in the Interim Ministry Association
What is the IMA (Interim Ministry Association of the ELCA)?
The Interim Ministry Association (IMA) is an interest group of ELCA Intentional Interim Pastors which relates to the ELCA through the Vocation and Education Unit of the ELCA Churchwide office. As such, it is the voice for interim ministry in the ELCA and is especially interested in promoting Intentional Interim Ministry.
Why should I become a member of the IMA?
If you are an ELCA rostered leader and have an interest in interim ministry, we invite you to become a part of this organization by formally joining the IMA—if you have not already done so for 2010. We believe there is strength in numbers. Your dues and your voice will strengthen our advocacy efforts throughout the church. You can contribute your ideas and concerns to help interim ministry.
What are the benefits of becoming an IMA member?
Your annual dues (currently $60) entitles you to a discount (currently $75) on registration for the Annual Conference of the National Association of Interim Pastors (NALIP). Our next annual conference is June 12-14, 2012 in Buffalo, New York.
- A quarterly newsletter, IMA Newsletter, and updates on information and continuing education opportunities for nterim pastors through Constant Contact.
- Our website on the ELCA website at www.elca.org/interimministry.
- Through NALIP, promoting basic education and advanced training for interim pastors.
- The opportunity to contribute your experience and ideas to strengthen interim ministry in all parts of our church.
What is NALIP and what is IMA’s relation to it?
The National Association of Lutheran Interim Pastors (NALIP) is the education organization in which IMA participates jointly along with the Interim Ministry Conference of the Lutheran Church— Missouri Synod. NALIP plans the program part of the Annual Conference at which IMA-ELCA holds its annual meeting. NALIP also provides basic and advanced education for interim ministers. A NALIP board composed of 2 members each from the ELCA and Missouri Synod plans the conference and oversees the education.
What is the IMA Board and what does it do?
The IMA Board consists of seven members. Five are elected at the Annual Conference held each spring for rotating 3-year terms and must be intentional interim ministers at the time of election. The board appoints two other board members as NALIP representatives. Board meetings always include a representative from the Vocation and Education of the ELCA. The Board usually meets by teleconference, but holds a 3-day face-to-face meeting in Chicago at ELCA headquarters in addition to any meetings at the Annual Conference.
Who are the current IMA Board members?
The current board members are Cheryl Berg (Northwestern Minnesota), Keith Hammer Eastern Washington-Idaho), Roger Harms (West Virginia-Western Maryland), Richard Mathisen (Southeastern Pennsylvania), David Newhart (Northeastern Pennsylvania), Sue Seiffert (Southwestern Minnesota), and Doug Stensby (Northwestern Washington). Also serving as an advisor and an essential link to the Churchwide office is Dick Bruesehoff, the Director of Lifelong Learning in the Vocation and Education Unit of the ELCA.
What are some recent projects and activities IMA and its Board?
Recently, the IMA has:
- Worked with the Board of Pensions to secure disability coverage for interim pastors between interims
- Communicated with bishops in all of our 65 synods to increase their knowledge of intentional interim ministry
- Used Constant Contact to inform members and other interim pastors of upcoming education and other events of interest to interim pastors
- Been successful in securing a recognition of interim ministry in the new Rostered Leader Profile for professional leaders of the ELCA
- Oversees the Interim Ministry pages on the ELCA website and publishes a quarterly newsletter sent electronically to approximately 1200 recipients via email
What are some of the present projects of the IMA and what projects does IMA hope to develop in the future?
Presently, the IMA is working on:
- Organizing task forces of members for Membership, Advocacy, Clergy Taxes, and Communication
- Encouraging gatherings and education for interim pastors who have not had interim ministry training
- Promoting research on the effectiveness of intentional interim ministry
What is the Mission, Vision and Purpose of the IMA-ELCA?
Vision: To be the voice of interim ministry in the ELCA.
Purpose: The purpose of the IMA is to strengthen and sustain excellence in interim ministry within the ELCA.
1. To promote an awareness of the best practices of interim ministry among all expressions of the ELCA.
2. To raise the awareness of intentional interim ministry among all expressions of the ELCA.
3. To nurture intentional interim ministers by promoting education and training and by advocating on their behalf among all expressions of the ELCA.
4. To assist interim ministers who have no specialized training.
[Please note that #1 applies to all interim ministry done in the ELCA, while #2 applies specifically to intentional interim ministry. Also note that the term “minister” is used instead of “pastor” because interim ministry is not necessarily done by ordained persons.]