Lead Pastor Search Process
Pastor Patrick Patterson Accepts Call
Pastor Patrick will begin on Thursday, August 1, and will first preach on Sunday, August 4. He will be installed at Trinity on Rally Sunday, September 8, at 3:00 p.m.
We are excited to welcome Pastor Patrick and Mary Beth to Trinity Lutheran!
Acceptance of Call Letter:
Dear Friends in Christ:
It is with great excitement and anticipation that I accept your call as the new lead pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Eau Claire. As I conclude my current call as senior pastor at Christ the King in Mankato, I also look forward to being with you starting August 1.
We all owe a great debt of gratitude to interim lead Pastor Brian, and wish him and Sheri the best in their new home in Des Moines. I’ve already had the opportunity to visit with Trinity’s other rostered leaders and office administrator to get a glimpse of where we are at, and am praying for the leading of the Holy Spirit as we all work together to discern where we go from here.
That’s where your participation is most critical. As I meet you and learn names, I expect to hear what excites you and gives you hope for God’s mission through Trinity. Working together, we can co-create the next chapter for God’s church and our congregation.
This will be a busy summer as we say goodbye to our home of the last twelve years and make the transition to our new home in Eau Claire. Mary Beth is hopeful about counseling career opportunities for her in that area, but it’s a time of great anticipation to see how that comes together. At the end of August, we help our youngest son get settled into his new life at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.
None of us can see the future; however, I’m quite certain that God has been busy preparing that future for us. I’m confident we can catch a glimpse of what it is and walk into God’s preferred future together. See you soon!
Pastor Patrick Patterson: An Introduction
The Call Committee is thrilled to introduce Pastor Patrick as our next lead pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church. Pastor Patrick Patterson comes to us from Christ the King Lutheran church in Mankato, Minnesota. Christ the King is the largest of four ELCA congregations located in Mankato, MN.
Pastor Patrick’s Personal Ministry Statement
“I am a beloved child of God, called and ordained in the ELCA, seeking to share the Good News of God in Jesus Christ by expressing God’s love and grace in an incarnational way. As both sinner and saint, I open myself to the needs of others, trusting the leading of the Holy Spirit.”
On being called to the Ministry:
“God’s calling in my life is all-inclusive and quite disruptive. My calling has many aspects: As a child of God, as a husband, as a father, and as an ordained minister. God was always preparing me for ordained ministry, but I had become comfortable in my life and career. And yet, just as Jesus invited Peter to leave his storm-ravaged boat, to walk upon the crashing waves, God called us to get out of our boat. Following the call to ministry is rife with challenge and opportunity, sacrifice and reward, heartbreak and healing. I’ve never regretted my decision to dedicate my life to full time ministry, and I’m energized with the responsibility of sharing the Good News with all people.”
Master of Divinity Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN
Bachelor of Arts Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, MN
Associate Bachelor of Arts Normandale Community College, Bloomington, MN
Christ the King Lutheran Church Mankato, MN 2007 – 2019
Pastor Patrick currently serves as Christ the King’s Senior Pastor.
Prior to serving as Lead Pastor, Pastor Patrick served Christ the King as pastor of administration.
Christ Lutheran on Capital Hill Intern Pastor 2005 - 2006
Other significant work experiences
Fairview Riverside Hospital Psychiatric Associate 2005 – 2007
Faith Inkubators (COO/CEO) 2002 – 2005
Reed Elsevier, Inc. Experiential Marketing Director 2000 - 2002
Areas of Expertise and Strength:
Preaching / Worship Leadership
Strategic Mission Planning
Youth and Family Ministry
Evangelism / Mission
Building a Sense of Community
Recruit and Equip Leaders /Self-Care / Family Life
Has an understanding of business matters of the church: Finances, budget, human resources, facility management, and overall operations.
Is a staff leader: Adept and practiced in oversight, mentoring, accountability and casting vision.
Is naturally skilled in decision-making and delegation.
Uses a partnership approach to governance in collaboration with the congregation’s elected lay leadership.
Naturally seeks to equip and encourage the saints for leadership in ministry.
Is motivated and gifted to move beyond strategic planning to the development, implementation and deployment of the church’s mission initiatives.
As the spiritual leader of the faith community, he creates a sense of community in the congregation through faith, fellowship, service, worship, discipleship, and care.
Inspires generosity with finances, and all gifts to God’s glory.
“Administration is an invaluable function of the overall mission of a congregation. Without strong leadership in the functions of finance, personnel and facility management, the ministry team gets distracted from daily ministry.”
On Strategic Mission planning:“To paraphrase Proverbs 29, where there is no vision, the people and the church will perish. Casting a strategic vision was integral to success in my corporate career, and it’s equally important to the future of the church.”
Naturally interacts with people in a way that is engaging, intuitive, genuine, compassionate, empathic, and good-humored.
Desires and is skilled in building long-term relationships with people from all walks of life.
Is intentional and adept at shepherding staff development through relationship building.
Empowers staff members to independently achieve their goals.
Works to bring out the best in each staff member.
Strongly believes in equipping Associate Pastors with the skills needed for possible future roles as Lead Pastor.
“I would suggest that my approach to ministry might describe me best as a community pastor. While I am called first and foremost as an ordained minister serving my congregation, I believe my call is to minister in the community as well…. I approach ministry as inclusive and accepting of all God’s children, not just those who believe the same things I do or confess the same creeds. My style is very relational, somewhat informal, and very energetic.”
“...the three most prominent themes in my life could be categorized as grace, hope, and thankfulness….the hope that I find in the promises of God through Christ permeates all aspects of my life and ministry. Our world can be a place of great darkness and brokenness, and yet this hope can shine light into even those darkest places. And I am thankful. Even on those days where it may be difficult to find much to be thankful for, I remind myself and others that we have a God who loves us and provides us with everything we need day to day. While our world preaches a gospel of scarcity, I’m thankful and attempt to treasure each moment as a gift from God, ripe with abundance.”
Has the ability to inspire and connect people to God’s word.
Is skilled in providing practical application of the Biblical Word to daily life.
Exhibits a vital personal faith.
Enjoys the opportunity to preach.
“Worship is the only place some people are fed spiritually, so it’s incumbent on pastors to curate worship experiences that reach people with the Good News of God’s grace. It’s imperative to have worship that speaks to the longtime faithful but also create worship experiences that reach those unfamiliar or disenchanted with traditional worship…..My preaching style attempts to faithfully interpret Scripture and proclaim it in a way that connects personally with listeners who span the spectrum of theological beliefs and church background. I strive to honor the law, but consistently deliver the Gospel without cheapening or moralizing the message. I’m comfortable with formal and informal preaching styles and constantly amazed at how the Holy Spirit works through the proclamation.”
“The general tone of worship is: Reverent, fun, informational and transformational.”
“We need to figure out how to be a church for people who aren’t coming to church.”
Understands and Values Trinity’s Culture and History
Affirms our grounding in Scripture while facilitating opportunities for contemporary style and approach to ministry.
Affirms our engagement in social ministry.
Affirms our children’s and multi-generational focus.
Is committed to the ongoing development of ministries that work toward healing those broken by life’s circumstances.
Affirms our commitment to providing both traditional and contemporary worship experiences with quality, strength, and vitality.
“I believe (children and youth) are integral to our present, and if we fail to involve them fully in the life of the church now, the failure will be felt for generations. I have a heart for young people and the struggles they face in our world and feel great hope in their energy and resilience that needs to be nurtured with the Gospel….My approach to youth faith formation is highly relational. It involves an intentional ministry of presence-aspect that models Christ and strives to earn the right to be heard. This takes committed leaders and requires the recruitment and training of many small group guides.”
“As a former outsider to the church, I view ministry in terms of reaching those outside the church with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s imperative to feed the flock that assembles regularly and kindle a fire for living lives of faith, but I’m mindful that the church is an organization whose focus needs to be about those outside the organization. Jesus calls us to ‘Go, make disciples’, not build a building and require all to come there. Following Jesus’ example, we’re called to proclaim the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words. Jesus taught more through what he did than what he said, and the church is called to do the same.”
“Much of my ministry takes place in the community.”
“Being a healthy leader and encouraging others in the way they live daily is important to me. The mind, body, spirit aspects of our whole self each need regular attention.”
What Others Say About Pastor Patrick
The following information offers a summary of comments received from professional colleagues, church lay leaders, and personal friends.
Pastor Patrick quickly got to know people when moving to Mankato (church and community). He is visible in the community and is well-connected with community leaders.
Pastor Patrick views the church as a community and relates well with the wider population in Mankato as well as church members.
He has outstanding administrative skills. He is able to keep things in perspective. He is able to do the administrative tasks efficiently so he can focus on being the spiritual leader.
People appreciate his preaching style. He provides great preaching and always makes his sermons relevant.
He brings in life stories, understands technology, and understands what people want.
His relational skills are great. Relates to all ages and is especially good with youth.
He takes everyone where they are and moves them forward. He welcomes all and is there for everyone. He is a good listener and can tell people in a way that they will hear him.
Patrick is a joyful person. He has positive energy and celebrates life.
He uses the talent around him wisely and works collaboratively.
He is a visionary.
He is flexible.
He is innovative.
He is genuine.
Pastor Patrick’s wife, Mary Beth, is very involved in church activities and is supportive of their family’s move to Eau Claire.
Administrative skills are one of Pastor Patrick’s strengths. He leads but creates an environment where everyone’s opinion is heard and respected. His business background is an advantage.
He creates synergy.
Patrick takes time for himself to continually renew.
June 16, 2019 Congregational Special Meeting
At the June 16 Congregational Meeting, a quorum of voting members overwhelmingly affirmed the recommendation of the Call Committee by voting to call Pastor Patrick Patterson as the new Lead Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church with a vote of 255 to 8.
June 3, 2019 Congregational Letter
Special Meeting of the Congregation to Call our Lead Pastor
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ of Trinity Lutheran Church,
We are pleased to announce a meeting of the congregation set for Sunday, June 16, at 10:45 a.m. in the Worship Center. The purpose of the meeting is to receive and act on the recommendation of the Call Committee and Congregation Council of the candidate to serve as the next Lead Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church. At this time, we are not sharing the name or identity information specific to this candidate for important reasons which are explained below.
Thank You and Acknowledgment to the Call Committee and Council Leadership
We offer our heartfelt appreciation for the diligent effort, extraordinary commitment, dedication, and prayerful discernment of the council throughout this transition process. As for the Call Committee, we have all been blessed by this committed group of individuals who were installed in January and have been working diligently for these last five months. We are grateful to each of these individuals for their love for God and care for Trinity Lutheran Church and its future ministry.
Thank You to Staff
Our wonderful Trinity Lutheran Church staff has not missed a beat through this process. Understandably, this could have been a time of uncertainty and vulnerability, but the dedication and skill set which have been deployed on a consistent basis by all of our staff members allowed the congregation to continue its ministry throughout this “in-between” time. We are blessed!
Thank You to All Congregational Members
You, Trinity members, have continued your faithfulness in attendance and participation in every way during this interim time which is a litmus test of a strong and mission-minded congregation. Your support and encouragement have been gratifying throughout this process. We know that many of you are intentional and committed in your prayer life, and we give special thanks for your critical prayer support during this time, always trusting that God’s Will will be done!
And now, we are enthused and prepared in this readiness to launch into a new chapter of ministry!
When Will We Learn About the New Lead Pastor Candidate?
At the congregational meeting on Sunday, June 16, you will be presented with a great deal of information about our wonderful new candidate for Lead Pastor. The reasons for this timing are as follows:
The Call Committee has worked hard to carry out their charge from the council to not only build relationship with, get acquainted with, and learn about this lead pastor candidate, but also to develop that relationship grounded in trust.
This person is currently serving a congregation which has a great deal of love, trust, and respect for their pastor, and vice versa. It is a tricky, emotional, and sacred process for a pastor to communicate an upcoming departure to the members of their congregation.
It is important for this person to “finish well” and be able to communicate through the means and with the timing that is most ideal for their circumstances.
This is why the name will not be made public until the congregational meeting. It is important that we protect the earned trust in this relationship. We appreciate your understanding.
On the day of the meeting, you will receive a comprehensive introduction to and information about the candidate. You will be presented with personal and professional background information, work experience, and education credentials. The Call Committee will share with you a great deal of feedback from their process including interviews, visits to the pastor’s congregation, listening to many sermons, information from the pastor’s profile, and speaking with the candidate’s outstanding references.
Thank you again to those of you who have been in prayer throughout this process. God does listen, and God does respond.
Following the vote at the congregational meeting, information related to timeline and final transition issues will be shared.
Sincerely in Christ,
James Fedie, Council President
Tom Fiedler, Call Committee Chair
Brian Mortenson, Interim Lead Pastor
May 28, 2019 Call Committee Update
The Call Committee continues to make progress toward finding a new Lead Pastor for Trinity. The Northwest Synod of Wisconsin provided the committee a deep and varied pool of candidates. The committee is using Trinity's site profile and the list of expectations established by the Church Council as their guide in evaluating each candidate's fit for the lead pastor position. The prayers and support provided to the committee by the congregation are greatly appreciated. The committee will continue to be diligent and thorough as they work toward completion of this important task.
May 16, 2019 Letter From Pastor Brian
Dear Trinity Members,
As my time of service soon comes to a close at the end of June, I would like to share a few updates and observations with you. I am thankful and happy to have been able to serve as your Interim Lead Pastor. I am especially pleased to have had opportunity to walk alongside your elected leadership—the Council and Executive Committee—in formulating the profile and expectations for your permanent Lead Pastor. Through conversation with Synod leadership and our Church Council last fall, I was asked to serve in this capacity to work with leaders at Trinity to help "recalibrate" expectations in the establishment of clearly identified parameters in this important lead pastoral search. Additionally, I was asked to work to prepare for the launch of the Call Committee who would have confidence in the clarity of their charge from Trinity in carrying out their work. I am pleased to report that your Call Committee is making excellent progress in their task. I am especially impressed by their love for Christ's mission through Trinity and their devotion to the assignment which has been given to them. You should feel very good about the diligence, focus, and thoughtfulness of this group of your brothers and sisters under the leadership of their chair, Tom Fiedler.
As pertains to continuity of pastoral leadership upon my departure, you can be assured that your pastors and staff at Trinity serve ever so competently in carrying out their assigned duties, and they will continue to do so. Council President James Fedie and the Executive Committee of the Council are prepared to make arrangements for a "Bridge" Lead Pastor to carry out specifically assigned leadership duties if, come the end of June, it appears that there will be an extended search requiring more time. On the other hand, it is feasible that the process could potentially come to culmination with a congregational meeting to vote on a call to the new Lead Pastor as early as the first half of the summer.
In the meantime, during this Easter season of celebration, I encourage you to get ready! Prepare to breathe in the gift of the Holy Spirit this Pentecost which we will celebrate together on June 9. Be mindful of this, the "birthday" of the Christian church, the leader of which is Christ Jesus, the one who said "behold, I make all things new!" I share with you excitement for this next great chapter of vital ministry in and through Trinity Lutheran Church.
In Christ's love, Pastor Brian Mortenson
P.S. Sheri and I look forward to greeting and thanking you for allowing us to be in partnership with you these ten months on our final Sunday here which will be June 30.
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.