In Pennsylvania, the 132-congregation Allegheny Synod struggles to fill 20 full-time and a dozen part-time vacancies because few experienced ministers agree to serve in rural towns with depressed economies. Its bishop, Gregory Pile, told the Church Council in April that one pastor a month expresses interest in coming to serve in the synod. In contrast, the North Carolina Synod receives eight requests a month.
This example illustrates the complexity of the ELCA's clergy shortage. While the ELCA isn't facing a shortage churchwide, some synods are in critical need of pastors, says a Division for Ministry and Department for Research and Evaluation study.
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