Pastoral Call Process

Transition Team

  • Launching in April 2022
  • The Transition Team will be created by the Bethlehem Council.
  • The Transition Team creates the Ministry Site Profile.

These Transition Team members will be commissioned on Sundays, June 5 (MPLS) and June 12 (MTKA):

  • Andy Kroll, Naomi Staruch, Scott Elton, Nels Thompson, Jennifer Vickerman, Gary Schmidt, Linh Stoebner, Katie Klos, Brian Swanson, Randy Thatcher, Melissa Steen, Katie Anthony, Regina Johnson, and Pastor Vern

Call Committee

  • Anticipated launch late 2022
  • Call Committee is appointed by the Bethlehem Council
  • The Call Committee solicits candidates.

For more information on the process of calling a new pastor, visit the Minneapolis Area Synod’s resources for congregations on their website.

“How will we, as God’s church, respond to the challenges of this time? Will we lead or will we lay low? Will we confess or will we concede to the crowd? Will Bethlehem stand up and model a different way for a culture that has made being right sacred?”
Congregation President John Helberg’s address to the congregation at the BLCTC Annual Meeting on February 27, 2022.

Communication Updates

May 26, 2022 – Call Process Update from Pastor Vern

People of Bethlehem,

I write to you with an update on the call process. In today’s busy, complicated world, call processes normally take several months or more. Gone are the days when the synod would send along a few names, a call committee would take a look at a couple of promising candidates, and a leader would quickly emerge.

 The process often looks more like this:

  1. A Transition Team is formed by the Church Council. Its focus includes:
  • Spending lots of time listening to the hopes and dreams of parishioners.
  • Encouraging others to fill out ministry assessments of existing programs.
  • Inviting folks to join 10-15 others to discuss concerns and ask questions,
  • Updating and sharing findings along the way.
  • Discerning what the congregation wants and needs in a new leader.
  1. The Transition Team writes a Ministry Site Profile that is used by the synod and leaders at Bethlehem to share with prospective candidates.
  2. The Church Council forms a Call Committee, interviews are scheduled, and the discernment process continues.

As we come to the end of May, we have just about finished forming our Transition Team. Great care has gone into making the team representative of Bethlehem as a whole. We hope to commission the team on Pentecost Sunday, June 5 at the 10:15 am service in Minneapolis, and then follow this up with a commissioning at Minnetonka on June 12.

Please surround this team with your support, encouragement, and prayers. Names, pictures, and more information will be coming soon.

Grateful for your partnership in the process,

Pastor Vern

March 17, 2022 – Update from Congregation President

Dear Siblings in Christ,

As we enter Lent this year, in a season of transition, I’m challenging myself to try listening a bit differently. In these 40 days, I’m focusing on the renewal and rousing that this time of preparation brings.  This year, Lent feels like a well-timed gift for Bethlehem.  Lent is a season of transition, bridging the anticipation and joy of Advent and Christmas to the pain of Good Friday, and ultimately, the hope of Easter.  Bethlehem is in a time of listening and of transitioning to where the Hold Spirit is calling us.  In this time, I encourage us to be intentional in listening – to God, to our neighbors, and to each other.   As you reflect, think about what has kept you connected and engaged with this particular community of faith?  What opportunities do you see Bethlehem, and you, uniquely able to deliver?  How can you strengthen and grow this community – as one community?

Your Council moved its meeting up to the first week this month, and under the leadership of Pastor Vern, began conversation on a transition plan. Additionally, we initiated the work of forming a Transition Team and will have updates located on the BLCTC website. When complete, this transition team will consist of representatives from across Bethlehem and will serve to lead and facilitate conversation and listening sessions to help put our collective hopes and dreams to paper. The Transition Team will likely do some work around capturing demographics and data points in the form of a Congregational profile. Lastly, their work will prepare and inform the Call Committee when it is appointed by the Council in several months. I encourage you to visit the site now and watch part of my message from a few weeks ago at the annual meeting.

As we begin this work together, please hear the invitation of your Pastors, Staff, and Council to join in the work ahead. If you are considering returning to our campuses (or waiting for an invitation), to engage in person, please do! You’re welcome and we look forward to seeing you. If you prefer to be online and are unable (or still uncomfortable) to join us in person, you too are welcome – and are fully members of this community and body. In-person or remote, I look forward to your engagement and how we continue to be knit together to execute on the amazing work that God’s Spirit is leading us to. As Christ is the head of this church across time and space, we remain one community across campuses, zip codes, and pews; with as yet unknown members and communities waiting to join us in God’s work!

With Gratitude,

John Helberg
Council President

But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love. – Ephesians 4:15-16