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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Our pastor is leaving. Now what?

Interim ministers help congregations in transition heal wounds and envision the future

A pastor resigns, and you can almost hear the deep communal groan. Soon comes a collective congregational lament: "Oh no, we're in the call process." Fueled by anxiety over an empty office and pulpit, fretful phone calls to the synod office begin: "Now what?"

The relationship between pastor and people is intimate. Pastors are present at critical times in the lives of individuals and families. They preside over baptisms, marriages and funerals. They hear our deepest fears and often our confessions of sin. Losing that relationship is painful and frightening.

"Who will be our pastor when we need one? What do we do until we get a new one? How long, O Lord, how long?"



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September issue

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