New Pastor is Called

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

– Jeremiah 29:11

Transition Process: Step 4

New Pastor Is Called

Once the new pastor has been selected and properly called, a letter of call will be prepared by the synod office. The prospective pastor has 30 days to accept or refuse the call. Usually, the process goes much faster. During this time, the congregation should engage in hospitality and welcome.

Thanking your Interim Pastor

Your interim pastor has played a very important role in the life of your ministry. It is appropriate to plan a public farewell and thanksgiving. Interim pastors are asked not to continue their involvement in congregational life after the interim is over.

The Pastor’s Office

Cleaning and painting the pastor’s office prior to her or his arrival is appropriate, but any serious redecorating should probably be done in consultation with the new pastor.

The Pastor’s Home

If there is a parsonage, the home should be clean and presentable. Utilities should be turned on and appliances in good working order. Redecorating should be done in consultation with the new pastor.

Installation of the New Pastor

The installation must be planned in consultation with the synod office and should ordinarily occur within the first two months of beginning the new ministry

Welcoming a New Rostered Leader

After the congregation has approved the selection for the new pastor, the Call Committee along with the rest of the congregation begins to welcome him or her to the new call. During this time, an installation ceremony will take place. Here is a guide to help you through this process:

Installations of Pastors and Deacons

Information Guide

As you begin to make plans and arrangements for your installation service, please be advised of the following:

  • Installations are performed on behalf of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and by the authorization of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod. Please call the bishop’s office as soon as possible to discuss the date and time for your installation.
  • Although Bishop Curry would like to participate in all installation services, he ordinarily designates his associates to serve as the installing officer in their respective conferences.
  • Bishop Curry or his associate will usually preside at installations until after the installation rite is completed. The newly installed pastor may preside for the remaining part of the service. You may choose the person whom you would like to preach on this important day in your ministry.
  • The installation service will follow the order for worship found in the Occasional Services book (pp. 224-231). If you plan to print the complete service in the bulletin, you should get permission from Augsburg Fortress Publishing House.
  • Note rubric #1 (p. 224): Unless it is decided otherwise, in consultation with this office, it is assumed the order will follow the sermon.
  • If your installation service is held at a time other than a regularly scheduled worship service of the congregation, you need to determine (with congregational approval) whether an offering will be received. If an offering will be received, you need to decide to whom it will be given. (Offerings of other installation services have been designated for the Bishop’s Discretionary Fund, which is used to help rostered leaders in cases of emergency.)
  • Please advise the bishop’s office of texts or themes that you would like to use. (Note the suggestions on page 231 of the Occasional Services book.) We look forward to making your installation memorable.

Document Resources

Transition — The Five Steps

The time between one pastor leaving, and another being called, is called the Transition Process. There are five steps that are included in this process.

Transition Process | The Five Steps

Learn more about each of the five steps: 

Additional Resources


Your Constitution

If your congregation is revising its constitution, or if you have a question about your constitution, email the synod secretary, the Rev. Erin Clausen: .

You can also view a webinar about this topic.

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Change of Contact?

Has your congregation had a change of contact information? Send any updates of your address, phone number or key contact e-mail addresses by emailing Heather Haynes, 

Metropolitan Chicago Synod Office

Ph: 773-248-0021

Address: 1420 W. Dickens Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614

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