partnership between God, the congregation, the synod and the ELCA. Each member of the partnership is enriched when the call process results in a good match between pastor and congregation. The total mission of the church is furthered when each member of the partnership is honored, respected and fulfills its appropriate role in the process.
The calling of a pastor represents a valuable partnership between God, the congregation, the synod, and the ELCA. Each member of the partnership is enriched when the call process results in a good match between pastor and congregation. The total mission of the church is furthered when each member of the partnership is honored, respected, and fulfills its appropriate role in the process.
We seek to follow a process which builds on trust and openness, relies on good communication, and results in a call which is pleasing to God. Throughout this process the congregation holds the authority to call a pastor on the roster of the ELCA. The congregation, the pastors, and the office of the bishop must follow the constitutions of the congregation, synod, and ELCA throughout this process. For the sake of an orderly process and good communication, the congregation is encouraged to follow the guidelines of the synod.
WHEN YOUR PASTOR RESIGNS:
1. The president of the congregation calls the synod office to arrange a special council meeting with an assistant to the bishop. This meeting will include:
a. Plans for appropriate closure with the current pastor
b. Plans for an exit interview with the current pastor
c. Arrangements for pastoral ministry during the pastoral vacancy
d. Review of the call process
e. Guidelines for the selection of the call committee
f. Synod guidelines for compensation. The council will establish a salary and benefits range for the call committee.
g. Condition of the parsonage or provisions for housing allowance
h. Establishing a committee to complete the Congregational Profile form
2. Upon election of the call committee, an assistant to the bishop meets with the council and the call committee.
3. Upon completion of the Congregational Profile, we encourage the council to present a summary of the profile to the congregation for its endorsement. The endorsed profile is sent to the synod office and given to each member of the call committee.
4. Within approximately three weeks of receiving the profile, a representative of the bishop will meet with the call committee. This meeting will include:
a. A review of the congregational profile
b. A review of call process ethics
c. Planning for the interviews
d. An emphasis on good communication with the congregation and
e. Presentation of names for candidates for call
5. The call committee is encouraged to interview all candidates within a two week time span. Upon completion of the interviews, all candidates and the synod office must be notified of the call committee’s recommendation to the congregational council.
6. The call committee presents one name and a recommended compensation package to the congregational council for action.
7. In consultation with the synod office, the congregational council calls a congregational meeting for presentation of the recommended candidate and compensation package. A representative of the bishop is invited to the congregational meeting to serve as a resource.
8. The congregation will vote on the recommendation of the call committee and council. Separate votes will be taken for extending the call and for the compensation package. A representative of the congregation will notify the candidate of the vote of the congregation. The Letter of Call will be signed and delivered to the synod office.
9. The pastor may consider a Letter of Call for as long as 15 days. The time consideration may be extended through a consultation with the bishop and congregational president.
10. Upon acceptance of the call, an installation date is determined in consultation with the called pastor, congregation, and synod office. Appropriate welcoming activities are planned.
ELCA Call Process Website
The call process on the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America website supports those involved in call process work—rostered leaders, congregations, church-related organizations and synods.
This interactive page includes a searchable churchwide database that allows ministry sites to publish their vacancies, and rostered leaders to have their mobility information readily accessible to synod bishops.
The “Getting Started” section will guide you on how to use the page. If you need additional help, you may contact our synod’s call process administrator, Linda Sue Hamilton, at 319-352-1414 or send her an email.
- Dubuque, Lord of Life, Rev. Paul Amlin, pending
- Allison, St. James, Rev. Paul Schaedig, interim
- Clermont, West Clermont
- Decorah, Decorah (staff), Rev. Charis Combs-Lay, interim
- Frederika, St. John
- La Porte City, Zion (Jubilee), Rev. Daniel Mixdorf, interim
- Oelwein, Zion
- Osage, Our Savior’s, Rev. Alan Schulz, interim
- Sumner, St. John
- Alta Vista, Zion and Lawler, Immanuel (Crane Creek), Rev. Vincent Fricke, interim
- Calmar, Calmar and Decorah, Springfield, Rev. Phillip Olson, interim
- Charles City, St. John, Rev. Bill Odermann, interim
- Chester, United
- Coulter, Nazareth; and Hampton, St. John’s
- Decorah, St. John’s and Hauge
- Elma, St. Paul
- Greene, St. John (Vilmar)
- La Porte City, American
- Lime Springs, St. Paul
- Mason City, St. Paul, Rev. Michael Last, interim
- Roland, Bergen, John Sheahan, interim lay minister
- Ryan, Peace and Dundee, St. John (Unity of the Cross Lutheran Parish)
- Waterloo, Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd
- Waukon, St. John
- Waverly, Redeemer, Rev. Nancy Larson, interim
|Baalson, Clarence||mm||Clear Lake|
|Dahlen, Joel||Mason City|
|Engelhardt, Marcus||Des Moines|
|Gannett, Jack||Mason City|
|Granzow, Jane||Iowa Falls|
|Nielsen, Randy||Mason City|
|Rehfeldt, Richard||kkk||Rochester, Minn.|
|Shriver, Ruth Ann||Cedar Falls|
|Bauer, Norman||Charles City|
|Bohls, Sid||Mason City|
|Bouzard, Walter||kkk||Wartburg College, Waverly|
|Jones, Kenneth Sundet||Grand View Univ., Des Moines|
|Smith, Steve||Waldorf College, Forest City|
Lay Ministers(Non-sacramental Ministry)
|Lindemann, Denise (AIM)||Oelwein|
Pianist available within
1.5 hrs from Harcourt, IA)
Contact Persons for Colleges/Seminary
|Rev. Mike Blair||kkk||Luther College, Decorah|
|Rev. Ramona Bouzard||Wartburg College, Waverly|
Supply MinistryCompensation should include preparation time, travel time, and mileage for confirmation and worship.
Remuneration — have it on hand to reimburse one time persons immediately; or by arrangement with the congregation/pastor. (Revised 2006)
Weekly WorshipSingle service – $150; each additional service – $40 (Revised 2013)
If a class is taught – $40 additional (Revised 2011)
Communion presider only – $30 per service.
Total mileage should be paid at the IRS approved rate. (Revised 2001)
Other Services(weddings, funerals, etc.)
$120 per service, plus mileage at the IRS approved rate, paid by the congregation. This would be in addition to any honorarium the pastor might receive from the family members.
Resources & Forms
- 2017 Minimum Compensation Guidelines
Includes guidelines for compensation, benefits, clergy housing, sabbaticals, reviews, parsonage use, and auto expense report.
- Compensation Worksheet
- Call Committee Report of Interview
- Pastor’s Interview Report
- Exit Interview Forms:
Questions for Exit Interview
Certificate of Completion of Obligations
Exit Checklist for Pastor
Pastor’s Input on Cogregation
- Building Blocks of a Call Process
- Model Constitution for Congregations of the ELCA