Lutheran CORE wants to be of support and assistance to orthodox, confessional congregations in every way that we can. Three of the ways in which we are seeking to do that are through a catalog of sermon resources, Clergy Connect, and Congregations in Transition.
I have spoken with lay leaders of congregations that are either too small or too remote to be able to find and call a pastor. Other congregations are in the process of calling a pastor, and at this point do not have an interim. Some of these congregations have a pastor who is available to come, preach, and preside at communion once or twice a month. Many times it is a retired pastor, or a chaplain in a nearby care facility, who is able to help out. I have spoken with some pastors who travel a great distance in order to provide care for the people of God. Because of the distance, some of these pastors will preach and lead worship one Sunday a month, and then write and send sermons which a lay leader in the congregation can deliver on the other Sundays of the month. There are many different kinds of situations, and many different kinds of arrangements that have been made. We want to thank all of the lay leaders of congregations who “step up to the plate” and all the pastors, including retired pastors, who help meet the need.
We are also very grateful to Cathy Ammlung, NALC pastor and former secretary of the board of Lutheran CORE. Cathy has a special passion and heart for smaller and/or more remote congregations and congregations that do not have a pastor. She has begun the process of compiling a resource bank of sermons that lay leaders could use on the Sundays when their congregation does not have a pastor. She describes her concept and vision in an article in the March issue of CORE Voice. A link to that article can be found here.
Many thanks to all those who have already responded and sent Cathy one or more of their sermons. If you have not already done so, please consider sending her one or more of your sermons which can be added to this resource bank. Sermons will be organized by topic, Scripture passage, and Sunday of the church year. Please email her your “best sermons” at email@example.com.
Another resource I want to lift up is Clergy Connect. A link to this page on our website can be found here.
Many congregations have reported how difficult it is to find an orthodox, confessional, Great Commission minded pastor. An anticipated increase in the number of retirements of pastors post-COVID, and the decrease in the number of seminary enrollees, will make and have made this situation even more severe.
We invite you to post your position on our website. If you check out the page you will see the kind of information that other congregations have provided. Congregational search committees are asked to submit church name, location, description of the position and the congregation, and contact information. Vacancies can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Third, if you have a pastoral vacancy, please also consider our Congregations in Transition ministry initiative. We have a group of (mostly) retired Lutheran pastors who have been trained to be transition coaches. They are able and available to help congregations whose pastors have retired or resigned, or soon will be retiring or resigning, maintain stability and momentum in regards to the congregation’s vital ministries during the transition process. For more information check out our Transitions page or contact email@example.com.