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Senior Pastor Transition

Welcome to the senior pastor transition page.  Here you will find updates from our Transition Team on the process and progress of calling our new pastor.  You can also view some of the more frequently asked questions below.

Latest News

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the process involve?

The succession plan process, as outlined by the New England Synod, consists of three components: a transition phase, a search or call phase, and a start-up phase.

The Transition Phase outlines how the leadership team will manage the period of time
from the resignation announcement of the pastor to the arrival of the next pastor.

The Call process Phase specifies the responsibilities of the call process as it relates
specifically to the interviewing and engagement with a candidate for the position of pastor.

The Start-up Phase outlines expectations for the first six to twelve months of the newly arrived pastor.

How long with the transition process take?

The time frame for this process will depend on many factors. When the Transition Team went through this process five years ago it took approximately 3-4 months from the start of the process to the forming of the Call Committee.

Who is serving on the Transition Team?

The following people were appointed at the April 20th Council Meeting to serve on the St. Matthew Transition Team:  Anne Fenn, Amy Parchen, Kris Pearson, Dan Tuve, Ben Wright, Sharon Yanke.  We give thanks to God for their ministry of wisdom, care, and leadership among us!

What is the role of the Transition Team?

Members of the Transition Committee will:

  • work directly with our Intentional Interim Pastor, Pastor Sandi D'Amico.

  • meet for 1-2 hours once/week, via Zoom, on a day and time which works for everyone in the group. 

  • with Pastor Sandi helping to facilitate discussion, work to understanding where we are today and where we want to go as a congregation, and how that will drive the decision-making process for the senior pastor call.

  • will help to coordinate, distribute and collect the data for the Congregational Assessment Tool (CAT), a standardized survey provided by the Synod. 

  • Using and studying the results of the CAT, work to build an updated Ministry Site Profile (MSP). This document will serve to tell the story of St. Matthew and will be the primary resource pastoral candidates will review as part of their own decision-making process as to what congregations fit their own personal profile.

  • serve as liaison to Council.

What is the CAT?

The Church Assessment Tool, or CAT for short, is a congregation-wide assessment that provides an in-depth look at the experiences, perceptions and aspirations of a congregation. The New England Synod has entered into a partnership with Holy Cow Consulting for the training and implementation of this tool. The CAT assessment will provide a meaningful picture of your congregation. The CAT is a customizable assessment instrument that can help your congregation:

• Measure the level of satisfaction and energy in the church.
• Identify the critical success factors for improving organizational climate.
• Discover where members would like to go in the future.
• Gauge readiness for change.
• Uncover potential resources you may be missing
• Prepare for a search for your next pastor


What is the MSP?

The Ministry Site Profile (MSP) is a tool that all ELCA congregations use to help match them with a pastor whose gifts are a good fit for their current missional needs and priorities.

Pastors complete a Rostered Leader Profile (RLP) which, together with the MSP, guides Synod staff in bringing the right pastor and congregation together.

How does the Call Committee differ from the Transition Team?

The Transition Team and Call (search) Committee are two separate groups and serve two very different roles.  While the Transition Team is focused on the tasks of the transition as a whole, the Call Committee is specifically focused on the search, interviewing and recommendation of candidates for new pastor.


The Call Committee is appointed by the Congregational Council with the composition intentionally reflecting the make-up of the congregation. 


What is Pastor Sandi's role among us?

Pastor Sandi's primary role is to accompany the congregation through the time of a settled pastor leaving and another entering the beloved mission of a church. 


During this time, the transition pastor offers care for members and staff, and guides the transition team in considering changes so as to prepare the life of this church to blossom again.


The distinction in role of Intentional pastor and transition pastor are described as follows:


Intentional Interim –

Interim pastors have specialized training in helping congregations work strategically to understand their core mission, discern their gifts, and help identify and address concerns that may be affecting the congregation’s health and vitality. Interims are not eligible to be called by the congregation. 


Transition Pastor – 

Transition pastors have training in the New England Synod’s transition process and are equipped to assist the congregation in moving through its discernment process while also providing worship leadership, pastoral care, and general leadership for the church’s ministries through the time of transition. Generally transition pastors are not eligible to be called by the congregation.


For a more detailed outline of Pastor Sandi's role and responsibilities, CLICK HERE.

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