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Interim Ministries

AS DEFINED IN THE CONSTITUTION

C9.06 - At a time of pastoral vacancy, an interim pastor shall be appointed by the bishop of the synod with the consent of this congregation or the Congregation Council. (Model Constitution for Congregations of the ELCA)

S14.17 - During service to a congregation, an interim pastor shall have the rights and duties in the congregation of a regularly called pastor. The interim pastor may delegate the same in part to an interim supply pastor with the consent of the bishop of this synod. The interim pastor and any ordained ministers who may assist shall refrain from exerting influence in the selection of a pastor. (Constitution of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod of the ELCA)

DIFFERENT TYPES OF INTERIM LEADERSHIP

Pastors who provide continuing Word and Sacrament ministries and leadership to congregations in the "between times" fall into one of five types of interim ministries as discussed below.  Compensation guidelines for the various types of interims are included in this document:

2016 Interim Ministry Guidelines 2016 Interim Ministry Guidelines (25 KB)

LOCAL INTERIM AND SUPPLIES

Local pastor is under call in a neighboring congregation.
Congregation Council and pastor agree upon specific ministry tasks.
Agreement is for an initial three-month period.
Once agreement is renewed twice - the congregation, pastor, and synod staff discuss future options.
In most settings, the pastor will serve 20 hours per month.

Compensation includes a monthly stipend and reimbursement at the IRS rate for miles driven while working. Worship supplies will be assigned by the synod and are to be paid according to rates adopted at the Synod Assembly.

TRANSITIONAL INTERIM

For congregations that expect to move through the call process as expediently as possible.
The pastor serves for an initial period of three months that is renewable.
The pastor serves for 20-40 hours per week.
The pastor is not under call.

Compensation includes a monthly stipend, Social Security allowance, reimbursement at the IRS rate for miles driven while working, continuing education allowance up to $150 every three months, and one week of paid vacation for every three months of service.

INTENTIONAL INTERIM

Appropriate when following a period of conflict or a long pastorate or when a congregation is uncertain about its future.
Pastor serves the congregation for at least 12 months.
Pastor serves at least 20 hours per week and up to full time.
Pastor is either retired or called by Synod Council.

When under call the compensation package is based upon:

  • The Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod Guidelines
  • The pastor's years of experience
  • The congregation's previous pastoral compensation
  • The responsibilities of the interim pastor
When under agreement with the Congregation Council, compensation includes a monthly stipend, Social Security Tax allowance, reimbursement at the IRS rate for miles driven while working, continuing education allowance up to $150 every three months, and one week of paid vacation for every three months service.

Adopted at the 2007 Synod Assembly - Congregations are to provide a proportionate subsidy for health insurance.

TRANSITIONAL CALLED INTERIM

Initiated by the synod staff and based on availability of pastor who would fit the needs of the congregation.
Following an abbreviated call process, the congregation issues a two-year term call which will be followed by consideration of an open-ended call to that pastor. If the open-ended call is not extended, then the congregation moves to another interim situation at the end of the pastor's two-year term.

The compensation package is based upon:

  • The Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod Guidelines
  • The pastor's years of experience
  • The congregation's previous pastoral compensation
  • The responsibilities of the interim pastor

If the congregation does not issue an open-ended call after the first two years, a three-month severance package must be given.

LONG-TERM INTERIM

Appropriate when congregation is unable to call a pastor.
The pastor may be retired; in some circumstances the pastor may be called by the Synod Council at the request of the bishop; request for renewal must come annually from the Congregation Council to the synodical bishop.

When under call, the compensation package is based upon:

  • The Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod Guidelines
  • The pastor's years of experience
  • The congregation's previous pastoral compensation
  • The responsibilities of the interim pastor
When under agreement with the Congregation Council, compensation includes a monthly stipend, Social Security Tax allowance, reimbursement at the IRS rate for miles driven while working, continuing education allowance up to $150 every three months, and one week of paid vacation for every three months service.  In exceptional circumstances, a congregation may request less than 20 hours per week and compensation will be adjusted accordingly with the approval of the bishop.

Adopted at the 2007 Synod Assembly - Congregations are to provide a proportionate subsidy for health insurance.