Resources for LeadersNorthwestern Ohio Synod
The following resources are available on our website to assist leaders in the Northwestern Ohio Synod as they live their mission in Christ.
Sawmill Leadership Retreat Speaker Resources
Congregational Resource Team
Helping your Congregation gain a vision for itself for ministry and mission
Every congregation should have an updated constitution in line with the ELCA Model Constitution. Please use the resources below as a guide and call the synod office if you have questions. The NWOS Constitutions Committee is a resource as congregations are in the process of updating their constitution, and the Synod Council must approve each congregational constitution once it is ratified at a legal congregational meeting. Contact the Synod Office for more information and questions: 419.423.3664.
diakonia(tm) is a ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) that aims to equip lay members to be strong knowledgeable leaders in their communities and the wider church. This is accomplished through a two year program of weekly classes combined with spiritual retreats and group interaction to prepare people for the many diverse tasks and opportunities to which Christ’s great commission directs them. Classes are held at Peace Lutheran Church in Galion, Ohio
The following document outlines the expectations for Pastors in the Northwestern Ohio Synod.
Personal Spiritual Life
In order for you to grow in faith and faithfulness so you can better serve the Lord and his church, as a pastor/shepherd of this synod you are expected to make time for personal Bible reading and prayer. As St. Paul says, “Faith comes from hearing the word”. It is not enough to read the Scriptures only for sermon preparation and study. A personal devotional life is crucial for one’s faith as well as for effective ministry and outreach.
In the belief that you cannot pour from an empty cup, you are encouraged to take appropriate care of yourself – your body, your mind and your spirit. We believe that exercise is necessary not just for the health of one’s body, but also for emotional soundness. You are expected to exercise regularly, seek medical attention when necessary, and allow time for your body to rest. You are also expected to make time for spiritual retreat, meditation, and renewal. Those with spouse and/or family are encouraged to make time for them and include them in this nurturing process, for we are meant to experience God’s grace also in our homes. Through these means you can be blessed to do your best in ministry.
As a leader in Christ’s church, you are expected to continue to learn and adapt to the changing world in which we live and minister. The ELCA requires 50 hours of continuing education per year. For the sake of your ministry and your personal satisfaction you are encouraged to take courses, be involved in text study groups, and participate in cross discipline educational opportunities. Please note: First Call Theological Education (FCTE) is a three year requirement for all first call rostered leaders.
Among the many ways God makes his grace known to us is what Luther called “the mutual conversation and consolation of the saints.” This means God works through God’s people, including our peers, to make God’s love, support, hope and promises known to us. In other words, we need each other if we are going to be the kind of pastors we want to be. You are therefore expected to be involved in your conference’s various meetings, in synodical events like retreats, and in reaching out in collegiality to the rostered leaders of this and other denominations, not just for your benefit, but for the sake of those who may need the grace God has given you to share.
The word synod can be translated “walking together.” As a synod we are pastors and people, administrators and congregations, lay and rostered leaders who are working together to make God’s love and will known in our corner of the world. To help our congregations realize the importance of “walking together” as a synod, it is crucial that our pastors “walk together” in the work of the synod. You are therefore expected to attend Synod Assemblies, to file the annual Pastor’s Report to the Bishop, and to support synod programming. We encourage you to share your gifts and skills not just in the congregation you serve but also in the broader expressions of the church so that Christ might be made known among and through us.
Commitment to Mission
The Northwestern Ohio Synod Task Force on Mission in the 21st Century proposed that if we are to do God’s will and make Christ known, then each congregation must become a center for mission and outreach in the larger community. For this to happen, our pastors must also be committed to mission and outreach. As a pastor of this synod, you are expected to not let congregational maintenance take precedence over congregational mission in and to the world.
As the people of God, we acknowledge that everything we are and have comes from the Lord. In joyful thanksgiving we are intentional in the use of our time, talents and money. As a pastor of this synod you are expected to be a good steward of the financial resources God has placed under your control. As you develop a budget and move toward a tithe or beyond a tithe, your own generosity will serve as a joyful example for congregational members who are also seeking to grow in their own financial discipleship for mission.
Working for Christ and His Church
We believe that the Church is not ours, but Christ’s. Our service is not done for ourselves or for the benefits that often come with serving others. Nor are we called to serve only when it pleases us, or in places that necessarily meet all our expectations. We are called to serve as Christ Jesus did, putting God’s will and mission first, taking the concept of the Call seriously.
We believe that we cannot control the Holy Spirit, the Lord of the unexpected, who calls us to ministry and to specific ministry settings. On the other hand, we also believe it takes time to establish a working relationship with a congregation. Working within this paradox you are encouraged and expected to consider your call in longer terms. The best place to serve is not the next call you might receive, it is your present call. If you are focused on doing your best and loving God’s people in your present situation, we believe you will be both blessed and a blessing for your present congregation and the next call as well. We discourage short term (1-3 year) ministries.
Serving to Give Glory to God
We believe it is important for us not to give shame to the name of the Lord in our behavior, speech, or mentoring. As a pastor of this synod you are expected to follow the guidelines found in “Visions and Expectations.” You are also encouraged to find your joy, meaning and purpose for life in serving the Lord and those for whom he died, all the while clinging to God’s promises that will give us the ability to do just that.
Supported in Your Shepherding
Be assured that as you serve in this synod, the Bishop and Staff will be working with you, praying for you, and doing whatever we can to help you in your ministry, service, and mission. We also welcome your prayers on our behalf so that together and by God’s grace we can be the kind of church the Lord wants us to be. May you know the joy of salvation in your own life, may you be fired up to share that joy and Good News among us here in Northwestern Ohio, and may the Lord bless your ministry with much fruitfulness. And to God be the Glory.
A calling implies mutuality between those rostered people being called and the agency or congregation issuing the call. This mutuality means that congregations and other ministry sites are to live for the wellbeing of the rostered leaders that they call, and rostered leaders are to live for the wellbeing of the communities into which they are called, so that together we might live in Christ as mission-centers, with mission-centered congregations. We in turn get to participate in making Christ known in our lives together, making Christ known in our communities, and making Christ known in the world.
Is God calling you? And, what, exactly, is God calling you to? Your candidacy journey begins when you contact your synod office. At the synod office, you will be directed to the person(s) who can talk to you about your discernment journey and the candidacy process, what forms are necessary and how to complete them.
Contact The Synod Office
ask for Cathy Schibler or Jenn Prueter
The recommended honorarium for one worship service is $150 plus mileage according to the latest IRS accepted rate. For additional services, scheduled within three (3) to four (4) hours of the conclusion of the initial worship service, whether at the same congregation or at another, as in two-point parishes, an additional $50 per service should be paid plus any additional mileage. If needed, expenses for lodging and meals are to be paid by the congregation at the reimbursable rate agreed upon between the pastor and the congregation.
Congregations in the Call Process
The congregations listed on this page are currently engaged in the call process. They are listed by conference with the name of the Call Process Facilitator. This list was last updated January 9, 2018.
What is a Synod?
The Northwestern Ohio Synod is one of 65 synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and one of six synods that comprise region six. Our neighboring synods in region six include Northeastern Ohio, Northwest Lower Michigan, Southeast Michigan, Indiana/Kentucky and Southern Ohio.
A “synod” is a shared journey. It actually comes from two Greek words which give us the words “synonymous” and “odyssey.” Together, as a synod we are on a synonymous odyssey. It means that we are journeying together: strengthening, challenging, and supporting one another as God leads us in living his mission with each other and with the world.
Each synod in assembly elects a bishop and other officers. As the synod’s pastor, the bishop oversees the ministry of other pastors and congregations. Together with her/his assistant(s), the bishop provides support to congregations. This includes assistance in calling pastors and other staff; support in times of difficulty and congregational conflict; and, joining in the celebrations of congregations. Bishops also oversee the administration of the synod, supervising the work of other officers and staff. In addition, they serve as bishops of the whole ELCA, coming together regularly in gatherings of the Conference of Bishops.
Office of the Secretary
The Office of the Secretary resources page on elca.org contains copies of the model constitution for congregations, information on records preservation and management, governance and policy, insurance information and forms, some synod forms, and more.
The ministry of publishing within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Book of Faith Initiative
A grass-roots approach embracing a common vision in which all are invited to open scripture and join the conversation.
diakonia(tm) is a ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) that aims to equip lay members to be strong knowledgeable leaders in their communities and the wider church.
Resources for all ELCA programs and ministries.
Stewardship of Life Institute
Weekly articles and resources on stewardship.