NORTHEASTERN OHIO SYNOD

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1 NORTHEASTERN OHIO SYNOD 1890 Bailey Road Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio FAX In This Issue Cover Letter Bishop s Newsletter Ohio Synod News Northeastern Synod Calendar Pulpit Supply List Lutheran Outdoor Ministries in Ohio Resource Center Communications Committee: The Parish Paper UNIFIED MAILING January 8, 2015 Volume 28 Issue 1 Published 6 Times a Year Next unified mailing: March Deadline for articles: March 1 Save the Date! The spring bishop gatherings will be held on February 22 and March 22 in the afternoon. Watch for details to come! Week Of Prayer For Christian Unity The Lutheran-Catholic Covenant Commission invites Catholics and Lutherans to commemorate together the 2015 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25: Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." (John 4:7). For celebration resources, visit the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute website, For more information about ecumenical dialogue, visit the USCCB Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs website, and the ELCA Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations website, Unified Newsletter Changes. Beginning in 2015 the Unified Mailing will be published 6 times a year instead of monthly. In 2015 it will be published in January, March, April, July, September, and November. The weekly E-news will keep you updated with all the news, events and pertinent information. If you would like to begin receiving the E-news and our other electronic mailings you may sign-up on our website. Simply go to and click on Unified Newsletter from there click on Join Our Electronic Mailings to sign-up. Help Needed. In August my daughter was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia and has undergone a lot of chemo therapy. She lives in Hudson and is at home recovering from her treatments. I work for HOPE Lutheran Parish and am looking for a retired nurse or experienced care giver to sit with my daughter when I can t be there at home, because of meetings and other work related business. I will pay for your services. You are welcome to me at or call me at Thank you, Pastor David Conrad Free To A Good Home. Bethesda On The Bay, Bay Village has an altar that is available free of charge to any congregation in need. It s approximately 10 foot long by 3 ½ foot wide made of light colored (possibly pecan) wood. If interested please contact the church office at

2 POSITIONS AVAILABLE Important reminder about background checks: Congregations are called to be safe places for all members, and every ELCA congregation is responsible to have established guidelines and policies protecting all members. When hiring church workers, please remember the importance of background checks. Your congregation should have official guidelines in place to safeguard members against abuse. For more information about background checks and guidelines: Youth Integration Minister. Lord of Life, Chagrin Falls, is seeking a visionary Youth Integration Minister. Lord of Life is a caring congregation with a deep commitment to youth and their families and is seeking a leader who has a heart for the youth of the community. The congregation is active in local, national and global mission and seeks to involve more youth from the community in mission. The ideal candidate will lead, guide, occasionally nudge and do what is needed to help integrate middle and high school youth in the mission of the congregation. Discerning candidates for the position will find the ministry environment rich, the congregation welcoming, and a powerful, life-impacting commitment to Jesus. Contact Pastor Rob Henderson at or (440) with interest. Church Secretary. All Saints, Olmsted Falls has an opening for a part-time secretary, (up to 20 hours a week). Computer skills are a must with experience in Microsoft Publisher, Word, and Excel. Knowledge of Shepherds Staff software helpful. Good communication skills and ability to honor confidentiality. Must be able to work independently. Mail or resume to: All Saints Lutheran Church, Attn: Bridget Jurcisek, 7230 Columbia Road, Olmsted Falls, OH 44138; Spiritual Care Coordinator Judson. The Judson community, located in Cleveland s University Circle, has received accreditation as a hospice care provider and is seeking a spiritual care director for the hospice program. This entails serving as a member of the interdisciplinary team of social worker, nurse, doctor, and volunteer coordinator. The work is 20 hours per week, and does not necessarily need to require either an M. Div. degree or units of C.P.E. It does require someone who is familiar and enjoys working with an older population, and has a reverence for living and dying. Interested persons should be referred to Sally Moennich, VP of Community Living, at or Director of Congregational Ministries. The person filling this part-time position at Holy Trinity, Akron, will be responsible for coordinating congregational life and outreach/mission activities. This shall include, but not be limited to: facilitating the identification and expression of members spiritual gifts, promoting member involvement in Holy Trinity activities, and encouraging volunteer response to community activities; coordinating and supervising the development of programs that enhance the congregation s life together; coordinating, supervising, and participating in the visitation ministries of the congregation; and identifying and developing outreach/mission opportunities outside of the congregation, and coordinating Holy Trinity s participation. A complete position description is available by contacting John Stefanik, Personnel Team Coordinator, at: or Interested applicants should submit their resumé either to Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 50 N. Prospect St., Akron, OH (Attn: John Stefanik) or by e- mailing Organist/Choir Director. Part-time. Responsibilities include weekly worship services and special services, Wednesday evening rehearsal of adult choir, accompany soloists & ensembles, and attend worship committee meetings. Ability to cantor would be a plus. Interested persons should submit a cover letter and resume to For more information about our church please visit our website at Adult Choir Director. Jerusalem, Seville is searching for a person to direct the adult choir in one rehearsal each week toward participation in the traditional worship service each Sunday, September through May. Additional responsibilities will include preparing the choir for special services throughout the church year such as Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, as determined by consultation with other musicians, pastor, and worship planning committee. A bachelor s degree in music is preferred, however, related experience is acceptable. Should have experience in directing choirs, particularly volunteer church choirs, knowledge of appropriate church music and the role of music in Lutheran worship. For more information or to apply please contact Pastor Edward Kropa at or Resumés can also be mailed to Pastor Kropa s attention at Jerusalem Lutheran Church, 9282 Acme Rd., Seville, OH

3 January 8, 2015 Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, My family and I are fully moved to Ohio, and I am excited to have begun serving as assistant to Bishop Abraham Allende. My wife, Lana, and I enjoyed the four years that we spent in Ohio while I attended Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus ( ), so we are quite pleased to return to the land of weather seasons and Buckeyes with our ten-year-old daughter and 8-yearold son! I grew up in the Texas Hill Country, north of San Antonio and west of Austin. German immigrants my ancestors included settled this part of Texas in the 1840s. One is still more likely at times in the Hill Country to hear faint German accents than the stereotypical Texas drawl. I believe that is why, apart from the occasional y all, and all y all, people tell me that I don t seem to have an accent. To be from the Hill Country once made it highly likely that one was German and Lutheran. As the make-up and lifestyles of our nation changes everywhere, my generation is the first with which that assumption can no longer be made. Today, people of all cultural, language, and faith backgrounds call the Hill Country home, and I am sure that is the case in Ohio, too. Whether we are from Texas or Ohio, it appears that we no longer can assume to know everything about people except that we are called to reach out to all people with the love of Jesus Christ. I look forward to working with Bishop Allende, our Northeastern Ohio Synod staff, and you, the people of the Northeastern Ohio Synod, as we reach out to all people with Jesus love assuming only that the opportunity to do so is a great gift. As part of this mission to reach out, Bishop Allende has set the goal that he and the synod staff are to visit synod congregations three Sundays out of the month on a rotating basis. Please feel free to contact the synod office and schedule us to visit. I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible, as together, we reach out to all people with the love of Jesus Christ once again assuming only that the opportunity to do so is a great gift for us all. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, "Your God reigns." Isaiah 52:7 Peace! Pastor Karl Biermann Assistant to the Bishop Northeastern Ohio Synod

4 Staff congregation visits for the next weeks include: Bishop Allende will be: January 18 Shanesville, Sugarcreek Good Shepherd, Cleveland, Martin Luther King Jr. Service February 1 St Paul, Minerva February 8 Good Shepherd, Conneaut February 22 Israel s, Paris Spring Bishop s Gathering, Location TBA March 1 Trinity, Vermilion March 15 Salem, Wooster Karl Biermann will be: January 18 Good Shepherd, Cleveland, Martin Luther King Jr. Service January 25 New Life, Youngstown, Install Chelsea Spencer February 22 Spring Bishop s Gathering, Location TBA Terrance Jacob will be: January 18 Good Shepherd, Cleveland, Martin Luther King Jr. Service February 22 Spring Bishop s Gathering, Location TBA

5 NORTHEASTERN OHIO SYNOD NEWS JANUARY 2015 Congregations Anticipating the Call Process Ashtabula, Faith, Jim Brandis, ongoing supply Brunswick, Holy Trinity, Carolyn Wagar Hier, interim Doylestown, Zion, Christopher Bartholomew, interim Eastlake, Reformation, Barbara Holzhauser, interim Elyria, Redeemer, contracted with Laurie Miller and Christ, Lorain Lordstown, Lordstown, Joyce Taipale, interim Salem, Holy Trinity, Ross Jackson, interim (PCUSA) Sebring, Trinity, Dennis Engler, interim Stow, St Stephen Struthers, Christ, Paul Burgeson, interim Warren, Emmanuel Congregations in the Call Process Ashland, Pleasant Valley Austintown, Grace, Barbara Bartholomew, interim Bath, Bethel, called Jonathan Weaver, accepted Broadview Heights, Triune, Jane Denison, interim Conneaut, Good Shepherd Madison, Trinity Maple Hts., Covenant, Ken Anderson, Interim Minerva, St John, Joe Ertl, interim New Philadelphia, Emmanuel, Lee Eilert, interim Orrville, Augsburg, John Furno, supply Valley City, Zion, Dick Williams, interim Transitions Cleveland Heights, Grace, George Hrbek, ongoing supply Deaconess Judy Hoshek, retirement Installations Chelsea Spencer, New Life, Youngstown, 1/25 Recently Ill or Hospitalized Susan Anderson, wife of Pastor Wally Anderson Pastor Hugh Berry (PCUSA) Pastor Sharon Brown s sister, Ann Pastor Will Burkett Pastor Kristy Buyok Nancy Chodera, mother of Pastor Carolyn Wagar Hier Mari Frances Conrad, daughter of Pastor David Conrad Lynn Goggins, wife of Pastor Jeffery Goggins Pastor Fred Grimm Pastor Fred Grosse Ruth Sander, mother of Pastor Bob Sander Pastor Lynn Williamson s daughter, Megan On-going Prayers Pastor Béla Bernhardt Pastor Bill Bruehl Mary Collins, wife of Pastor Lang Collins Pastor Duane Culler Pastor Jane Denison Pastor John Furno Pastor Jaclyn Gasior Pastor Ted Grotjohn Pastor Robert Hall Pastor David Hammel Pastor Walter Heber Pastor George Keeler Pastor Tim Keeler Pastor Gerald Keller Pastor Jim Kennell JD Kuzmik, son of Pastor Rhonda Gallagher Pastor Dean Lewis Pastor Diane Lundgren Pastor Victor Myers Pastor Alan Nathan Glenda O Donnell, mother of Pastor Randy O Donnell Pastor Dan Rossbach Pastor Richard Shibley Pamela Slater, daughter of Pastor Erv Smuda Pastor Bob Springer Rae Van de Motter, wife of Pastor Patrick Van de Motter Pastor Rick Warger Louise White, wife of Pastor Robert White Pastor Dick & Jil Williams Pastor Jim Zingale Pastor Tim & Tina Zoruba The Congregation of First, Lorain in the aftermath of a devastating fire Sympathy Family, Friends, and the people of Faith, Massillon on the death of Pastor Elaina Styblo Pastor Darla Ann & Thomas Kratzer on the death of his father, Darrell Kratzer Pastor Jim & Jeanne Zingale on the death of her mother 1/7 /14

6 NORTHEASTERN OHIO SYNOD CALENDAR JANUARY 13 7:00 pm Lutheran Men in Mission, NEOS kitchen 14 10:00 am Ecumenical Committee, NEOS conference room 12:00 pm Congregation Resource Team, NEOS resource center 15 9:30 am Akron-Wooster Clergy & Associates in Ministry, NEOS resource center 10:00 am Canton-Massillon Conference Clergy & Associates in Ministry with Bishop Allende 18 3:30 pm Martin Luther King Jr Service, Good Shepherd, Cleveland 19 Synod Office & Resource Center Closed, Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday 21 6:30 pm Finance & Budget Committee, NEOS conference room 24 8:45 am Synod Council Meeting, Grace, Wadsworth 26 Synod Office & Resource Center Closed Professional Leaders Retreat, The Lodge at Geneva-On-The-Lake 29 12:30 pm Worship Committee, NEOS conference room 30 10:00 am Protecting God s People Task Force, NEOS conference room FEBRUARY 5 9:00 am Cleveland West Clergy & Associates in Ministry, Faith, Lakewood 7 10:00 African Descent Strategy, NEOS resource center 10 9:00 am RALPA Meeting with Bishop Allende, St Paul, Bellville 11 12:00 pm Congregation Resource Team, NEOS resource center 12 6:30 pm Executive Committee, NEOS conference room 17 10:00 am Deans Meeting, NEOS conference room 18 Ash Wednesday 19 9:30 am Akron-Wooster Clergy & Associates in Ministry, NEOS resource center 2:00 pm Communications Committee, NEOS conference room 22 3:00 pm Spring Bishop Gathering, Location TBA MARCH 5 9:00 am Cleveland West Clergy & Associates in Ministry, Bethel, Middleburg Heights 11 12:00 pm Congregation Resource Team, NEOS resource center 14 8:45 am Synod Council Meeting, Advent, Mentor 16 Synod Office & Resource Center Closed 19 9:30 am Akron-Wooster Clergy & Associates in Ministry, NEOS Resource Center 22 3:00 pm Spring Bishop Gathering, Location TBA 31 10:30 am Renewal of Vows Service, Trinity, Kent

7 NORTHEASTERN OHIO SYNOD PULPIT SUPPLY LIST The 2014 NEOS Compensation Guidelines state: Those asked to serve as pulpit supply should be contacted well in advance of the date needed and, upon acceptance, be provided with a copy of the worship bulletin and pertinent information about the service. A member familiar with congregational worship practices should be on hand to welcome the pastor prior to the service. The recommended honorarium for one worship service is $150 plus mileage at the current IRS mileage reimbursement rate- beginning January 1, 2015, 57.5 cents/mile). Travel reimbursement should also include turnpike tolls. For additional services, scheduled within three hours of the conclusion of the initial worship service, whether at the same congregation or at another, as in two-point parishes, an additional $50 per service should be paid plus any additional mileage. If additional services are scheduled during the week that are similar in nature e.g., Sunday evening, Wednesday, Saturday, etc., an additional honorarium of $85 for each additional service plus mileage at the current IRS mileage reimbursement rate (see above) should be paid. For additional responsibilities, appropriate compensation should be provided. Expenses for lodging and meals, if necessary, are to be paid by the congregation. (Contractual interim pastors are reminded that they are responsible for obtaining supply in their absence.) The following persons have indicated their availability for pulpit supply: The Rev Lisa Arledge 680 Rocky Hollow Dr. Akron, OH The Rev Shari Ayers 207 Diller St. Pandora, OH The Rev Richard Beal 1305 Dove Dr. Ashland, OH The Rev Richard C Beckman (NWOS) 2956 Brokensword Rd. Bloomville, OH The Rev E Richard Bowen 1469 Hillcrest Ave., Apt 53 Niles, OH The Rev Mark Brauer Cedar Rd. #10A Cleveland Heights, OH (O) (H) The Rev William Burkett 1951 Fowl Rd Apt B-3 Elyria, OH The Rev Landis Coffman 2849 Sourek Rd Akron, OH The Rev Langley Collins 1310 Fifth Ave Apt 605 Youngtown, OH (H) (cell) The Rev David Craig 3119 Driftwood Rd. Norton, OH The Rev Ronald Daley 742 W 3 rd St. Mansfield, OH (H) (cell) The Rev Barbara Essex (UCC) Euclid Ave Cleveland, OH (O) ext. 301 (H) The Rev George Gaiser 944 Dussel Rd. Kent, OH The Rev Frank Gross 1020 Federal Ave. Alliance, OH The Rev Karin Himstedt 2148 Kenyon St. Apt E Louisville, OH The Rev James R Kulma 1496 Marlowe Ave. Lakewood, OH (O) ext (H) The Rev Philip Kunder P.O. Box 3634 Mansfield, OH The Rev Kermit Lauterbach Woodspring Cr. North Ridgeville, OH 44039

8 The Rev Clyde McGee 1751 Cedar Chase Dr. Akron, OH The Rev James Metzger 1681 Raywood Rd. Alliance, OH The Rev George Murphy 538 Cynthia Lane Tallmadge, OH The Rev Gail Patton 5256 Spencer Rd. Lyndhurst, OH The Rev Robert Pindell 925 Barkston Dr. Highland Hts., OH (H) (cell) The Rev Rebecca Rossow 2806 Danube Way Rd SW Canton, OH The Rev Robert Sander 4818 Leigh Ave NW Canton, OH (H) (cell) The Rev H Dixon Slingerland 147 Barrington Place E Aurora, OH The Rev Patrick Van De Motter 2905 Emma Lane Brunswick, OH The Rev Edward Wahl (NWOS) 2856 St. Rt. 529 Cardington, OH The Rev Richard Weaver (NWOS) 2214 Stahlwood Ave. Sandusky, OH The Rev Daniel Wenger 6315 Fiesta Ct. Lorain, OH (O) (H) The Rev Gail Zackrison (NW PA Synod) 5480 Harold Dr. Edinboro, PA (non-communion services) Ken Reinoehl 407 Ninth St. NW North Canton, OH (non-communion services) Clergy supply list for the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio can be found at: Updated 1/6/15 kl The Rev John Uhle 1354 Elmwood Ct. Rocky River, OH Lay Preachers David Rebeck 244 Fairpark Dr. Berea, OH

9 Nominations Needed Please review and share this list of positions with your congregational leaders.. Ask people to recommend or consider a nomination. Submit nominations by completing the form on the back (also available at The following positions will be filled by election at the 2015 Synod Assembly on May 15-16, John S. Knight Center, Akron SYNOD COUNCIL Meets five times a year to conduct the business of the synod between assemblies. 3-year term Akron-Wooster......Lay Canton-Massillon......Lay Cleveland West.....Clergy Cleveland East......Lay Eastern......Clergy Richland-Ashland Lay Southern Clergy 2-year term Cleveland East......Clergy 3-year term Vice President..... Lay Officer nominees are required to provide information and consent for a criminal background check. CONSULTATION COMMITTEE The Consultation Committee hears disagreements of substantive issues that have been referred to the bishop/executive committee as well as hears charges against a rostered person or congregation which could lead to discipline. Meets only as needed. 6-year term.. Lay and Clergy TRINITY SEMINARY BOARD 4-year term.....clergy VOTING MEMBER TO CHURCHWIDE ASSEMBLY August 8-13, 2016, New Orleans, LA (all expenses paid) Cleveland West...Clergy Eastern...Lay Female Canton-Massillon/Southern Clergy Canton Massillon/Southern Lay Female Cleveland East/Cleveland West.Lay Female Cleveland East/Eastern...Clergy Cleveland East/Cleveland West/Eastern Lay Male Richland-Ashland/Akron-Wooster Clergy Richland-Ashland/Akron-Wooster.Lay Female Canton-Massillon/Akron-Wooster/Richland-Ashland/Southern...Lay Male Youth (14-17) Female Young Adult (18-30).....Male Person of color/english as a second language...female Person of color/english as a second language..male Questions may be referred to Karen Kaufman, synod staff liaison, ; Deadline for Submitting Nominations: February 15 Completed forms are to be mailed to: Northeastern Ohio Synod Attn: Nominations 1890 Bailey Road Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221

10 2015 APPLICATION FOR NOMINATION Nominee for (position) Conference ELCA Member Yes No name street city/state/zip home ( ) pastor s signature for lay nominees congregation/city of congregation work ( ) Female Male Lay Clergy Associate in Ministry Person of color and/or whose primary language is other than English Age: List areas of involvement in the synod (maximum of three positions; indicate current positions by checking the box) List areas of involvement in your congregation (maximum of three positions; indicate current position by checking box) Community Service (maximum of three; indicate current position by checking box) Lay Education/Degree/Certification Occupation (if retired, give former occupation) What is your main interest in the church? Please include a photo of the nominee to be included with the biographical listing. Has this person been contacted and consented to this nomination? Yes No Referred by or Submitted by (Self-nominations must have a referral) Address City Phone (work) ( ) (home) ( ) Congregation

11 NE Ohio Synod Resource Center Your LINK to the Ministry Resources of Northeastern Ohio Volume 19 Issue 1 January 2015 NE Ohio Synod Resource Center 1890 Bailey Road Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio Phone: Fax: A Multicultural Church In a society that is swiftly becoming multicultural most existing or redeveloping congregations need to be intentional about becoming a multicultural congregation. One resource that can help is One Body Many Members. The printed materials can be downloaded from Through the website you can order the dvd with promotional brochure at very minimal cost. The resource center also has a copy of the dvd which gives an introduction and overview of this process for becoming an authentic multicultural community. Every congregation involved in outreach should examine this resource for use of one or more of the sections. With recent conversations about racism Remember that the resource center has a variety of suitable items available for loan. We can also recommend some websites with downloadable resources. Karen Kaufman, Resource Specialist Staffed Hours Monday, Tuesday & Thursday 8-4 Call or ahead and recommended resources will be pulled for you to preview whenever you are able to visit. Not able to visit? Most items can be mailed. Connecting in Grace: Radical Gifts, Radical Grace Incarnation Lutheran Church, Shoreview, MN provides this free downloadable resource for small group use. This study assists participants in being aware of God s presence in their day to day life and how to strengthen this relationship. These materials work well with new or existing groups, young or old. Click on Faith Studies for Small Groups at to view or download these materials. Vacation Bible School If your congregation purchases curriculum for their VBS program be sure to share with the resource center the dates and theme of your program. We will combine this information and notify congregations of others using the same curriculum and their dates. By providing this information congregations can share decorations, reusable banners and other appropriate resources between congregations. In addition to the sharing of such items in the congregations, it helped reduce panic when a defective dvd was discovered two days before the start of VBS. Please share your congregation name, date of VBS and 2015 theme by phoning or ing elca.org.

12 New Arrivals A Guide to Retreat for All God s Shepherds is helpful for personal retreats, a reconsidering of one s call in ministry or as a resource for leading a group retreat. Liturgy for Earthkeeping is a collaborative project between Hans Peterson and Larry Olson of Dakota Road Music and Luther College Ministries. It is being offered as a resource for congregations and ministries to help strengthen connections between sustainability, liturgy, spiritual formation and joyful stewardship. This setting could be used when celebrating Earth Day, sustainability or stewardship of creation Sunday. A free digital download is available at or you can borrow the CD from the resource center to preview. Intersessions for the Christian People provides an additional or alternative resource for those preparing the intersessions for worship. Introducing Evangelical Worship consists of CD s for introducing settings 1,2,5,6,7,8. Want to try one of these settings for the first time? Borrow this set to familiarize worship leaders with the music. Meeting God in the Ruins: Devotions for Disaster Relief Volunteers provides a meditation and reflective questions for volunteers traveling to a site, during their time at a work site, and when they return. Leaders may find this helpful for even the relatively small scale disasters that occur from time to time in our community, such as a violent wind storm. Prepared to Care: A Booklet for Pastors to Use in the Aftermath of a Natural Disaster provides worship resources as well as other practical guides and checklists for use in helping a congregation cope with a natural disaster in their community. So We Believe, So We Pray: Towards Koinonia in Worship contains some excellent prayers that may be helpful for worship planners. Spiritual Life in the Congregation: A Guide for Retreats is a basic guide for planning a variety of retreats with helpful outlines for churchwide, older adult, personally guided, private and action retreats. Staying in Bounds: Straight Talk on Boundaries for Effective Ministry provides guidance on identifying, implementing, and enforcing healthy boundaries in a ministry setting. Stewardship for Children Divinity, Parma Hts. created a child s stewardship packet for their 2015 campaign. It consisted of a commitment card and a door hangar as a reminder of the commitment made and turned in. Inside the packet was also a letter to youth and parent explaining the purpose and use. The initial response has been very promising. To see these materials the resource center can you a copy of the packet upon request. elca.org) Page 2

13 T H E P A R I S H P A P E R I D E A S A N D I N S I G H T S F O R A C T I V E C O N G R E G A T I O N S Editor: Cynthia Woolever - January Volume 23, Number 1 Copyright 2015 by Cynthia Woolever Our Future Pastors: Assessing the State of the Pipeline Significant trends suggest that attracting and preparing people for pastoral leadership is becoming more difficult. What obstacles stand in the way of supplying congregations with the kind of leadership required in the future? Their Preparation for Ministry Those who wish to be congregational leaders typically obtain the Masters of Divinity (M.Div.) degree. The Association of Theological Schools (ATS) lists a membership of 275 schools, with enrollment of around 30,000 M.Div. students. Currently, two out of three M.Div. graduates seek to serve in parish ministry. 1 Seminary enrollments peaked in 2006, but have declined about one percent annually since. Student enrollments reflect the changing religious environment declining attendance, weakening denominational support, and financial challenges. Those tracking seminary enrollments do not predict substantial growth of the student population over the next ten years. 2 Question: Two trends stand out in theological education a declining number of people attending seminary and a decreasing number of current ministry students planning to seek a pastoral position. Will there be an adequate supply of seminary-trained pastors to meet the demand in the future? It is not clear because two other trends stand out in the context of the local congregation. Currently, the average age of pastors is 55; therefore, the number of retirements will rise, creating vacancies. With the shrinking size of many congregations, fewer churches will be able to employ a full-time pastor after the retirement of their current one. How will these trends affect congregational needs for pastoral leadership? Over the same period, the percentage of Hispanics enrolled increased by 50 percent; the African- American percentage grew by 13 percent. Seminary enrollments show a decline for students in their twenties, thirties, and forties. However, enrollments for students fifty to sixty-five years of age grew modestly and stabilized. The cohort over sixtyfive years of age continues to grow. Once overall enrollments began to fall, enrollments for women fell faster. The percentage of women currently enrolled in M.Div. programs has stabilized at about 30 percent. Further, the profile of women preparing for ministry confirms that they are more likely than men to be unmarried, older, or single parents. Question: Today s seminary students are less likely to be mobile and able to relocate compared to students in the past. To overcome the barriers of location, seminaries opened extension centers or branch campuses, offered night and weekend classes, created online or distance education, and/or created hybrid courses using these new strategies. Will these new approaches meet the needs of underserved populations seeking to answer the call to pastoral ministry? Why Do They Go to Seminary Most seminary students say that they are seeking a M.Div. degree because they are responding to a call The Demographics of Current Students The profile of those seeking theological education shifted in terms of average age, gender, race, ethnicity, and marital status over the past decade. The enrollment decline in recent years is almost entirely linked to a falloff in white student enrollments. 3

14 from God. Other reasons are important as well a desire to serve others, to find spiritual fulfillment, for personal growth, and for intellectual development. Pastors and other leaders spend significant amounts of time mentoring and training people for ministry. A number of seminary students named the congregation in which they grew up as a significant influence in their sense of call to ministry. They spoke of the tap on the shoulder by the pastor or an admired member, who recognized their gifts for ministry. 4 Question: Some congregations emphasize a theology of vocation, which expects that God calls everyone, every day, to ministry. Other churches that practice a culture of calling, a place where people hear God s call, are relationally healthy and create many leadership-development opportunities for both young people and adults. Does our congregation identify and nurture future ministers? Their Financial Lives Although the average cost of theological education is modest compared to other graduate degree programs, tuition rates prohibit many from enrolling. Students now pay an average of 88 to 139 percent more in tuition (in real, after inflation dollars) than enrolled students in Increasingly, students carry forward educational debt from their undergraduate degree, plus any amount of debt incurred during seminary. Almost two out of three students today incur some debt to complete their masters degree. Roughly one in four students graduate with more than $40,000 of debt. 5 Post-graduation debt profoundly affects the personal, family, and work lives of students. Faced with loan payments, most wish they had borrowed less. Half said that they face difficult financial circumstances. Debtladen students report a reduction in their standard of living, postponing health care, or making the difficult choice to take a higher paying non-ministerial position (with the hope of making their loan payments). Question: Churches of all sizes set aside annual funds, or establish endowments, for financial assistance to seminary students. Some churches also create scholarships for college students who plan to enter seminary. Many congregations develop supportive relationships with one or more of their denomination s seminaries. What role does our church play in making seminary training more accessible and affordable? Their Evaluation of Seminary and Preparation for Ministry Seminaries vary in the amount and quality of vocational guidance they provide students. Some graduates feel they received little counseling about career opportunities and experienced poor placement services. As a result, they were more uncertain about seeking ordination and less knowledgeable about, and thus less interested in, congregational ministry. M.Div. graduates said they were most satisfied with the teaching and overall academic experience, support, and accessibility of faculty, helpfulness of administration and staff, and their friendships with other students. They believe that the seminary prepared them for ministry by developing their trust in God, self-knowledge, ability to think theologically, and ability to use and interpret Scripture. They reported lower levels of satisfaction with their ability to administer a parish. 6 Question: Some congregations offer internships paid or unpaid to help people practice their ministry gifts. Other churches frequently invite seminary students to preach in their pulpit or actively seek out students looking for a first call. Does our congregation build the kind of relationships that form bridges for individuals making the transition from theological student to pastor? The Bottom Line Every congregation serves the wider church by strengthening the traits that attract people to ministry in the first place. For example, leader-generating churches take seriously the task of making disciples. They also align their resources with their vision for vital ministry rather than operating in maintenance mode. By their involvement in local mission and outreach, future ministers in their midst cannot miss ministry s relevancy to the world. Some churches identify, support, and send out one or more future pastors each year. Others cannot claim that a single member has entered preparation for ministry during the past twenty years. Which kind of leader-sending congregation describes our church? 1. Data based on 2010 Graduating Student Survey from ATS. Sharon Miller, Director of Research, Center for the Study of Theological Education (CSTE), conversation, November B. Wheeler, A. Ruger, and S. Miller, Theological Student Enrollment, CSTE, August A. Ruger and C. Meinzer, Through Toil & Tribulation: Financial Theological Education , July B. Wheeler, et al., On Our Way: A Study of Students Paths to Seminary, CSTE, February 2014, S. Miller, Where s the Pipeline: Female Students in Theological Education, presentation at the Religious Research Association, November S. Miller, Where s the Pipeline. Copyright 2015 by Cynthia Woolever

15 Lutheran Outdoor Ministries in Ohio 863 Eastwind Drive Westerville, OH February 2015 Please Help us spread the word. READY TO USE AS A: Bulletin insert Page in your Newsletter Flyer for your bulletin board Mailbox memo for your Church leaders! We d be glad to assist you in any way we can with facilities and programming. Give us a call for details at Luther * Outreach * Lutheran Memorial * Mowana Summer Camp programs are now available on our web site. We invite you to check it out today and register online at March Adult Retreats just for you! Join Us. The Revelation of John March 6-8, 2015, 2015 at Camp Mowana Big Bang Spring Break March 16-19, 2015 at LMC For more information visit Register online today for these retreats. Bringing people together to experience Christ through our natural settings and programs. We are your outdoor ministry! How to Reach Us... Camp Luther Camp Mowana LMC Registrar Shared Services www. lomocamps.org Free Day at Camp Camp Mowana: Sat. March 15, 2015 LMC: Sat. May 2, 2015 Come and experience a fun-filled free day at camp! Bring a friend. Call either camp for more info. Come and join us 11 am - 4 pm. for worship, lunch at noon and afternoon fun

16 Annual Northeastern Ohio Synod Commemoraon Service for The Rev. Dr. Marn Luther King, Jr. Unsung Women of Faith Honoring women of faith in the freedom movements. Guest Speaker & Preacher The Rev. Abraham Allende Bishop of the Northeastern Ohio Synod Sponsored by: Northeastern Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America African Descent Lutheran Associaon, Cleveland Chapter NEOS African Descent Strategy Sunday, January 18, 2015 ~ 3:30 p.m. Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Harvard Ave, Cleveland

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