During the week of November 3rd, it was announced that Trinity’s Church Council was not able to come to agreement with the finalist that they were considering for a pastoral call to Trinity. And while this was disappointing, we as a congregation have learned a lot.
The Call Committee of Trinity Lutheran Church (TLC) has learned a few lessons and are wiser (and older) about the Call process and how to navigate these waters. We have had discussions with Pastor Berry and with Pastor Moening of the Rocky Mountain Synod. We’re using the information learned to move forward with a renewed interview process with hope, anticipation and the knowledge that God is on our journey, too.
We had some excellent candidates show interest in TLC. Unfortunately, the total compensation requested by the final candidate presented to Council was not typical or within the guidelines from the Synod. Because both the Call Committee and the Council were new to this process the time taken to process a response to the unusual request, and attempts to negotiate with the first candidate led to timing issues. The second candidate had moved forward with another prospective position and with their own discernment in the interim period.
Some concerns have been brought up by the congregation regarding pastor compensation. The Call Committee, Transition Team, and the Council want the congregation to be assured that TLC has historically paid our pastor well and continues to have the capacity to offer a competitive compensation package to prospective candidates. Total compensation for TLC’s Senior Pastor is determined in accordance with Rocky Mountain Synod guidelines. The compensation starts with a baseline salary number assigned by the Synod and then is adjusted to consider a pastor’s years since ordination, relevant experience and advanced education. In addition, other factors and variables are included covering pension, health insurance, professional expenses and continuing education.
The Call Committee with the Executive Committee of Council have now developed a more comprehensive compensation understanding and range intended for early discussion with potential candidates. This should result in no more surprises and a quicker turnaround when offering compensation to our chosen candidate. This earlier compensation discussion will also afford an opportunity for the candidate to set forth his/her own expectations, and for TLC to determine if that total compensation package can be supported by our congregation’s financial planning in response, before moving forward with a candidate.
As we move forward, but with Advent/Christmas quickly approaching, we have been told to expect a quiet period until January as most candidates will not make changes or move during this time of year. We anticipate the process will pick up momentum again in January 2020 and we are using this time to plan and prepare. An updated Ministry Site Profile can be viewed here.
The Call Committee plans to hold more discernment and discussion times with the congregation. The next meeting scheduled with the congregation is on January 5, 2020 as a 9:15er between services. As always, please ask questions of any committee member and we will answer as best we can. Confidentiality regarding candidates and the process remains of the utmost importance so please understand there are some specifics we will not be able to discuss.