A Message from Pastor Lynnae

What does it mean to be “Called”? In the Old Testament, Samuel is “Called” by God for a special purpose. At first, he does not recognize the voice of God but his mentor, Eli, eventually recognizes the “Call” and assists Samuel in answering.
When a pastoral candidate finishes their seminary training, has been supported by the synod council and approved for ordination, they seek a “Call”. I’m kind of a nerd about the word “Call”. I believe that it should be capitalized when it is referring to a person’s discernment into the ordained ministry. This is about God and God’s Call. An individual can’t just decide on their own that they want to be an ordained minister in the ELCA. They need the blessings of their home church; (that sponsors them) their seminary; (that trains them) their synod candidacy committee; (that reviews their formation) and then finally, a local congregation has to identify that this person is ready for “Call” and especially for “Call” in their context.
Much like Samuel, pastoral candidates need help discerning their “Call”. I find the involvement of a local congregation to be vital to the process. A church must interview, get to know and pray about a candidate and their answering to God for ministry in Word and Sacrament. Until, this official “Call” is received, the pastoral candidate is not to officiate at communion, unless there are special circumstances. This month, Katie Pauly, a pastoral candidate in the SD Synod will supply preach while I am on vacation. Katie cannot officiate at communion – yet. Please join me as we welcome her to Hope and pray for her as she discerns her “Call” to ordained ministry. Should you have a pastoral emergency, please contact the office for assistance.
With Hope,
Pastor Lynnae