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Notes from the Pastor – FAQs about the TRANSITION

  1. Why do we need an intentional interim process? Why can’t we just form a call committee and get a new pastor? 

The purpose of the interim period is to set up the congregation and the pastor-yet-to-be-called for success.

During a long-term pastorate both the pastor and the congregation establishes patterns of being and doing church that become second nature.  These practices and traditions are both conscious and unconscious.

The purpose of an intentional interim period is to offer the congregation an opportunity to see and reflect on these practices and traditions prior to calling a new pastor.  A congregation may find that practices that worked in the past may no longer apply in the current situation.  It may also discover the seeds of renewal in practices and traditions that are life-giving. The congregation can then choose to build on those practices and traditions give life as they move into the future.

At the end of the interim process a congregation will have had an opportunity to reflect on its practices and traditions and to renew a sense of identity and mission.  This will prove a solid foundation upon which the congregation can build a relationship with their next pastor.


  1. What is the difference between the Transition Team and the Call Committee?

A transition team is a group of people from the congregation who work with the interim pastor to shepherd the congregation through the transition process.  The transition team focuses its energy in helping the congregation work through the following five tasks.

  1. History and Heritage
  2. Identity
  3. Leadership
  4. Renewing Denominational Ties
  5. Committing to a new future

Since Holy Cross has already taken CAT (Church Assessment Tool), the Holy Cross transition team is working with Pastor Kleiber to facilitate congregational conversations using an approach called appreciative inquiry.   The team will use the data obtained from the CAT survey and our conversations to develop a first draft of the ministry site profile.

The call committee will finalize the ministry site profile and develop interview questions.  This committee will also be responsible for interviewing candidates for the position of pastor.  Often, the call committee takes on the responsibility of introducing the new pastor to the congregation and the community.


  1. Back up a minute. What’s a Ministry Site Profile?

A ministry site profile or MSP is a description of the congregation and its mission context.  It articulates the congregation’s mission goals and specifies the skill sets desired in the next pastor.


  1. Who picks the Transition Team?

The Holy Cross council has selected the members of the transition.  The goal was to choose a diverse team, including long-time members, new members, and members who have interests in different aspects of congregational life, e.g., education, music, youth, etc.


  1. When will we form a call committee?

The call committee will be convened after the transition team completed its tasks, including the development of the first draft of the MSP.


  1. Who picks the call committee?

The congregation elects members of the Call Committee.   Service on the transition team does not preclude service on the call committee, but generally there is little or no overlap.



Pastor Margrethe Kleiber

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