Call Committee Update

Since it has been a little over 6 months since the congregation council voted to form a Mount Olivet Senior Pastor Call Committee, a comprehensive report from the committee regarding the call process and current status follows.

A search for a new senior pastor at Mount Olivet differs considerably from most secular executive searches in that there are no executive search firms within the ELCA to assist with this process. The call committee is the search firm! Therefore, the planning, research, conversations, and interviews are the work of the call committee. It is for this reason, that many congregations experience call processes that take more than a year to complete.

The call committee initiated its work by reviewing all of the documents and materials from the previous call committee process, including the senior pastor profile, and updating this information as necessary.

To cast as wide of a net as possible, the call committee developed a reference list of names of people (not candidates) throughout the ELCA who we thought should be contacted for possible recommendations. The individuals on the reference list were contacted by the call committee members and from this process, a list of potential candidates was established.

Additionally, we invited Mount Olivet pastors and lay staff, and congregation members, to submit names for the committee to consider. Names of possible candidates have also been submitted from the Minneapolis Area Synod. From this list, the committee reviewed and researched each name submitted to determine those candidates who should be considered for conversations and possible formal interviews.

The committee has conducted a round of initial interviews and we are in the initial stage of second interviews. While the committee is aware that everyone is anxious to bring this process to a conclusion, it is impossible to speculate when that might happen. Potential candidates need time to go through what is called a “discernment process” and the call committee also must go through discernment as candidates are evaluated. Many of the candidates who are contacted are not seeking a new call. Therefore, this discernment process is not only very important, but requires sufficient time for a decision to become clear to everyone involved.

As we enter the fall months, the committee will continue to provide updates in the Mount Olivet Messenger, Sunday morning bulletin inserts, and the website.

The call committee wishes to thank Pastor Johnson and the entire staff for great work during this time of uncertainty. Strong pastoral and lay ministry continues, extending Grace to all in so many ways. Thank you for all of your prayers and support!