Board of Elders

August 2017

         Greetings from Board of Elders and Call Committee!

 

By the time you read this, our congregation will have “cast our lots” and extended a Call for our next Pastor. It has been an amazing experience of enrichment and growth for your Board of Elders and Call Committee. Both have been immersed in the spiritually blessed journey of aligning our congregational needs with the talents and gifts of our Pastors, current and future. Turning our attention to the needs of these esteemed Pastors, helpful insight comes from Doxology (“Care and Feeding of Pastors”) and from Reverend Paul McCain's “Congregations and New Pastors: A How-to Guide”.

 

From the Doxology writings, we see an analogy of marriage. Our Pastor (both current and coming) is Called to lead us by faithfully preaching the Word (with elements of Law & Gospel) and administering the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion. He is to live above reproach, serve with trustworthiness, manage his own affairs well, and provide theological leadership to his flock with tenderness, firmness, and forgiveness. These are weighty and awesome responsibilities! Our Pastor's faithful leadership requires your support for his personal devotion and continuing education, as well as your prayers and regular church attendance for his preaching, teaching, and words of encouragement and admonition.

 

Congregations should provide all things non-Pastoral! This includes administrative support (Board membership, Voters' Assembly attendance), financial support (regular offerings and budget review). His role among us deserves our respect (both publicly and privately): we should speak honorably of him and with intent to build. As in marriage, God has an orderliness which honors Him and gives us peace and faithful growth. While our Pastor seeks to be our friend, he is not our hired hand but a God-given shepherd, a servant and steward of the divine mysteries who should be addressed as “Pastor”, rather than by his first name. He is not perfect but needs our forgiveness; he should not be compared with other Pastors since he is God's chosen for us at this time; we should hear and engage in his efforts to change and grow. Indeed, we who receive our faithful Pastors receive Jesus and His blessing.

 

Reverend McCain encourages us to receive our Pastors with understanding and charity, invitation and forgiveness. Consider his messages of change and ask questions for clarification. Respect Pastor's privacy and encourage personal development and time with his family. Pastor's wife seeks to be a loved member of the congregation and wife of its Pastor. She is not his message-taker nor participant in our confidential information. Cherishing our Pastor's wife honors Pastor and our Lord who entrusted them to us. Hold Pastor accountable to preach and proclaim the Word of God purely. We should support his faithful adherence to Biblical and Synodical principles of communion, baptism, hymns, and writings. Thank and praise your Pastor as opportunity permits; speak to build. Finally, keep him, his family, and our Congregation in your prayers. May God bless us in these times of parting and welcoming!

 

Richard Pierce-Ruhland

Member, Board of Elders

Chairman, Call Committee

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