Areas of Responsibility

Responsible for affirmation and support of the ordained, associates in ministry, diaconal ministers, deaconesses, specialized ministries, and laity in their ministries; continuing education for the ordained, associates in ministry, diaconal ministers, deaconesses, and laity; candidacy preparation programs for ordination and associates in ministry, diaconal ministers, and deaconesses; and liaison to seminaries.

Report to the 2016 Synod Assembly

The Ministry Committee is responsible for affirmation and support of all rostered leaders as well as laity in their ministries.  The guiding principles we include when considering support to ordained and other rostered ministers is that we should enhance the unique needs of the church while considering issues of fairness and justice   The committee oversees the continuing education for clergy and rostered lay leaders, the candidacy preparation program and provides a liaison to seminarians.  The committee is grateful for all the other committees that assist in the affirmation and support of our synod’s ministers.

This year our Synod Council asked us to prepare guidelines for part-time ministers since there has been an increase in calls for less than full-time ministry.  In March the committee presented its minimum compensation guidelines to include both part-time and full time calls.  

By action of the 2015 Synod Assembly, the Resolution  that “prior to the August 2016 Assembly, the Committee on Ministry will provide education about the role and evolution of the present Word and Service rosters in the life of the Church for this synod’s 2016 Churchwide Assembly voting members and its congregational and synodical leadership for the sake of strengthening collegiality and our shared evangelical mission through baptism as the Body of Christ” had been addressed in the following manner:

1. Pastor Sheehan has been in contact with Pastor Cherlyne V. Beck, Program Director, Support of Rostered Leaders, ELCA, to arrange for a presentation at the pre-assembly orientation for our synod’s voting members to the 2016 Churchwide Assembly.

2. When the time and date of that information session has been scheduled, arrangements will be made for others to access the presentation.

Our synod’s CANDIDACY COMMITTEE continues to work in conjunction with the West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod to oversee the process of preparation of candidates for ordained and lay rostered ministers. This committee also examines rostered persons transferring from another denomination or seeking reinstatement.  Prospective seminary students or other candidates are encouraged to contact the Reverend Ed. Sheehan at the synod office for more information.

CONTINUING EDUCATION AND SUPPORT FOR ROSTERED LEADERS is provided through the annual Theological Convocation at Antiochian Village.

THE LAY SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY at Thiel College continues under the excellent leadership of Lana Keplinger.

 FIRST CALL THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION is designated to assist rostered leaders in their first three years of ministry and service.  Our thanks to the pastors who mentor our rostered leaders during their first years in our synod.

SUPPORT FOR LAY MINISTERS continued this year with an Aaron’s Ministers and Lay Worship Leaders workshop on October 29, 2015.  Bishop Kusserow, Pastor Sarah Lee-Faulkner and Pastor Ed Sheehan facilitated the workshop.

The committee continued to review the recommendations of the ELCA WORD AND SERVICE TASK FORCE which is creating the unified roster of Word and Service ministry, currently three rosters including:  Deaconesses, Diaconal Ministers and Associates in Ministry  
Our committee continues to monitor and study issues related to our vast resources with retired rostered leaders, clergy serving in specialized ministries and others who support ministries vital to our congregations, committees and synod.  Our thanks to Pastor Ralph Kusserow and Grace Kantz for their work with our retired rostered leaders.  

Committee Members

Chairperson:  Pastor Beverly J. Banyay
Secretary: Pastor Margaret Suhr-Barkley
Synod Council Representative: Christopher Atwood
Clergy: Pastor Christine A. Rotella; Pastor Kimberly Rapczak; Pastor Kimberly van Driel
Laypersons: Mark Nurnberger (AIM); Sally Shirey
Staff: The Rev. Edward F. Sheehan, Assistant to the Bishop