Pastoral Transition

Since Pr. Joe announced his retirement we know there have been many questions as to future staffing and/or another pastor for CLC, we hope this information will be helpful.

Transition Update…

November 27, 2019

We understand that this is a time of great change at CLC, and we want the congregation to know that there is a team of folks helping to steer us through this time of change.

The members of the Transition Team are Tina Precht, Mike Kalas, Yvonne Kocur, and Jeff Biber.

The Transition Team has met to discuss what this congregation needs most right now.  We welcome your feedback throughout this process, so we can continue to hit the “right” talking points in our conversations, to best represent the whole congregation. 

First and foremost, we’ve talked about how to balance stability with growth. We know it’s important for all of us who love CLC to feel comfort in knowing that what we love about CLC is still important…but that this also does not need to be a time to stagnate.  We always want to strive to do better, to BE better for our community. Change fosters change.

We are looking into options for bolstering Pastor Annabelle as our sole pastor, to find the ways in which we can seek pastoral support as needed, in a time when she has taken on many new roles. We do this while also continuing the process of finding a Director of Children and Family Ministries, a position that has been discussed and outlined through the Ad Hoc Committee and Personnel in the fundraising for our Building Up campaign.

Finally, we are discussing ways to collect feedback from the congregation, to hear ALL the voices of this congregation. Let us hear your voice.

September 29, 2019

We celebrated the ministry of Pr. Joe and Debra Vought on Sunday, September 29th with two beautiful worship services, a Thanksgiving at the Conclusion of a Call Rite, and a wonderful reception put on by the congregation.

Moving forward, Pr. Annabelle will be meeting with the Transition Team (Jeff Biber, Tina Precht, Mike Kalas, Yvonne Kocur) to pray and navigate the next steps. These will include:

  • Looking at the possibility of a supply pastor to assist with occasional preaching, teaching, and visitation, offering fresh insight and helping manage the increased workload during the transition.
  • Entering into a congregation-wide listening phase to find out where we are as a congregation and where we hear God calling us. This might include working with a consultant, doing surveys, having cottage meetings, etc.
  • Processing the information from this listening phase so we have a better idea of our need and for what/whom we are looking.
  • Proceeding with putting together a Call Committee and/or having Personnel act to carry out our vision and call or hire new staff.

The Transition Team will be working with the Council and the Congregation throughout this process and communicating updates via the Sunday Extra and the website’s “Pastoral Transition” page.

What is the Co-Pastorate at CLC?

In 2019, the Personnel Team and Council ratified a covenant between the Pastors called “Team Ministry and Co-Pastorate.” This effort began in 2016 and involved conversations with the Synod Office, the Bishop and CLC’s Personnel Committees. It is a representation in writing of what Pr. Joe and Pr. Annabelle have been living for their time in ministry together with both reporting to the Council as their supervisors.

On June 16, the Council voted and accepted this document as the covenant by which Pr. Joe and Pr. Annabelle would abide as long as they were at CLC together. It is the Pastors’ hope that this understanding of Team Ministry will be helpful moving forward with the congregation:

Should Pastor Joe leave, Pastor Annabelle will have the ability to discern whether or not to stay and what form that might take. Should Pastor Annabelle leave, Pastor Joe will have the ability to discern whether or not to stay and what form that might take. Should we both leave, the congregation will have the opportunity to discern with the work of an intentional interim to what God may be calling them. In any of the above scenarios, the Synod and Bishop will be included in these conversations and the discernment process.

– Team Ministry and Co-Pastorate Covenant

Will we still be able to visit with or hang out with Pr. Joe and Debra?

Pastors are asked to leave their last congregation for a time so that the congregation and new pastors have time to get to know each other and build trust. Pr. Joe and Debra will be friendly to people as they meet them in the community, but will not be visiting CLC or parishioners.

What will happen moving forward?

At this time, we do not know what configuration we might have moving forward. We need time to grieve Pr. Joe and Debra’s leaving and give thanks and celebrate their ministries here. After a time of prayer and discernment, and conversations between the congregation and the synod, we will better know who or what we are looking for. This is a time to give thanks for where we’ve been and look forward with excitement to where God is leading us!

Who will be taking Pr. Joe’s place?

We will begin conversations at the council level and with our Bishop to discern how to move forward. When the last pastoral vacancy occurred we spent time as a congregation in prayer and discernment, we had meetings and conducted surveys. Out of this a profile for a pastor became clear and a call committee was formed. We may call another pastor or focus on a Director of Children and Family Ministries, or both (as was our goal with the “Welcoming All, Building Up” Appeal).

Pr. Annabelle and Pr. Joe have been serving as co-pastors for three years now (after extended discussions with the synod, personnel committees, and Council, this was approved by Council on June 16th – see reverse). Pr. Annabelle will be serving as a solo pastor for the foreseeable future, which will give us time to pray, discern, and plan.

Will Pr. Annabelle have any help after Pr. Joe leaves?

Yes! We are all members of the Body of Christ and, as such, we all participate in the ministries of this place and make them possible. We all will be working together to continue the fantastic ministries CLC is known for. When Pr. Tiffany left Pr. Paul Opsahl helped to provide pastoral support and then Pr. Margrethe Kleiber served for a time as an interim pastor with Pr. Joe. We may choose to do something similar contracting with a pastor to help support Pr. Annabelle. There are also funds for supply pastors so Pr. Annabelle (and Jeff) can have time away to refresh in order to be able to serve here at 100%. Again, we may contract with another pastor for a time until we can discern who or what we’re looking for.

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