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Immanuel Lutheran church

Call Process

Immanuel Lutheran church

Call Process


October 1, 2020

Dear Immanuel members:

As you no doubt know, because Pastor Bongard has taken a call to another congregation and been granted his peaceful release by Immanuel, we have now begun the process of calling a new Senior Pastor.  The Congregation Council has appointed a call committee whose task it is to recommend to the Voters Assembly a candidate for our next Senior Pastor.


Having been asked to chair that call committee, I am writing to give you some information about the committee and about how you may contact any of its members.  The committee has had its initial meeting and begun to consider how it will proceed.  We hope to do our work in a timely fashion, though, of course, it is too early in the process to know how soon we will be able to make a recommendation.


What can you do for us as we begin our work?  First, you can pray for the wellbeing of our congregation and its school, and for the staff who carry out the daily work in both church and school.  We also ask that you pray for our committee, that we may carry out our work wisely and harmoniously.  Second, we invite you to communicate your own thoughts about this process with us and to share your hopes for the congregation’s future.


There are several ways that you can do this.  You may simply talk to me or to any of the other members of the committee.  They are Tim Becker, Deanne Gloppen, Susie Hord, Matt McGuirl, Bethany McHugh, and Kathy Saylor.  The committee will also have two advisory members–Andy Crosmer, congregational President, and Pastor Don Williams.  Pastor Williams is serving right now as “Circuit Visitor” for the congregations in our circuit, and, as such, he is our liaison to the office of the Indiana District President of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.


If you do not have an opportunity to talk personally with any of us, there are two other ways you could communicate your thoughts to us.  One of the committee members, Susie Hord, has agreed to accept phone calls from any of you.  Her phone number is 219-241-8367.  She will pass on to the full committee your thoughts.  In addition, the committee has established an email address you can use to communicate with us.  It is:


Finally, we want to assure you that we are committed to carry out our task with care and thoughtfulness, and we ask for your patience as we proceed.


In Christ,

Gilbert Meilaender

Chair, Call Committee





Pastor Steve Bongard has accepted the call to serve at Concordia Lutheran Church in Kirkwood, MO, a congregation of about 3000 members. We want to thank our senior pastor for his guidance and for sharing his God-given talents and gifts with us.  Pastor Bongard has been with us for 26 years. We pray for his continued ministry at Concordia Lutheran and wish blessings on him and Becky as they move forward in their journey. There are plans being made for a farewell gathering on Sunday, September 13 (noonish) after late worship.

Many of you may be wondering: What roadmap for our journey are we looking at now? Congregation Council continues to meet monthly to plan, set policies, and now to oversee the filling of the vacancy to select our new senior pastor. We have a wonderful blend of council members whose knowledge, experience, and wisdom will help guide us in the direction God intends for Immanuel.  

Immanuel’s bylaws instruct your Congregation Council to put together a call committee.  It will be the responsibility of the call committee to bring to the Voters Assembly the name(s) of qualified persons to call to the position of senior pastor. If you would like to recommend a member of Immanuel to serve on the call committee, please send your recommendation to Rose Brewer, our Congregation Council secretary, at  Please make your recommendation by Wednesday, September 9, 2020. 

We all know that the selection of our next senior pastor will take time and prayerful discernment.  In the meantime, our congregation is blessed to have several pastors that can step in and help out for the interim period. 

Although he is the associate pastor, Pastor Fields does not automatically become our senior pastor.  It is up to the call committee to determine whom they will recommend to the Voters Assembly.  At this time, Pastor Fields will expand his role while we search for our next senior pastor.  We ask you to pray for him and his family as they go through this period of transition.   

Now, more than ever, your Council leaders request your prayers, input, and patience during this period of great change and growth.   

Keep the faith!  God’s blessings to all!

Andy Crosmer, Congregation Council President

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At Immanuel, we believe that you can be transformed by experiencing life with God in Christ. Our mission is to equip people for this kind of transformation by connecting people with Christ in a life of worship, learning, and service, whether you are exploring Christianity for the first time or grew up attending church.