CALL TEAM UPDATE October 23, 2017
Your CALL Team has been very busy! We are feeling blessed and grateful for the wonderful slate of candidates we have been given.
On September 28th we received the resumes, Rostered Minister Profiles, of four eligible qualified candidates from Pastor Katy. After discussing schedules and after contacting candidates we were able to schedule our first video interviews. Two were done on Oct. 10th and two were done on Oct. 11th. Each candidate is given the same set of questions and we allow about 45 minutes for the interview.
On Oct. 12th we met with members of the Council and members of the GWG to make sure we are all on the same page. We discussed budget, job description, and the future of St. James. After meeting with GWG and Council, the CALL Team reviewed our first interviews and all were in agreement that we wanted to go ahead and interview all the candidates again. We wanted to know more about them and their ministry. They each made strong, favorable impressions on us during the first interviews.
So, we again discussed schedules, contacted candidates and scheduled second interviews for Oct. 16th and Oct. 18th. Before these second interviews we had done more research, listened to sermons, critiqued their resumes again and prayed.
On Oct. 16th and 18th we interviewed them all again. These video interviews had a set of eight questions asking about evangelism, preaching, teaching, pastoral care, worship service, youth, music, leadership styles, expectations and competencies (all identified in our MSP as a part of the mission and vision of St. James). Ninety minutes were allowed for each interview. We were all pretty drained at the end of these interviews.
Pastor Katy preached last Sunday at St. James and afterwards she met with us to discuss the discernment process. All four of these candidates are strong and have gifts that can further the vision and mission of our congregation and we have a (blessed) dilemma of narrowing down our candidates to only two so that we can bring them to Redding for a visit. She gave us some more insights into the discernment process.
She left and we got out the resumes, RMPs, notes from interviews, etc. and during the next two hours, we each shared our individual impressions of all the candidates. We left the meeting knowing we were each still prayerfully discerning and appreciated the input and impressions shared by others on the team. No conclusions were made, but we might be closer. We will meet again on Oct. 26th. Before then, we will continue to review more sermons and other information provided to us. Most importantly, we will be in prayer that the Holy Spirit will continue to guide us. It is possible that we will schedule a third round of video interviews to further direct our decision.
Please continue to pray for us, the candidates, and St. James.
Marj Brown, Secretary to CALL Team
UPDATE September 28, 2017
On September 28, the CALL team met. At the meeting we Face timed with Pastor Katy, our representative from Synod. She shared with us the resumes (RMPs) of new candidates that are experienced, looking for a new call, and have expressed an interest in St. James.
We discussed our own personal and work schedules in order to arrange interviews. Emails will be sent out shortly to set up a first interview with each of these qualified candidates. We have the location, equipment and questions all ready for these interviews. And, we are ready to move forward prayerfully.
On October 12th, we have arranged a meeting with Council members and GWG (Governance Work Group) members to facilitate communication among the three groups.
We ask for your continued prayers for the CALL team as we prepare for the journey through the CALL process. As our bulletin board shows we are on a journey and our goal is to find a new pastor for St. James.
Marj Brown, secretary
UPDATE August 13, 2017
This is a copy of the announcement made by Cindy Diezsi on behalf of the CALL Team to the congregation on Sunday, August 13th.
Our candidate called me last Sunday to share that a recent decline in the health of a family member has required her to withdraw from the call process. None of us could have foreseen this. She and her family prayed about this for some time and finally came to the unwanted decision that it is not God’s calling to continue the process with us. We wish her family strength and God’s peace as they deal with this situation.
What’s next? Our Synod representative, Pastor Katy, was notified of this development on Sunday evening and has been asked to compile another set of Rostered Ministry Profiles for us.
We, the CALL Team, are disappointed as are you, however this is only a detour in our journey, not a roadblock. There’s a country song that talks about God being our co-pilot, but we all know He is our pilot and has already seen beyond this speed bump.
We are not starting the journey from the beginning. Our Ministry Site Profile, which took a year to create is already done and was submitted to the Synod early this year. After Pastor Katy reviewed it, she presented our first list of potential candidates on March 25th and after 2 rounds of SKYPE interviews, the CALL Team had decided on one candidate on May 5th. She arrived in Redding on June 15th.
So, once we receive the new profiles, the Team will be diligent about traveling forward, scheduling and conducting interviews, and discerning among the candidates.
Please continue to keep St. James, the CALL Team, and the pastor God has selected for us in your prayers.
I will close by reading the letter our candidate submitted to the Team and the Synod after she and I spoke on Sunday. (The letter is not included in this update.)
And lastly, fellow Faith Partners, some words from Isaiah 41:10, ‘Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.’”
Marj Brown, Secretary
UPDATE July 25, 2017
On June 25, Peter Rude made an announcement for the CALL Team letting the congregation know that 1) we are down to one candidate and the team agrees that this is the best of the ones we have interviewed, 2) the candidate is a well-qualified woman, 3) and her visit to Redding in June was a positive one for her and for us.
Cindy Dieszi met with Church Council this month twice. A compensation package including base salary, Social Security, and benefits was prepared by the Finance Committee using Synod guidelines. This information was shared with our candidate after conferring with Pastor Katy from Synod.
We are excited to say that our candidate has been invited to proceed with the Call Process and the next step would be to bring her back to Redding along with her family. At that time there would be a “meet and greet” where the congregation would get a chance to interact with the candidate. Also, at that time Council would give the candidate the official compensation package.
She is in the discernment process with her family right now. We have been in touch with her and expect to hear from her shortly.
Thank you for your support and your prayers. We are well aware of the length of time this process has taken. We know that we are being led by the Holy Spirit through all of this. Pray for guidance for our candidate during this time of decision.
Marj Brown, secretary
CALL Team, St. James
UPDATE…………….. June 18, 2017
A face to face interview was completed this week with our one remaining candidate. We got to know the candidate more personally and were able to ask more probing questions about goals and the future of the ministry at St. James. This, also, was a time for the candidate to get to know more about St. James and to get an overview of the Redding area.
The candidate was given a complete tour of the St. James facility while we talked about JAM, VBS, quilts, knitted and crocheted items, bell choir, praise bands, altar guild, bible studies (past and present), Lutheran Social Services, potlucks, baptisms, confirmations, traditional worship service, contemporary worship service, deacons, outreach programs, etc.
We toured parts of downtown Redding, Whiskeytown Lake, Sundial Bridge and some of the neighborhoods near St. James. (We forget how beautiful our area is until we see it through the eyes of someone one new to the area and they snap photos and more photos.)
At the end of the face to face interview the CALL team is unanimously still on board with this candidate. We are even more confident God is leading us in our choice.
So, we will move forward to the next step in the CALL Process. We will arrange for another visit of the candidate and their family to Redding. At this time the candidate will meet the congregation, the council members and other church leaders. This is called a “meet and greet” and at this time the candidate is not expected to do a sermon for us.
On June 25 at our first combined worship service of the summer, the CALL team will be giving an update with some additional facts. We look forward to keeping you informed and look forward to the next few months!
Marj Brown, Secretary for the CALL Team
Interview questions have been updated and revised. The “mock interview” with Pastor Bill Wessner has been postponed because of conflicting schedules and illnesses.
Our next meeting scheduled this month is with Pastor Katy. At this meeting we will get more instruction from her as to our next step in the CALL process. In the future, when she has vetted out a list of candidates for St. James, we will be ready to review paperwork, contact references, and to interview using either Facetime or Skype.
We are also scheduled to meet with the GWG at St. James this month. Both groups want to bring into focus the progress of the GWG, the way the re-structuring will look for the new pastor and how it will touch his position. When the CALL team does interviewing we want to be clear as to what the new structure/organization of St. James will look like so that when asked we can give a clear and concise answer.
Thank you for your support and prayers. God knows who he is calling for Senior Pastor at St. James. We need to be open to His leading and the next pastor needs to be open to His leading, also. Your prayers are powerful and appreciated.
At our meeting with Pastor Katy last night she presented us with a list of five candidates. These are ordained Rostered Ministers that have been “approved by their bishop for listing and references have been submitted.” Pastor Katy has “vetted and cleared these candidates and is presenting us with the best candidates for our congregation.” The CALL Team is taking steps to schedule Skype interviews with each of these candidates and to do paper screening. With the leading of the Holy Spirit we are getting closer (but still not there) to a new pastor for St. James.
Please pray for this process and remember we must maintain confidentiality.
We now have stepped into the part of the CALL process where we are preparing to go through the pre-interview and then the interviewing of prospective candidates. Patience will be necessary during this part because we will be dealing with the availability of candidates, the process of scheduling interviews, plus communications from Pastor Katy.
After Pastor Katy sends us names and information on the candidates that she has determined a possible fit for St. James we will do “paper screening” of these candidates. The next step will be to contact some of the candidates and do a “short” interview.
In order to be consistent with each candidate, we are working on interview questions and we will use the same set of questions for each candidate. Our questions correlate with the information in our MSP such as the expectations of our new pastor, the gifts we feel are essential for the leader at St. James and the ministry tasks we feel are top priority.
The initial interview will be via skype. This will be the “short” interview. After discussion and discernment, we will choose to do a “long” interview with some of the candidates. This will be explained in more detail in our next update.
Informational packets are being put together and it will be given to each of the candidates before we interview them.
Your prayers are especially important now as we begin interviewing candidates. Pray that we will get a leading of the Holy Spirit and know which candidate he wants at St. James. We ask for your continued prayers for St. James.
Since our last update and after we met with Pastor Katy from Sierra Pacific Synod we made the minor revisions that P. Katy suggested to the MSP. The Ministry Site Profile (our resume) was officially posted to the web on Dec. 12, 2016. This is after a long and prayerful process during which we tried to efficiently speed to the end while carefully crossing all the T’s and dotting all the I’s.
An email from P. Katy informed us that she was at the “mobility” conference circulating information about our opening. What a great opportunity for St. James! This is a meeting of a number of synods where Pastor Katy can meet face to face with pastors to get the information out about St. James and let them know that we are ready to interview.
Two names submitted by members of St. James have been given to Pastor Katy. “All candidates being invited into the Sierra Pacific Synod will be vetted and cleared by the Synod Bishop, including any name raised from within the congregation from personal contacts.” This is a quote from ELCA Sierra Pacific Synod.
Some of the CALL Team attended the “communication workshop” in November and the “restructuring workshop” in December because we want to be part of what is going on at St. James and we want to be able to answer questions from prospective candidates.
We thank you for keeping us and the process in your prayers. Our next step is to choose interview questions, get ready to paper screen and then interview. Pray for Pastor Katy as she vets out candidates that would fit us at St. James. And, pray for the one God has chosen for us.
The past month has been another busy one! We have met as a team to focus on an addendum that accompanies the MSP called Seven Reflections. We also had a meeting with Executive Church Council and another with the entire council where we received approval to submit the MSP to the ELCA Synod.
Pastor Katy, assistant to the bishop, met with us on Nov. 13th to go
over the MSP, to direct us to resources available through this CALL process, and to prepare us for the interview process. Since she read and reviewed the MSP from an “outsider’s” point of view, and she helped us clarify some of our statements. These minor revisions will be accomplished at our next meeting after Thanksgiving.
We ask for your continued prayers for the CALL team as we prepare for the important interview process. Pray that the doors will be opened for God’s chosen pastor so that our two paths will intersect. Also, please add Pastor Katy to your prayers as she will be vetting through any candidates that show interest or that she feels might warrant our consideration. The good news she told us is that our MSP got finished with good timing.God’s good timing! She will be attending a “mobility conference” in three weeks. While there she will be able to hunt for candidates from contacts at the conference from many different synods.
On September 29th we met with Pastor Grosch who is listed as our “minister of reference” and left the meeting with some clear concerns that we are considering including restructuring and St. James’ involvement in social justice. The team is grateful for Pastor Grosch’s valuable input and glad for his candor.
On Sunday, Oct. 9th, Peter Rude of the CALL TEAM made a brief presentation sharing the informational PowerPoint to those in attendance at the end of each service. The PowerPoint highlighted specifics contained in the MSP. Copies of the complete MSP were available in the office for those who wanted to more fully review the document.
On Oct. 16th, Sunday, the CALL TEAM and Council held a Question and Answer Session (Q&A) in the Fireside Room between services. It was well attended and was a productive session. Members of the congregation got questions answered and Pastor David explained some of the specifics of the CALL Process including timelines.
On Oct. 20th, Thursday, the final MSP was presented to Council at their regular meeting and it was approved.
After meeting again on November 10th to review and reflect on an optional addendum to the MSP, the CALL Team will then turn over the Ministry Site Profile (MSP) to Pastor Katy.
On Sunday, November 13, Pastor Katy Grindberg, assistant to the bishop, will worship with us at St. James and then meet with the CALL Team for a “working lunch.” At that time the final copy of the MSP will be discussed and presented to her. She will have been given the final MSP to critique before we meet.
We are excited to have completed one big step and we are prayerfully ready to drive forward on our journey through the CALL process. Watch for updates in November as to what comes next after the synod puts our MSP (our resume and our want ad) onto the site for prospective candidates.
Please continue to pray for this team, individually and as a group, and for the candidate that God will select for us.
The CALL TEAM has been busy. We have delivered copies of the completed Ministry Site Profile (MSP) to and met with Council, Refocus Team and The Refocus Launch Team. After meeting with each of these groups we have taken time to consider their suggestions and corrections. Our next meeting is with Pastor Grosch who is listed as our “minister of reference.” We will also work on composing a power point presentation and reviewing and improving “seven reflections on ministry and context.”
On Sunday, Oct. 9th, the CALL TEAM will make a brief presentation sharing the informational PowerPoint to those in attendance at the end of each service. The PowerPoint will highlight specifics contained in the MSP. Copies of the complete MSP will be available in the office for those who would like to more fully review the document.
On Oct. 16th, Sunday, the CALL TEAM and Council will hold a Question and Answer Session (Q&A) in the Fireside Room between services.
On Oct. 20th, Thursday, the final MSP will be presented to Council at their regular meeting.
Following these steps, we will present the MSP to synod and, after approval, the document will be available to prospective candidates.
Please continue to pray for this team, individually and as a group, and for the candidate that God will select for us.
We are happy to report that the finished draft of the Ministry Site Profile has been delivered to Council for their input. After their response, we will meet with the Refocus Team and Refocus Launch Team, give them time to study the MSP and give us feedback. After these meetings in September, we will do “tweaking” if necessary and then present the finished product to Council for their approval. Upon their approval, we plan to publicize the MSP to the congregation in early October. Watch the website, the Sunday bulletins, the Enewsletters, and the bulletin board in the narthex for updates and schedules.
Thank you for your prayers. They are felt and we have sensed the leading of the Holy Spirit. Also, a thank you goes to Pastor David who has met with us and given us insights and ideas.
If you have ever taken on a home improvement project, you can identify with the CALL TEAM and our current situation. We have done lots of the structural and the finishing work using input from quality workers (all at St. James) and skilled workmanship (the Refocus Team Report and the Natural Church Development Survey). Now we’re almost ready for the inspections. We just have a little “patch work” to be done and we’ll be ready for the paint job and beautiful landscaping.
This week we met with Pastor David and members of the Council’s Executive Committee at which time we obtained ideas and suggestions. Pastor David had read all of the MSP (Ministry Site Profile) and he gave input based on his expertise. The CALL TEAM will meet again this month and put some finishing touches on the MSP. Pastor David believes that the MSP will be ready to submit to the Synod by early fall. In other words we are almost ready to have an “open house.”
We take seriously the task of writing this resume (MSP) which will accurately describe our ministry and mission at St. James. This will be read by prospective candidates for the position of our next pastor. We are thankful for your prayers and ask for the continued guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Calling an Ordained Senior Pastor is one of the most important things a congregation can do. Our synod's transition process has been created to help find the right leader for the particular mission and ministry to which God has called each congregation.
One of the first steps in this process is to create the MSP for St. James. The CALL Team is now editing and "polishing" the Ministry Site Profile which is the 14 page "resume" we are composing for St. James. This profile will be used by ELCA Synod as we search for our next Senior Pastor. We recently gave our MSP to Pastor David for his critique. He has been trained by the Synod and will give us pointers and suggestions. On July 14th, we plan to meet with him and the Executive Council.
If you have any questions, ask one of us. We know that the Holy Spirit is leading us and we are grateful for your prayers.
The team has worked diligently during and also between our meetings to finish the MSP (Ministry Site Profile) for St. James. This profile is like a resume, want ad, or a complete and in depth description of our church. We thankfully are near the completion of this document. When it is finished and it is reviewed by a number of sources, we will submit it to the Synod. (The bulletin board in the narthex shows the steps in the Call process.)
We were joined at our last meeting by Pastor David Ernat, our new interim pastor, from Chico. He had already reviewed our Five Year Plan along with our history and he had positive things to say about St. James. We are scheduling another meeting with him in June and are all anxious to hear his comments after he reads our MSP.
Thank you for your prayers and continued support as we covet the leading of the Holy Spirit in this process. We take this task seriously and now are pleased to have Pastor David for additional guidance. He has been trained in this process and has insights that will only enhance our finished product. We want our finished product to tell prospective candidates clearly who we are, where we see our church in the future, and the qualities we are looking for in our next pastor.
We want to thank those who participated in our survey on April 3rd and April 10th. Your involvement is a valuable resource for us and the results of the survey showed cohesiveness between our members and the CALL committee. The answers from a majority of you who took the survey matched with the responses that the CALL team had. We will use the survey results in our answers to those two questions. Your contribution is appreciated.
We have made great strides in filling out the paperwork for the ELCA synod. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting close. In order to make sure we are both on the same page, there is a meeting scheduled with Council President, Pat Martinez, before our meeting next Thursday.
As we patiently wait for the Holy Spirit to guide us as we take the steps necessary to search out our new leader, please pray for the CALL Team, our congregation, and all pastors seeking their next call.
MARCH UPDATE: The CALL Team (committee to call a new senior pastor, not an interim pastor) has been meeting each week and we are making progress completing the 11 page document from ELCA called the Ministry Site Profile (MSP). It can be described as a very complete, detailed, and in-depth "want ad" describing our congregation and community. One of the questions we're completing is "What is your congregation really excited about right now?"
As soon as the MSP is finished, we will submit it to the Synod for review. When it is approved by them, then prospective candidates can view it.
During this process, which can take several months, please uphold the CALL team in prayer. Also, patience is a gift that you, the congregation, can give to us. We covet your prayers.
Much of the work is done in confidence, but if you have any questions, please feel free to talk with one of the CALL Team members.
FEBRUARY UPDATE: As the CALL TEAM continues to engage in the search process to obtain a new pastor for St. James we want to keep you updated. Because the team is devoted to moving this process along, we have increased the number of meetings and are currently meeting each week. Plus we have increased the number of hours of each meeting.
At our February meetings, we have prayerfully collaborated and completed a big chunk of the MSP (Ministry Site Profile). We have been in contact with Pastor Katy, at the Synod office, for clarification. She is very helpful when we are stuck and we can’t go any further. The questions we are filling out on the MSP include, but are not limited to, information about the type of community we live in, the economics, the lifestyle, and challenges in our community. The questions aimed at St. James include, but are not limited to, listing our top three goals, our characteristics, our top three mission priorities, our purpose, our giftedness, and (this is a big one) our top five ministry tasks. There are more, but this is a sample of the questions we are wrestling with on the MSP.
Please pray for insight, creativity, understanding and the health for each of the members as we meet regularly and as we set goals for the completion of this MSP. Pray for the continued leading of the Holy Spirit.
As soon as the MSP is finished, we submit it to the Synod for review. When it is approved by them, then prospective candidates can view it. Keep the CALL team in your prayers.
JANUARY UPDATE: The CALL team scheduled two meetings in January and will continue to meet regularly in February to work on the CALL process. Cindy Diezsi also gave a short presentation at the congregational meeting on Jan. 31st. As we ask for the Holy Spirit to leads us, we are carefully looking at sample Ministry Site Profiles in order to start the process of compiling the one for St. James. The work of the Refocus Committee and the Five-Year Plan that was developed from their work has given the CALL team a head start. Please take a moment to look at the bulletin board in the narthex to better understand the CALL Process.
Some of you have asked and “yes” we, as a congregation, can accept names of prospective candidates. If you have a prospective candidate in mind, please submit that person’s name to a member of the CALL committee. Once we have a completed and approved MSP, we will submit the name or names to Pastor Katy at the Synod office. She will pursue it further, but we may never know the outcome.
The PROCESS TO CALL A PASTOR for St. James
(these steps were developed by ELCA)
- Nomination and election of CALL Team
- CALL team creates Ministry Site Profile (MSP)
- MSP is approved by Synod
- MSP is shared with the congregation
- CALL team receives names of candidates matching MSP
- CALL team screens candidates
- CALL team interviews candidates
- CALL team recommends a candidate
- Congregation meets recommended candidate
- Congregation votes on recommended candidate
- Candidate accepts (or rejects) the call
- If call is accepted, candidate concludes current setting
- Candidate moves and new pastor begins ministry at St. James
CALL PROCESS: the steps suggested by ELCA to gain/catch/obtain/find/secure a pastor.
MINISTRY SITE PROFILE (MSP): Information about St. James used by the Synod to match our church with a candidate.
SYNOD: A synod is a group of congregations. In the ELCA, there are 65 synods. These synods vary greatly in size, geography, membership, staffing and program. Our smallest synod has 30 congregations — the largest nearly 300. The synods are grouped into nine regions, which are points of connection for them and the churchwide organization. Synods unite the work of congregations within their areas, serve as regional support, and guide pastoral and other staff candidates. In order to strengthen the relationship between synod leaders and the church wide office, many church wide teams relate to and support the work of the synods.
CANDIDATE: a pastor seeking a (new) congregation
CURRENT SETTING: a current congregation
ELCA: Evangelical Lutheran Church of America www.elca.org
On December 1st we met with Reverend Katy Grindberg from the ELCA Synod. She gave us an estimated timeline to find the Pastor that God has set aside for St. James. At the same meeting we did some housekeeping chores where it was decided that Cindy Diezsi and Erika Wiechman will co-chair, Mary Ann Duncan will be our chaplain and Marj Brown will be our secretary.
We will begin the journey by generating a "word picture" of St. James Lutheran including our strengths and weaknesses, our programs and our needs. This will be taken from the Five Year Plan and other sources. We will also create a profile for Redding and Shasta County. These "pictures," when approved by Synod will be seen by the candidates.
We are on this journey together and we have put into our plans to keep you, the congregation, informed and involved. Thank you for your continued prayers for the "Call" team!
TEAM MEMBERS INCLUDE
- CINDY DIEZSI
- ERIKA WIECHMAN
- MARY ANN DUNCAN
- MARJ BROWN
- BEN FISCHER
- HEIDI PRICE
- PETE RUDE