It has been quite a while since I posted here, but the Blog is still active, believe it or not!
Today, I am updating you on some big news for our family:
I have received a Call to serve as the Lead Pastor for Peace Lutheran Ministries of Saginaw, Michigan.
To find out what that means, continue reading…
In our denomination (LCMS Lutheran), the Divine Call, as it is formally known, is an official job offer to a Rostered Professional Church Worker, which I am as an ordained Pastor. I was not and am not looking for a Call; it is just how things work in our denomination:
Unlike in churches where a Bishop moves Pastors around, like in the Roman Catholic or United Methodist Church, our churches are largely independent and can call their own pastors. Similarly, pastors can choose to accept or decline a call.
All of the ordained pastors in our denomination, barring special circumstances, are considered to be eligible for a call, whether or not they are seeking one. You must be ordained and ‘rostered’ (in good standing) in the LCMS to receive a call. All of our names are in a database that the denominational leadership has access to.
When a church has an opening (called a vacancy) in the pastoral office, it begins the call process. Once a job description is produced, it is submitted to the appropriate denominational leadership, which then searches the database for matches. Out of this process, which is accompanied by a great deal of prayer, comes a ‘Call List’ of candidates whom the congregation may call. Through much more prayer and conversation, the congregation votes to extend a call to their candidate of choice from that list. That pastor then has a few weeks to evaluate and pray over the call, before deciding whether to accept it and relocate, or decline it and remain where he is.
Thus, the people of Peace believe God has led them to me as their next Lead Pastor, while the people of Community (where I have served for nearly eight years) believe God’s plan is for me to continue as their Administrative Pastor.
So, now Heidi and I have much prayer, conversation and work ahead of us, as we try and discern, over the next few weeks, what God’s will is for me, for us, for Community and for Peace. This is, quite honestly, the most challenging decision we have had to make as a family (including seminary). There is a whole lot at stake, for literally hundreds of people.
So I would ask that you please pray for us: for Heidi and Ethan and Katy and me. For the people of Peace and the people of Community. For the courage to trust in God’s plan for us all, and for peace and understanding, whatever happens. Pray for wisdom and clarity for Heidi and me to see clearly what God’s will is for us, and the courage to follow it, wherever it leads.
Your prayers have carried our family aloft for many years, and we look to you again for that amazing support. We thank you all, and pray that God be glorified in all we do.