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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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ELCA studies first-call churches

Lilly Endowment Inc., Indianapolis, provided a $525,000 grant for the ELCA to study characteristics of congregations that call pastors to a first-call situation.

The four-year project builds on a “Transition into Ministry” grant Lilly made to the ELCA in 2001, said Connie Leean Seraphine of ELCA Vocation and Education, project director for the new grant.

The grant will show what attributes congregations have that lead to early successes for new seminary graduates.

Nearly half of ELCA first calls are into congregations located in small towns and rural areas or multipoint parishes in which one pastor serves several congregations in nearby but different locations, Seraphine said.


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