Call Committee Update

Associate Pastor Search Process

This past February the Bethlehem Church Council authorized a search for a new Associate Pastor and named the following individuals to serve on the Call Team:  Joe Boyle (co-chair), Craig Collins (co-chair), Steve McIntire, Pastor Sarah Rohde, Shannon Von Essen, and Mim Zeddies.  The Call Team quickly got to work, drafting and submitting the Ministry Site Profile (a document that provides candidates with important information about our church) to the ELCA Chicago Metropolitan Synod, meeting with a representative from the Chicago Synod to learn more about the candidate identification/selection process, and preparing for candidate interviews.

Throughout April, the Call Team received the names of candidates from the Chicago Metropolitan Synod.  Three candidates were interviewed with two of these candidates being asked to return for a second interview in June.  The Call Team then narrowed its search in late June to one of these candidates by contacting references, conducting a background check, and negotiating a salary/benefit package.  After careful consideration and a great deal of prayer, the Call Team is recommending this candidate to the Bethlehem Church Council.  The Church Council will now review the credentials of this candidate and conduct its own interview later this month.

Should the Church Council vote to accept the recommendation of the Call Team, a special congregational meeting will be called for a Sunday at the end of September.  The sole purpose of this congregational meeting will be to vote on the recommendation of the Call Team and the Church Council to call a new Associate Pastor.  Prior to the congregational vote, information will be shared about the candidate and the candidate will be introduced to the congregation at the September 13 outdoor service.  There will also be opportunities to hear from the Call Team regarding the search process.

Please continue to hold the call process, and all who are involved, in your prayers over the coming weeks.

Questions about the selection process for a new Associate Pastor should be directed to Joe Boyle (, Craig Collins ( or Pastor Sarah (