The time of calling a pastor can be a special time for reflection and prayer in the life of a congregation. This time of transition is an opportunity for the Council to provide encouragement, trust in God, unity and spiritual growth. Prayer, bible study, and regular devotions keep the leadership spiritually centered as it guides the congregation in grieving its loss, assessing the current congregational strengths and weaknesses, creating a vision for mission and ministry, and calling a new pastor.
Call Process Timeline
Every call process is different, and how quickly or slowly the process moves is primarily determined by the congregation. However, an “average” call process has several important steps. See example to right.
Call Process Handbook
The call process handbook is provided for a congregation’s reference during this time of transition. Each congregation is assigned a member of the Synod Mobility team to work with throughout this process. Click image on the left to download. (or here)
God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;
taking, as Jesus did,
this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it;
trusting that You will make all things right
if I surrender to your will;
so that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with you forever in the next.
A Letter from Pastor Martha Butzier:
Brothers and sisters in Christ, I am looking forward to being with you at Immanuel come the first week of June! In preparation for our working together, it might help if you to know a bit more about my background.
I am a second career pastor and life-long Lutheran. I worked as a nurse for many years in a variety of specialties and in different parts of the country. Being a nurse and being a pastor has worked well for me. Both professions provide me with the privilege of walking with people through the joys and challenges of being human. Both have allowed me to hone the skills of deep attentive listening and keen observation needed to understand another person’s situation or point of view.
My nursing degree is from the University of Iowa, and my Masters of Divinity is from Wartburg Seminary. I served in a two-point call in Cassville and Bagley, Wisconsin right out of seminary and was there for just over four years. During that time, my youngest son, then in high school, developed some health problems. When he graduated, I took a leave from call so that I could be with him if his health problems required my assistance. This took us both to Ann Arbor, Michigan where I reentered the nursing field. After a few years, the Spirit was prodding and pushing me back into ministry. I accepted a part-time call to do interim ministry with a small, somewhat rural congregation. From there I was called to serve full-time in an interim call working with two congregations as one merged into the other, and both congregations grieved the loss of their pastors. Most recently, I served as interim for a third congregation as they went through the call process. With God’s nudging, I realized that interim ministry is a good fit for me, so I recently completed training to become an intentional interim pastor.
Maybe you have noticed how God’s call rarely seems to go in a straight line. I have always had hills to climb and slopes to cruise down. Mix in the occasional detour like going to seminary and life gets really interesting. Immanuel is on one of those side trips or detours right now. Those unexpected, unplanned for diversions hold within them tremendous possibilities. In these moments, often accompanied by potholes of uncertainty, I have seen the grace of God giving me not what I wanted, but what I needed. The same is true for the congregations I have served. God is at work now doing something new. We are people of the resurrection who live in the everlasting promise of new beginnings. It is my privilege to walk with you on this stage of the journey.
I am praying for our time together, to see the presence of Christ in our midst.
Peace to all of you,
Pastor Martha Butzier
Rev. Richard Collier will be our Interim Pastor while we find our bearings and prepare to search for a new Pastor to Call.
Pastor Collier was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pa. He is a graduate of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, and holds a Master of Divinity degree from Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. Pastor Collier has been Called to Intentional Interim Ministry in the South Central Synod of Wisconsin.
Pastor Collier served under Call in North Dakota and in Wisconsin before taking on the challenge of Interim Ministry. He has served as an interim pastor for 22 years in congregations all over our Synod and beyond. He comes to us from an assignment as Interim Pastor at Christ Lutheran Church in Deforest.
Pastor Collier makes his home in Mayville, WI, where he has lived for 15 years. He is a widower, and his daughter Emily and husband Nate live in Fond Du Lac.
Office hours for Pastor Collier will be Monday thru Thursday. He can also be reached at other times through the church office, or by calling his cell phone at 1-920-904-4818.