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Call Process & Compensation

An Overview of the South Carolina Synod Call Process

Congregational Transition Packet Resources

Congregational Transition Packet Resources in PDF format

Call Process PowerPoint

A downloadable version of the slides above in Microsoft PowerPoint.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Call Process

How long will it take to find a pastor?

Every Call Process varies in length. It will normally take between 6 months and 1 year, but some last longer. The length of the process depends on the number of candidates interviewed; the time call committee and candidates have available for conversation, and the needs of the congregation for grieving and preparation for the next pastor.

What will the congregation do during this time of transition regarding pastoral leadership?

In a pastoral vacancy, the Office of Bishop, in consultation with the congregation council, will appoint an Interim Pastor who will, at a minimum, lead worship/preach (or arrange for this leadership) weekly, meet with the Council each month, and provide emergency pastoral care. The responsibilities of the Interim Pastor will vary and may range from a few hours a week to full-time, depending on the availability of the Interim Pastor and the needs of the Congregation. A letter of agreement is signed between the council and the Pastor that explains exactly what the Interim Pastor will be doing during this time. Sample agreements are available from the Bishop’s Office.

What are the sources of names provided by the Office of Bishop to the Call Committee?

The names of the candidates come from a variety of places, including:

  • Pastors from South Carolina Synod asking to be available for conversation with Call Committees and having submitted their Rostered Leader Profile.
  • Pastors from other synods who have asked that their Rostered Leader Profile be shared with congregations in South Carolina. Please note that Candidates from outside South Carolina must be given clearance by their Synodical Bishop to our bishop before they can be considered for an interview.
  • Pastors identified by the Bishop and Bishop’s staff as particularly suited for a congregation.
  • Recent seminary graduates awaiting their first Call.
  • Pastors suggested by members of the Congregation can also be shared with our office to look into as potential candidates.

Can we invite the candidates to preach in our congregation on a Sunday morning?

No. It is better for the call committee to travel and interview without spouses since spouses have not been selected to participate in the call process. Committee members need the freedom to interact with complete confidentiality as those chosen to represent the congregation.

Should the congregation expect there to be expenses related to the work of the call committee?

Yes. Mileage reimbursement to committee members AND to any candidates who interview with your committee can be expected. The committee may also have receipts for expenses related to meals or refreshments provided. We recommend that you use the standard IRS mileage rate for reimbursement. Often councils will designate the expenses of the call committee and the process out of any remainder left in your pastoral compensation package.

Should there be alternate members of the Call Committee?

We do not recommend alternate members; however, if alternates are elected or appointed, they should attend all meetings of the call committee and have voice, but should not vote unless a regular member of the committee finds it necessary to relinquish his or her position.

What if we have additional questions?

If at any time during the call process you have questions, concerns, or ideas, please feel free to communicate with the member of the Bishop’s Staff that is coordinating the Call Process with your congregation.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Call Process

A downloadable version suitable for printing

Congregational Transition Packet Recource H: Interims

A sample contract for an interim pastor in the South Carolina Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Ethics: A Sensitive Matter

This article deals with the sensitive matter is of pastors being asked for pastoral acts by people who are their former parishioners. With our synod being as geographically compact as it is, we may face this issue more frequently than other parts of the church.

Congregational Transition Packet Resource B: The Ethics of Pastoral Transition

Congregational Transition Packet Resource B: The Ethics of Pastoral Transition

Compensation Resources

South Carolina Synod 2021 Compensation Guidelines for Rostered Ministers

Approved by the 2020 Synod Assembly

Excel Worksheet - 2021 Compensation Guidelines for Rostered Ministers of Word and Sacrament With Housing Allowance

Approved by the 2020 Synod Assembly
Microsoft Excel Format

Excel Worksheet - 2021 Compensation Guidelines for Rostered Ministers of Word and Sacrament With Parsonage

Approved by the 2020 Synod Assembly
Microsoft Excel Format

Excel Worksheet - 2021 Compensation Guidelines for Rostered Ministers of Word and Service

Approved by the 2020 Synod Assembly
Microsoft Excel Format

Mission Partners

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Contact Information

ELCA South Carolina Synod
1003 Richland Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Telephone 803-765-0590
Fax 803-252-5558

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