1001 Olson Lane
El Dorado Hills, CA 95762


Transition & Call Process

We believe it is our Savior Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, who guides the call process. The calling of a pastor represents a valuable partnership between God, the calling congregation, and the Sierra Pacific Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. An ideal call process builds on trust, openness, and good communication. When the call process results in a good match between minister and congregation, the total mission of the church is furthered.

Phase I:  Pastor Resignation
The rostered minister submits a letter of resignation to the congregation Council, which is submitted to the Office of the Bishop and to the Congregation.CompletedPastor Trudy Franzen submitted her letter of resignation.
The President of the Congregation Council contacts the Office of the Bishop to begin a closer relationship during the transition process.  OngoingThe Office of the Bishop will continue to work closely with St. Stephen’s during the transition and call process.
The Office of the Bishop will recommend an intentional interim pastor to the congregation council.  The congregation council interviews and offers a contract to the interim pastor. CompletedPastor Mark Vance has become the Interim Pastor for St. Stephen’s.
A Transition Team is selected to work with the interim pastor to lead the congregation through the transition and self-study process. CompletedOur Transition Team is made up of Bob Davenport, Phil Keleshian, Kathy Keleshian, Will King, and Stevie-Rae Wilkie.
Phase II:  Intentional Interim and Self-Study
The Interim Pastor works with the Transition Team to gather information that will serve as the basis of the Ministry Site Profile (MSP).  Self-study focuses include heritage, connections, leadership, mission, and our future.   In processThis is a lengthy and essential process that requires in-depth introspection.  Without knowing where God is leading your congregation, a congregation cannot know what skills, direction, and priorities it needs in their pastor. Pastors are not called to provide the vision for congregations; pastors are called to help congregations move toward the vision they have for where God is taking them.  This is our time to define our vision.
Once the self-study and the MSP draft are completed a Call Committee is selected.  The MSP is sent to the Office of the Bishop. The call committee, in consultation with Office of the Bishop, begins the discernment process of discovering who God is calling to be the pastor in this next chapter of our congregation’s life and ministry.
Phase III:  Choosing a New Pastor
The Call Committee receives the names of candidates. The Call Committee interviews candidates – remaining in contact with the Office of the Bishop and ultimately recommends one candidate to the council.   Based on Lutheran theology, a pastor is called. The call process is not simply hiring a new employee for the church as would be done in a secular workplace. It is participating in God’s own choice for the church by opening ourselves to the work of the Holy Spirit who will guide, nudge, empower, inspire, comfort, and inform the journey toward finding new leadership.
The council votes to recommend the candidate and a compensation package to the congregation. They set a congregational meeting date. The Office of the Bishop will send a representative for the congregational vote.   The call committee, the congregation council, and the entire congregation all participate fully in the process. As does the Office of the Bishop, who represents both the interest and the commitment of the whole church in seeing that the pastor called is suited to ministry under the call that is extended
The congregation votes on whether to extend a call to the pastor. If approved, the congregation votes on a second ballot on the compensation package.    
The new pastor is installed by the Conference Dean at a mutually agreed-upon date and time.