Call 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.

Synod Call Process

The Northeastern Iowa Synod Constitution outlines the process for calling rostered persons.

S14.16.01.A2000  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.


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:

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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 Ministry Site Profile

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 Ministry Site 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 Ministry Site Profile
b.  A review of call process ethics
c.  Planning for the interviews
d.  An emphasis on good communication with the congregation and interviewing pastors
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

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.




Congregations in the Call Process

Rev. 5-1-2020

  • Clark Baldwin, pending


  • Rev. Peter Kowitz, Decorah, Decorah, May 10
  • Rev. Brian Julin-McCleary, St. John, Cedar Falls, May 31
  • Rev. Kristen Briner Wipperman, St. Matthew and Luther Manor, Dubuque, pendingmond, Trinity
  • Rev. Katie Pals, Trinity Belmond, pending




Self Study


Supply Pastors

Rev. 12-12-2019

Retired Clergy
Carpenter, Jim   Waverly
Christensen, Daiel   Lime Springs
Edwards, Robert   Story City
Ellingson, Wayne   Decorah
Engelbrecht, Caroline   Waverly
Engelhardt, Marcus   Des Moines
Fricke, Vincent   Waverly
Gannett, Jack   Mason City
Gerrietts, Darrel   Waverly
Godson, Jerome   Volga
Granzow, Jane   Iowa Falls
Haug, Joan    Dubuque
Jensen, Jim   Albert Lea, Minn.
McKinstry, Roger   Marion
Nelson, Paul   Waverly
Nelson, Ron   Boone
Nielsen, Randy   Mason City
Rehfeldt, Richard yyy Rochester, Minn.
Schaedig, Paul   Waverly
Shaw, Patricia   Waverly
Sherer, Michael   Waverly
Shriver, Ruth Ann   Cedar Falls
Tomlinson, Keith   Waverly
Trachte, Larry   Waverly
Bauer, Norm   Charles City
Bohls, Sid yyy Mason City
Mechler, Kent   Sheffield
Retz, Elizabeth   Waterloo
Smith, Steve   Waldorf College, Forest City
Contact Persons for Colleges/Seminary
Rev. Brian Beckstrom   Wartburg College, Waverly


Compensation for Temporary Ministries
Supply Ministry
Compensation should include preparation time, travel time, and mileage for worship services, Bible studies, confirmation, visitation, and funeral planning. It is courteous to have a check on hand to reimburse one-time supply ministers immediately. When supply is provided for multiple weeks or on an ongoing basis, payment arrangements may be agreed upon by the congregation and the supply minister. (Revised 2018)

In the event that weather or some other issue requires the cancellation of a worship service, the supply minister must be notified as soon as possible. The supply minister shall be paid $100 for preparation time. No mileage shall be paid, unless the minister was already traveling to the congregation before being notified of the cancellation. Only the round-trip mileage actually traveled will be paid to the supply minister in this case. (Revised 2018)

Weekly Worship
Single 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. (54.5 cents per miles for 2018) (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. (Revised 2013)


Synod Staff Contact

Rev. Stephen Brackett