Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,
What has the church council been working towards on your behalf? With the announcement of Pastor Poisel’s retirement there have been three distinct tasks: celebration and appreciation for Pastor Poisel’s years of service, short-term planning to fulfill the pastoral needs of Christ Lutheran Church while we complete the call for a new pastor, and long-term planning to discern the direction and pastoral needs of the congregation into the future.
During the final months Pastor Poisel was with us, he took the time to meet with groups and individuals to reflect on his 20 years with us. The retirement luncheon we hosted for the Poisel’s was a success; we literally used every chair in the building. Ron and Sandy were both thankful for the party, the attendance and the gifts.
Pastor Limbong has agreed to handle the pastoral responsibilities while we go through the call process. Our short-term planning has focused on how to provide him support, including the call of an interim pastor. In consultation with Pastor Limbong, the council has submitted a request to the synod for an interim pastor. By ELCA policy, an interim pastor cannot be called until there is a vacancy. In our agreement with Pastor Poisel regarding his retirement date, he was still officially on our payroll until September 30th, therefore part of the process could not be accomplished until this month. At this point the council is working with the synod to find an interim pastor to meet our needs.
Through the congregational survey, SWOT analysis, discussions with members and consultation with the synod we have worked to discern what our pastoral and leadership needs are. We have reviewed the responsibilities of our pastoral staff and our plan is to hire a head pastor. Once a head pastor is in place we will then look for a 2nd employee to help with the ministry, ideally a pastor. We have defined what tasks and duties the head pastor must be responsible for, and in working with the head pastor we would determine what areas a 2nd person would have primary responsibility for.
We are now working to form a call committee to begin the next phase of the process. Once the call committee submits the job description to the Bishop’s Office, Pastor Limbong can decide if he would like to apply for the head pastor position. He would then notify the Bishop’s Office and go through their vetting process. Most likely he would be the first candidate provided to the call committee, where he would go through that process.
We hope this clarifies what we have been doing and what we are currently doing on your behalf. Continue to talk with council members and look for more updates from us the future.
We ask that you join us in prayer. We pray that God will raise up the candidate that will best serve our church and that He will help us discern whom that might be.
Christ Lutheran Church Council