FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is happening with Intern Pastor Mark’s position?
Mount Calvary is excited to help people find their full calling in God’s work. With congregational support, Mark shifted his role from a fulltime Director of Worship in June 2021 to parttime Intern Pastor and Seminary Student. How? Luther Seminary created a unique and condensed two-year program that included a part-time internship requirement. Mark served in this role from June 2021 to June 2023. Mount Calvary offered Mark a full-time internship extension through this fall. This is the role he is currently serving. It includes most of the pastoral duties Mount Calvary needs in our third full-time pastor. As an intern, Mark is not a fully called and ordained pastor at Mount Calvary. Mark is ready for this next step; and is planning to apply for our open call position.
A unique process for becoming a pastor is getting a call. Graduation is not the final step. A qualified candidate must also be selected to serve as a congregation’s pastor before becoming fully ordained. Ask any ELCA pastor (including Brenda and Kyle!) and they will happily share with you how special their ordination ceremony was!
How is Intern Pastor Matthew’s position different?
A traditional route for individuals to pursue ordained ministry is a four-year seminary curriculum that includes a full year of full-time internship at a selected congregation. In the last two years, Mount Calvary has chosen to support the future growth of church leaders by matching with seminary students ready for this step. Intern Pastor Wes was our first full-time for one year intern pastor, and Intern Pastor Matthew started right after Wes finished. Matthew will spend a year at Mount Calvary (ending in August 2024) learning how to be a pastor in a congregational setting. We will not go through a call process for intern positions. Bringing in an intern is a mutual process between Mount Calvary, the Synod and the seminaries. It is not a full selection process and is not designed to fill a specific pastor role at Mount Calvary.
What is the timeline for the call process?
A Call Process often takes a year or more. When Pastor Aaron left in July 2022, Mount Calvary began a discernment process to decide the best staffing for the congregation given the current needs. As opposed to starting the Call Process at that time, the Human Resources team recommended to the Church Council to honor the timing of Mark’s graduation to allow us to assess his fit to the congregation.
Mount Calvary has now assembled a Call Committee to lead the congregation through this selection process. This is not a transition plan nor an internal selection. The Call Committee will lead us through a full search and call process with the help of the Minneapolis Area Synod. We simply chose to wait until this Fall to start to allow Mark to be one of the candidates.
The Call Committee has assembled. Their responsibilities include: determining the job profile, progressing through the recruitment phase, conducting the interview process and ultimately making a final selection recommendation to Church Council. If Church Council supports the recommendation, there will be a specially called congregational meeting whereby the congregation will support or deny through a vote. Two-thirds of the present voting members of the congregation will need to be supportive of the candidate for the final decision to be made.
We are not in a hurry and want to ensure there is time for external candidates to discern their fit at Mount Calvary. Meanwhile, Mark is also discerning and interviewing for other open positions in other congregations. We expect the process to continue for the next three to six months to fully complete the process.
What does a full pastoral staff look like at Mount Calvary?
A fully staffed roster consists of a Senior Pastor and two full time associate pastors. Pastor Brenda is serving as our most experienced associate pastor (and if you know Pastor Kyle and Pastor Brenda you know how close they are in their duties and love of fulfilling them!) In general, we no longer staff or recruit based on specific program duties, so even though Pastor Aaron’s position was in the youth department, those duties have been filled with other staff since he left. Pastors form important roles of preaching, teaching and spiritual duties as their primary responsibilities. Therefore, we are searching for an exceptional Pastor, not a Youth Pastor or a Worship Pastor. The full ministry site profile is available online.
Who will serve on the Call Committee?
We have formed a team that is deeply involved in the current ministry of the congregation, understands the unique role of this call and have experience in providing leadership. Jen Sigfrinius is serving as chair alongside Dave Ewald, Dave Gerton, Lisa Stevens, Erin Buysman from Church Council, Trina Volbrecht from staff and Pastor Kyle Jackson. Pastor Craig Peterson is our call process administrator from Minneapolis Area Synod.
INTERESTED IN MOUNT CALVARY?
Mount Calvary is calling a visionary, dynamic, deeply faithful, and committed pastor with a desire to share the Gospel to everyone. This pastor will join a team of highly committed, long-tenured staff and a community that is committed to grace, inclusivity, love and service. A mature sense of self and a willingness to humbly share oneself in a spirit of transparency is important. Resiliency, creativity and a capacity to prioritize and manage multiple projects simultaneously is required. The successful candidate will be bright, inspirational, highly engaging, and collegial with a roll up the sleeves work ethic. The highest integrity is presumed.