Bishop Gafkjen’s May Newsletter

Speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love. [Ephesians 4:15]

Across the church there is a good bit of talk these days about a “clergy shortage.” This is certainly understandable. Across the ELCA 28% of congregations are without a called pastor. As I have shared before, in this synod about 40% of our congregations are without a called pastor. As with other ELCA congregations, some of that 40% are being served by interim pastors or another form of temporary or transitional ministry. Nevertheless, it’s no wonder that the phrase “clergy shortage” slides so easily off our lips.

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Where every member is a missionary, every pastor is a mission director, and every congregation is a mission center.