Tools for the ELCA call process
The ELCA call process is unique and engages synods, congregations, rostered leaders, and church-related organizations in a thoughtful assessment and spiritual discernment of how God may be calling them together in mutual ministry “for the sake of the mission and ministry of the church.”
To this end, the ELCA has created tools that provide for the management of the process in each synodical context, and at the same time, encourage rostered leaders and ministry sites to focus on mission while allowing for more creativity, reflection, and initiative. These tools are found and best explored on the ELCA website at www.elca.org/call.
Call Process Manual
The Saint Paul Area Synod Call Process Manual and appendices are helpful documents for congregations to review throughout the process. The Call Process Manual and appendices are in PDF format. You will need Adobe Reader installed to view the documents. Download Reader for free at www.adobe.com.
Mobility forms for rostered leaders and congregations
Rostered leaders, congregations, and church-related organizations will find mobility forms that have been “designed and crafted to work together with a churchwide mobility database that will store the forms.” The Rostered Leader Profile (RLP) and the Ministry Site Profile (MSP) may be accessed on the ELCA website at www.elca.org/call.
The Rostered Leader Profile (RLP) is designed for use by all pastors, associates in ministry, diaconal ministers, deaconesses, and First Call candidates for these rosters. The form encourages rostered leaders to reflect on their calling and gifts, be creative about sharing their passions and interests in ministry, and be discerning about their readiness for call. Please note: When working with this document, you should download the RLP and save it on your hard drive.
The Ministry Site Profile (MSP) is designed for use by church-related organizations as well as congregations. It focuses attention on the mission opportunities of that ministry site and allows for reflection on the way the ministry site perceives itself in relation to its calling and its context. The ministry site will have space to be creative in its presentation and the opportunity to write a summary description of its setting and needs. Information from the MSP will be used to create a narrative snapshot of the ministry opportunity, suitable for posting on the web. Please note: When working with this document, you should download the MSP and save it on your hard drive.
The forms require an outside recommendation and provide for optional reflections that will allow the site or individual to enhance their profile. The synod staff is available to answer your questions and work with you as you submit the required materials, however, we also encourage you to explore www.elca.org/call and become familiar with the new tools and resources.
The call process cyberhouse!
The mobility forms are linked together to create the “cyberhouse” for the call process (all found at the www.elca.org/call site.) One page of the site is indispensable to rostered leaders and ministry sites alike. Ministry Opportunities is a page that publishes the key information from the Ministry Site Profiles that have been approved for posting by the synodical bishop. Far from being just a listing of openings, this page allows rostered leaders and others to enter search criteria in order to actively seek opportunities for call, to read a snapshot of information about the opportunities they select, to learn whom to contact in order to learn more, and to express an interest in the identified position.
Synod office connects and partners
The synod is the hub for processing and sharing information formally, as rostered leaders and ministry sites benefit from the Mobility Data Base System as they realize its benefits:
- forms invite creativity and initiative
- greater transparency to the call process
- energy focused on mission, calling, giftedness, and context
- rostered leaders take active responsibility for their mobility
- partnership of common purpose among sites, leaders and synod
- leadership can be identified and encouraged
- speed, accuracy, and efficiency
Realities for those seeking call
Because of the uncertainty of the economy, the number of pastors currently serving congregations who are seeking another call has dwindled to the lowest level in years. In addition, congregations who might have been planning to add pastoral staff have retrenched because of reduced or uncertain budgets.
If you are a rostered leader seeking a call, now is the time to prayerfully discern your call to the whole church as you complete the forms and indicate your openness to call throughout the ELCA. The synod staff is available to help and counsel you as you thoughtfully assess and spiritually discern how and where God is calling you into mutual ministry for the sake of the mission and ministry of the church.
If you have questions about using these forms or the process, please contact Sister Noreen Stevens or call 651.224.4313.