Call Process

As congregations make a transition from one pastor to another there are essentially five major steps. These are described in detail in the document Healthy Transition, which is available at the link below. The office of the bishop is available to assist throughout the entire process, and we invite you to contact us.

Step One – Saying Goodbye

When a pastor announces that he or she will be leaving a congregation, it is natural for there to be a time of grief. We believe taking time to say goodbye, give thanks and hold an appropriate send-off is healthy. Doing this well is important, and sets the stage for the next chapter.

Step Two – Developing a Profile

This step includes the creating of a Ministry Site Profile (MSP) committee. This team of five persons compiles a document that describes the ministry of the congregation. This MSP will be presented to potential candidates as they discern God’s calling for their next chapter in ministry.

Step Three - Form a Call Committee

The church council appoints a call committee of six persons, plus an alternate. This is the committee that will review candidate profiles, called Rostered leader Profiles or RLP, interview and listen to candidate sermons. They will then recommend a final candidate to the council and congregation.

Step Four – Calling a New Pastor

The congregation is the official body that issues the call to a new pastor. This is done at an officially held meeting of the congregation. After the vote, there is often a time of preparation for the new pastor. We suggest using this time to make repairs to parsonages, or assist with local real estate agents, prepare a book of favorite recreational activities or restaurants.

Step Five – Beginning a new Chapter Together

The first six to twelve months are a time of both congregation and pastor getting to know one another. We believe it is of value to plan together healthy ways to begin a new chapter in the life of a congregation’s ministry.

Resources

pdf Pastoral Transitions Guide (Updated July 2014) (614 KB)

pdf Healthy Transitions (Updated September 2016) (430 KB)

A guide for congregations in transition. (NOTE: This document includes the 2017 Compensation Guidelines approved at the June 2016 Synod Assembly.)

audio Bishop James Hazelwood's Sermon About the Call Process (22.03 MB)

Given at Good Shepherd (Kingston, R.I.) in July 2013.

Resources

pdf Pastoral Transitions Guide (Updated July 2014) (614 KB)

pdf Healthy Transitions (Updated September 2016) (430 KB)

A guide for congregations in transition. (NOTE: This document includes the 2017 Compensation Guidelines approved at the June 2016 Synod Assembly.)

audio Bishop James Hazelwood's Sermon About the Call Process (22.03 MB)

Given at Good Shepherd (Kingston, R.I.) in July 2013.