Preparing for the Process
The ELCA is committed to the effective, fair, and appropriate deployment of rostered leaders for the ministry of this church. This is a complex matter involving the needs and mission of the whole church, the gifts and situations of candidates, and the leading of the Holy Spirit. The process involves extensive preparation by candidates, seminaries, candidacy committees, synod offices, and churchwide staff. This process also involves the commitment of many families who make significant changes during a candidate’s time of preparation.
While there are a multitude of practical matters that need attending to during this time, we encourage you to focus on the spiritual dimensions of discernment. Responding to God’s call is fundamentally a matter of trust. For your personal and family devotions during these days, consider revisiting the biblical call stories of Abraham and Sarah, Moses, Ruth, Esther, Isaiah, Hosea, Mary and Joseph, Paul, and many others. We hope that you will enter into this time as a continuation of your faith venture, confident that God will provide both surprises and blessings.
This church does expect its rostered leaders to be prepared and respond to God’s call to go, yet there is also a commitment to respond with understanding and compassion to the unique circumstances of individual people and their families. Those responsible for candidate assignment and call process seek balance between the needs and desires of candidates and the needs of this church to fulfill its mission. We ask you to do the same. As you prepare your paperwork for assignment, it is very important that you carefully discern the difference between preferences for assignment and your restrictions. Making the distinction between these two is important in communicating your availability to serve as a rostered leader in this church. If your family is involved in this process, we expect that you will engage in this conversation together.