Lead Pastor Search Process
April 22, 2019 Call Committee Update
While conducting various Call Committee activities, the mantra for the committee has been to move quickly without hurrying. The committee has addressed each phase of the call process in a thorough and yet timely manner.
Screening interviews of several qualified candidates are currently being conducted. Each candidate's application was reviewed by the Synod before being referred to the Call Committee. After screening interviews are completed, the committee will narrow the focus to the candidates felt to be the best fit for our congregation.
The committee is using Trinity's Site Profile and the "Expectations and Skills of our Lead Pastor" document to evaluate each candidate's gifts as compared to our congregation's needs. Both documents were developed and approved by Trinity's Church Council.
The final stages of the call process will include traveling to each finalist's congregation to learn more about the candidate, checking the references provided by the candidates, and inviting each to Trinity for an on-site interview.
Your prayers and support bolster each committee member while participating in this important activity.
Tom Fiedler, Chair; Matt Blohowiak, Mark Hofer, Ann Josephson, Dawn Marcott, Vicki Proudlock
March 18, 2019 Call Committee Update and Prayer Request
As I write this update, the Call Committee is making great progress in preparation for our work in considering potential lead pastor candidates for Trinity Lutheran Church. It appears that we are on schedule to begin receiving candidate names and profiles over the next couple of weeks.
The committee has received great support, training, and information through working closely with Pastor Randy Olson from our Northwest Wisconsin Synod office of the ELCA. (You may have met Pastor Randy when he preached at Trinity on March 3.) We are also working closely with Pastor Mortenson who provides guidance in helping us gain readiness for this process. Our hope is that the month of April will be a time of reviewing information and profiles on prospects, as well as beginning first round interviews with select candidates.
In these days to come, we ask you, members of Trinity, for prayer support in a few specific areas of need:
1) Pray for God’s grace in helping us not only have wisdom in our time of preparation but also maintain a sense of openness as we learn about the various candidates.
2) Pray for all of those whom we will be considering (and who will be considering us) that each candidate has the ability to engage in discussion and relationship with a sense of openness and peace as we together trust in the Lord through this process.
3) Pray that God’s sense of timing and pace becomes our sense of timing and pace. We realize that all of us are excited to move into the next chapter of ministry for Trinity and wish to “get moving” in this process. However, we also realize that going about our business and carrying out this process with the sole end-game objective of finding the right person for the job is paramount over any concern related to calendar or timeline.
Thanks for your support and prayers in this process.
Stay tuned, and keep the faith!
Tom Fiedler, Chair
February 10, 2019 Call Committee Installation
Tom Fiedler, Committee Chair has been an active member of Trinity for 35 years. He has been a member of the church council, a weekly volunteer at the food pantry since 2012, and a current member of the Food Pantry Committee. Tom served in the Wisconsin Public School System for 38 years as teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent; 31 of those years were in the Eau Claire Area School District. He has taught graduate classes in Human Resource Management for two universities and been involved in hundreds of selection and hiring processes for teachers, key leadership, and administrative personnel for the Eau Claire Area School District. He continues to serve the Chippewa Valley in his retirement participating on various boards and volunteer activities. Tom and his wife Monika have been married for 44 years. Their three adult children live in Milwaukee, Denver, and Palo Alto. They have three grandchildren, all who live in Milwaukee.
Dr. Mark Hofer’s (Vice Chair) involvement at Trinity spans 29 years. He has served on the Worship & Music Committee, Church Council, Stewardship Committee, and Noah’s Ark Preschool Committee. He is a current member of the Endowment Trust Board and has traveled on mission trips to Jamaica with his family several times, as well as attended Family Camp. Mark graduated from the South Dakota School of Medicine in 1985 and completed his residency at UW Madison in 1989. Mark has been a pathologist at Sacred Heart Hospital for 29 years and has been on several boards and committees within the hospital setting. He is currently the Department Chair for the Department of Pathology. Mark and Marti, his wife of 39 years, have three children and three grandchildren. Additionally Mark & Marti’s son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren have made Trinity their church home. Their oldest grandchild is enrolled in Noah’s Ark Preschool.
Dawn Marcott is a 57-year member and has been involved in service with numerous church activities. She has served on the church council, VBS Committee, been a confirmation mentor, a prayer partner, visitation ministry visitor, and is currently one of the co-coordinators for the community wide Thanksgiving Dinner sponsored by Trinity serving over 550 guests. She has traveled to Jamaica with the Mission Jamaica team. Dawn is a Kindergarten teacher in the Eau Claire Area School District and has been teaching for 33 years. Dawn and her husband Randy have two adult daughters, Ashley and Amanda.
Anne Josephson has been a member of Trinity for 28 years. She has twice served on the council, served eleven years with Youth Ministries and 20 years on the Social Concerns Committee, participated in mission trips to Jamaica with her family, and attended Family Camp with Trinity members. She has sung with Trinity’s praise team H.I.S. since joining Trinity. Anne is a retired Physical Education/Adapted Physical Education teacher and coach. Additionally, from 2004―2014, she served as Youth Ministry Coordinator at Trinity Lutheran Church. She enjoys knitting, teaching knitting classes, and teaching classes to English Language Learners at Literacy Chippewa Valley. Anne and her husband Steve have three adult children, one grandson, and two grandchildren on the way.
Matt Blohowiak has been a member of Trinity for the past ten years, an usher for the last three years, and has volunteered with Youth Ministries. He is part of the Men of Faith group at Trinity, and has participated in six Jamaica global mission trips with Trinity. He will travel with the Men’s Mission Team this month. Matt works for the United States Department of Agriculture—Natural Resources Conservation Service as a civil engineer. He assists northwest Wisconsin with wetland restorations, irrigation, pump designs, manure storage and transfer, grassed waterways, stream restoration, livestock pipelines, buildings, lighting and energy conservation, small earthen dams, and many other soil conservation activities. Matt has two children, Anna and Ellie.
Vicki Proudlock is the newest committee member of Trinity with a seven year tenure. Vicki is a volunteer in Trinity’s Children’s and Youth Ministries programming and has served as a volunteer in numerous other ministries. In 2018 she was an ELCA Youth Gathering Chaperone. Vicki has been a state employee for 21 years, 20 of those with the Department of Workforce Development UI Division. She is currently a UI Adjudication Supervisor. Through Vicki’s employment, she is a member of the Western Wisconsin Workforce Board. She is also a member of the management team for the department of Workforce Development Unemployment Insurance Division. In addition to her nine years on the management team, she has assisted in the interviewing and hiring of countless staff. Vicki and her husband Jeremey have two daughters; Abbie and Megan.
February 8, 2019
We are pleased to share the names of the Call Committee members who have been appointed by the Congregation Council to serve in this important capacity: Vicki Proudlock, Matt Blohowiak, Anne Josephson, Mark Hofer, Tom Fiedler, and Dawn Marcott.
These individuals have responded to God's call and will need the prayer support of the entire congregation to succeed. Dozens of highly qualified individuals stepped forward to present themselves for this important service, investing great effort and intentionality in offering their names for consideration. For this we are so very grateful. Our sincerest thanks to each of those who did so. It was the large pool of very capable and accomplished prospects which allowed for the important balance necessary for the final selection.
The following facts have been compiled about the make-up of this Call Committee:
One of the Call Committee members will be a member of the Council (Tom Fiedler), appointed to insure continuity of process and the charge from the Council.
The six members include three males and three females.
The membership tenure at Trinity ranges from 7 years to 57 years.
Between the six members, they have 166 years of membership.
In total, the six members represent Trinity with countless avenues/areas of participation in Trinity's activities (usher, communion assistant, baker, greeter, handbells, choirs, food pantry, youth and children’s ministries volunteers, synod meetings/workshops/committees, etc.)
Four Call Committee members either currently participate or have participated as Trinity Congregation Council members.
The Call Committee members participate or have participated in multiple community or organization boards throughout the Chippewa Valley.
Professional experience of these Call Committee members includes a physician, teachers/principal/assistant superintendent/superintendent, a civil engineer, university instructor, adjudication supervisor.
While the members of the Call Committee represent a wide variety of life experience and professional background, they all have the following in common:
Objective and judicious manner and commitment to carry out their role on the Call Committee for the good of the whole ministry of Trinity Lutheran Church.
Ability, resolve and sense of calling to commit to this important process and hard work.
Deep sense of passion and love for Trinity Lutheran Church, and a humble sense of awareness of the importance of this task.
Sincere awareness of the fact that God will be guiding and leading through the process.
The Call Committee will begin meeting this month to organize their work and receive training. The Call Committee will be installed on Sunday, February 10, and Wednesday, February 13. Thank you in advance for your prayer support!
Sincerely in Christ,
Trinity Lutheran Church Council and Interim Pastor Brian Mortenson
Charge to the Call Committee from the Trinity Lutheran Church Council 1/12/19
CHARACTERISTICS, EXPECTATIONS AND SKILLS OF OUR NEXT LEAD PASTOR
Trinity Lutheran Church is a vital and active church that believes strongly in global and local mission and ministry in the name of Christ. We are committed to building upon our historic pillar of excellence in children’s ministry and expanding our multi-generational Christian discipleship opportunities. The congregation will welcome a Lead Pastor who loves God, loves people, and has an engaging style of leadership and communication.
Trinity has experienced significant pastoral and senior staff transitions over the last few years. In the midst of this definable challenge, our dedicated staff and congregation remain eager to be joined by a pastoral leader who will embrace this pivotal phase in the life of our congregation with confidence and enthusiasm in the Gospel and the body of Christ at Trinity.
We are specifically looking for someone who:
1) Is Relational
2) Is an Excellent Preacher
Naturally interacts with people in a way that is engaging, intuitive, genuine, compassionate, empathetic, and good-humored.
Desiring of and skilled in building long-term relationships with membership.
Intentional and adept at shepherding staff team development through relationship building.
Create a sense of community in the congregation through faith, fellowship, service, worship, discipleship and care.
Inspire membership in management of and generosity with finances and all gifts to God’s glory to maximize growth potential.
Respect and value the continuum of Christian theological perspectives represented among members of Trinity.
Demonstrate a personal relationship and discipleship walk with Jesus that inspires members.
Adept and practiced in oversight, mentoring, accountability and casting vision.
An “understanding overseer” of business matters of the church: finances, budget, HR, facility management, and overall operations.
Naturally inclined and skilled in decision-making and delegation.
Tends to a “partnership” approach to governance in collaboration with the congregation’s elected lay leadership.
Naturally seeks to equip and encourage the saints (staff and lay) for leadership in ministry.
- Motivated and gifted to move beyond strategic planning to the development, implementation and deployment of Trinity’s Mission initiatives.
4) Understands and Values Trintiy Lutheran Culture and History
Affirms our socially impacting need-meeting ministry priorities.
Affirms our children’s and multi-generational ministry focus.
Is committed to the ongoing development of ministries that work toward healing those broken by life circumstances.
Affirms our commitment to providing both traditional and contemporary worship experiences with strength, vitality and quality.
November 9, 2018
Dear Trinity Friends,
I have been privileged to be here among you as your Intentional Interim Lead Pastor now for two months. I am very grateful for both the opportunity to serve this fine congregation, as well as for the warm and engaged response that my wife, Sheri, and I have experienced.
I write to you today in order to share an overview and update of this important transition process, as well as provide an estimated timeline for some key activities that will take place over the coming months.
I hope this communication provides for you not only awareness and education, but also allows for consideration on your part for potential involvement and certainly for your prayer support.
Thank you for your commitment to and prayerful ongoing support of the mission of Christ in and through Trinity Lutheran Church!
Sincerely in Christ,
Brian R. Mortenson
Interim Lead Pastor
Report to the Congregation: Lead Pastor Transition Process Update
Introductory Statement: Redeeming the Time
Susan Beaumont, a highly regarded church consultant specializing in working with large churches in transition, states that for a church such as Trinity Lutheran, “The interim time period is not a vision neutral time zone.” On the contrary, it is a ripe and ready time to review, reflect, and refocus, while simultaneously working to maintain very important momentum in ministry.
Your Council has been reflecting on this wisdom and taking it seriously as they prepare for the “what’s next” chapter for Trinity.
No Repeat Performance
As most of you know, in 2015 Pastor Kurt announced that he would retire in 2016. At that time, Trinity’s leadership determined to carry out a very thorough and thoughtful process of transition planning in preparation for the Lead Pastor succession. This very intentional process, in my opinion, was executed with wisdom, expert guidance from a competent professional consultant, and comprehensive engagement from the congregation. Please know that we will not be duplicating this extensive process by doing it all over again just 2½ years later! I agree with your Congregational Council that the recommendations from that process are valid, and to a large degree, are still applicable and relevant to our current context. However, it is now essential to carry out an important “refresh” with congregational leadership in order to bring an updated set of expectations and wisdom to the next search process. It is a combination of the extensive work done prior to Pastor Peter’s call here, as well as the updated adjustments established through the current study process (described below), which will determine the approach and criteria for the upcoming search.
Information Gathering and Updating
Two and a half years ago, the congregation provided comprehensive feedback to the Transition Team through the Congregational Assessment Tool (CAT). Following the assessment, there was a great deal of hard work utilizing an intentional planning process that culminated in the development of the Ministry Site Profile (MSP). The MSP is the core document required by the ELCA in order to initiate a call process to call a new pastor. Both the CAT results (in the form of the “Vital Signs” report) and the MSP are seen as key and relevant documents to be fully studied and considered in this preparation for the next chapter. Additionally, I view the Succession Planning Team’s Reconvened Report “Transitions” document, coming out of the transition process, as being highly relevant. However, we are also now in the final stages of completing a very targeted approach to seek out insights gained through the evaluation of the last 2½ years.
Clearly, it is incumbent upon the leadership of Trinity to utilize the congregation’s experience of this past chapter to both inform, as well as to be formative in shaping the next steps. By the time you are reading this update report, I will have completed a very intentional one-on-one interview and listening process with approximately 35 leaders of Trinity Lutheran Church. The feedback gained from this process, in conjunction with my observations and study, will shape the recommendations that I will provide to the Council for their consideration. They will be working over the coming weeks to finalize the very important assignment directives to the Call Committee in the search for the next Lead Pastor for Trinity.
The following have been involved in this interview process:
1) All current members of the Congregational Council
2) The eight most recent Trinity Congregational Council Presidents
3) Senior staff members of Trinity (Pastors and Director level staff)
4) A small handful of church members referred by Council as helpful in this process
5) Long-time former Lead Pastor Kurt Jacobson
6) Recent short-term Lead Pastor Peter Bredlau
7) “Walkalong” Consultant James Pence, PhD
Three Opportunities of Engagement for All Members of Trinity
Call Committee: We will soon be issuing a very intentional invitation for congregational members to offer up themselves or others whom they believe would serve well on the Call Committee. Application forms will be available online and also at the church. I invite you to pray about whether you would be willing to bring forward your name for consideration for service in this very important role. We also ask that you think about your fellow members at Trinity. If you know of someone whom you believe would make an excellent member of that committee, we ask you to share that person’s name in order that we can follow up with an invitation for the individual to prayerfully consider submitting an application. The Call Committee will consist of six voting members of Trinity Lutheran Church and will be selected by the Council. We will include one member of the Congregation Council in order to provide consistency and continuity with the charge given to the committee. Further instructions regarding offering your name or the names of others to serve on the Call Committee will be shared following the timeline below.
Lead Pastor Candidate Names: Once the Call Committee has been installed and receive their charge, you as a congregation will be one of three potential sources to provide candidate names that will be vetted for review and potential interview consideration by the Call Committee. The other sources for names will be a) the Synod office, and b) various “networking” opportunities that may be undertaken by the Call Committee. All members of the congregation will be invited to submit suggested names of potential candidates. Further instructions for submitting names will be shared following the timeline below.
Prayer: We will be undergirding the entire process with prayer and ask all members of Trinity to begin now with the inclusion of every aspect of this process in your daily prayers.
Note: Trinity leadership will be in communication with and working in partnership with Northwest Synod of Wisconsin Bishop Laurie Skow-Anderson and her staff throughout this process.
December, 2018 and January, 2019 –Council deliberation over and finalization of criteria establishing expectation for skills, experience, and characteristics for Lead Pastor candidates consideration.
December, 2018 and January, 2019 – Council finalization of revised and updated MSP (Ministry Site Profile).
November 25, 2018 through January 6, 2019 – Request for Call Committee applicants and referrals.
January 9, 2019 – Council finalizes Call Committee selection.
January and February, 2019 – Seeking out and vetting potential Lead Pastor Candidate names in partnership with the Bishop’s office.
Sunday, January 13 and Wednesday, January 16 – Installation of Call Committee at all worship services.
January 16 through February, 2019 – Call Committee convened, organized, and trained.
March 1, 2019 – Call Committee commences with candidate review and interview process.