Resources for Congregations in Transition

Transitions are a part of life, filled with both challenge and opportunity. For communities of faith, transitions are fertile ground for God’s transformational work.

Congregational transitions are incredibly significant in the life of the whole church. They offer a rare opportunity for renewal and a time to reflect on the ministry and future of each congregation in unique ways. Entering the transition process intentionally and thoughtfully allows the Holy Spirit to move and breathe new life into the ministry of your congregation.

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Transition Process Overview

This process was built to help congregations and rostered ministers achieve healthy transitions, described more fully in Healthy Transitions Guide.

The process is designed to ensure healthy closure with an outgoing leader, assist the congregation in assessing its needs and beginning ministry in the interim period, and how to move into interviewing candidates and calling a new leader.

Discernment Begins

When a congregation begins this journey of transformation, the Metro D.C. Synod staff accompanies congregations and rostered ministers. The congregation prepares for the departure of an outgoing rostered minister. The synod assists in reviewing the call process with congregational leaders and determining the congregation’s interim ministry needs.

If you haven’t already, now is the time for congregational leaders to review the Healthy Transitions Guide.

Interim Ministry & Study Process

An interim pastor or other rostered minister may be engaged while the congregational council assesses their needs and appoints a call committee.

You can find the Covenant for Interim Ministry here.

Interviewing

The synod reviews the pool of available candidates and forwards information to the congregation’s call committee, which interviews candidates and recommends a candidate to the church council.

Once a candidate is approved by the church council, then the congregation can move to the next step in the process.

Issuing a Call

A congregational meeting date is arranged with the synod and held to approve the calling of a notified candidate.

The Call Vote/Meeting Template is available here for further guidance.

Once a candidate considers and accepts the call, the congregation concludes the interim arrangement and welcomes the new leader to their congregation.

Play Video

Ending Well Webinar Recordings for Rostered and Lay Leaders

Rev. Glenn E. Ludwig led two informational sessions, one for rostered ministers and one for lay leaders, about the importance of ending/leaving ministry well. View the resources and recordings from these sessions by clicking below.

Resources for Transitions

Healthy Transitions Guide

The transition from one called rostered minister to another is exciting and uncertain. This handbook is intended to guide your ministry site through the transition process and empower you to lead boldly and faithfully.

ELCA Benefits Coverage During Transitions

When employment at a congregation starts or stops, there are plenty of details and emotions to sort through. Let Portico help ensure that benefits don’t add to the complexity. In times of transition, it’s important for each party involved to contact Portico right away.

Interim Ministry Resources

- If your congregation has chosen to call an Interim Minister, please complete the Covenant for Interim Ministry with the rostered leader. Please send a signed copy of this Covenant to the Metro D.C. synod office for review and signature by the synod Bishop.

Covenant for Interim Ministry 

Interim rostered leaders are asked to provide an update to the synod office during their ministry, by completing the form below. Please send a completed version to the synod office or email it to Pastor Erin Swenson-Reinhold at erinsr@metrodcelca.org.

Call Vote/Meeting Template

To assist congregations in effectively hosting a call vote meeting, a call meeting template has been provided so important steps are not missed.

Compensation Guidelines

The Rostered Ministry Compensation Guidelines assist congregational leaders in preparing an initial salary for Rostered Ministers of Word and Sacrament and Rostered Ministers of Word and Service. A compensation package includes, but is not limited to, salary (including the cost of housing), medical and dental benefits, social security offsets, and pension contributions.

There is also a helpful worksheet provided in order to easily calculate changes in benefits.

Congregations Currently in Transition

In Discernment:

Christ | Bethesda, MD

Holy Comforter | Washington, D.C.

Our Redeemer | Washington, D.C.

St. Matthew’s | Washington, D.C.

Study Process:

Christ the Servant | Reston, VA

Faith | Arlington, VA

St. Matthew’s | Woodbridge, VA

Peace | Waldorf, MD

Holy Trinity | Leesburg, VA

Reformation | Washington, D.C.

Lord of Life | Fairfax & Clifton, VA

Interviewing:

Bethel | Manassas, VA

King of Kings | Fairfax, VA (Word & Service Candidate)

Hope | Clinton, MD

Called: