Dear Congregational Members and Friends,
On behalf of the Congregation Council, we are pleased to introduce you to the Rev. David Severtson, the candidate to serve as associate pastor. He is recommended by the Associate Pastor Call Committee and the Council.
We invite active members* of the congregation to attend the Congregational Meeting this Sunday, March 5, at 11:15 AM in-person or via Zoom. At the meeting we have two items on the agenda: 1) vote to call Pastor Severtson to begin work on June 1, 2) vote on compensation for Pastor Severtson. The Rev. Steve Brackett, assistant to the bishop, will represent the synod to facilitate the call process and votes.
Pastor David is currently serving as the associate pastor of Calvary Lutheran Church in Willmar, MN, where he leads faith formation and congregational care ministries. He grew up in Clear Lake, IA. He graduated from Luther College in 2001, and Luther Seminary in 2020. He also earned his Doctor of Music degree in piano performance from the University of Minnesota in 2007.
Please read the attached/linked documents. Paper copies are also available in the church office and sanctuary.
● Recommendation of the Call Committee, which explains the call process and rationale for calling Pastor Severtson.
● Associate Pastor Position Description, which was approved by the Council last October.
● Pastor David Severtson Biography, which narrates his faith and vocational journey.
● Compensation Agreement, recommended by the Council in accord with the Synod Compensation Guidelines.
Deep thanks to the Call Committee members who have been serving faithfully and diligently since elected by the congregation in June 2022: Laura Storlie, Melinda Hanson, Evan Neubauer, Ruth Caldwell, Doug Van Sloten, Jenna Mockler-Gjerde, and Pastor Mike Wilker.
Troy Whitehill Rev. Michael Wilker
Council President Senior Pastor
*According to the congregation constitution, Active Members are those who have shared in Holy Communion and contributed at least $1.00 in the past year.
At Tuesday night’s Council meeting, the Associate Pastor Call Committee prayerfully, confidently, and joyfully recommended a candidate as our next associate pastor to begin on or near June 1, 2023. The Council accepted the recommendation and voted to forward the nomination and a compensation package to the Congregation. The Congregational Meeting will be Sunday, March 5, 11:15 PM in-person and via Zoom.
In order to respect the candidate’s current congregation, the candidate’s biography and the Call Committee’s full recommendation will be available a few days prior to the March 5 congregation meeting. The Call Committee members are Laura Storlie, Melinda Hanson, Evan Neubauer, Ruth Caldwell, Doug Van Sloten, Jenna Mockler-Gjerde, and Pastor Mike Wilker.
This month the Call Committee will begin interviewing associate pastor candidates. While the Call Committee will respond immediately to candidates recommended by the synod, this may be a long stage of the process. We are open to already ordained pastors as well as to seminary graduates. New seminary graduates won’t be available for interviews until March. Because of strict confidentiality only the Call Committee members will know who is being interviewed and when interviews will take place. Please keep the Call Committee and potential associate pastors in your prayers. For questions and recommendations, please contact Laura Storlie.
Pastor Steve Brackett, assistant to the bishop, met with the committee on November 15 to prepare them for the interview phase. They expect a first round of interviews to begin in December. This is now the time to nominate clergy and seminarians to the synod office. Here’s how the Call Committee summarized the call in 71 words:
FLC seeks a creative, compassionate associate pastor to help us share God’s good news within and beyond the congregation. In addition to leading worship with our new senior pastor, the associate pastor will lead our community communication, newcomer invitation, and incorporation ministries and co-lead our congregational care with the visitation minister. FLC is a generous, open-hearted congregation, grateful to serve in the vibrant town of Decorah in the beautiful Driftless Region.
Please share this announcement with your friends and family. Interested candidates must contact Pastor Steve Brackett, NE Iowa Synod, firstname.lastname@example.org or (319) 352-1414.
At the congregational meeting last Sunday, Nov. 7, the call committee presented Pastor Michael Wilker as the candidate for senior pastor. The vote to approve Pastor Wilker was unanimous. Let us join in giving thanks and praise to God for sending First Lutheran this gifted leader! In his acceptance letter to the Call Committee & Council, Pastor Wilker writes:
“I feel a humble reverence, deep joy, and abiding peace to join in the ministry God calls us to do together. You have a clear devotion to God. You care about one another and the entire Decorah community. You are excited about God’s ministry for the sake of the whole world. I have come to understand that you and I both believe that creative, liberating preaching and worship along with strong, healthy congregational relationships and generous hospitality for newcomers will be key to nourishing us in the years ahead. God has been with you during these recent years of change–and God continues to sustain and lead us. I look forward to joining you soon.”
Pastor Mike will begin his ministry with us Tuesday, January 18. We pray for the Wilker family during this time of transition, and we pray for their current congregation, Lutheran Church of the Reformation, as they prepare to say goodbye.
Thank you to the call committee for their steadfast service: Greg McGohan, chair; Johanna Bergan, Brenda Carlson, John Evelsizer-Olson, Jon Hart, Jennifer Larson, Karen Martin-Schramm, Betsy Ratashak-Vogel and Dan Shaw. They were joined by youth representatives Rebecca Anderson and Erik Hjelle for the interview stage. Profound thanks also to former call committee members Zac Robinson, chair; Heidi Miller Olinger, Carol Birkland & youth representative, Noah Lovelace.
Click here for the introductory bio presented at the congregational meeting.
Mark your calendars for the congregational meeting to be held Sunday, November 7 at 10:00 a.m. The meeting will be held in the sanctuary immediately following 9 a.m. worship, with overflow seating in the Fellowship Hall. The purpose of the meeting is to vote on the Call Committee’s recommendation for the position of senior pastor and to approve a compensation package. Coffee & fellowship will follow the congregational meeting.