Calls to Serve in Ministerial Roles
For the Lutheran church, the normal way a minister changes positions is for congregation to send a candidate an invitation to serve their parish. The invitation includes details about the position, pay and benefits. The details may include job duties and salary. The benefits may include housing and other arrangements. The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod had several standardized benefit programs that covered a pension and potentially health insurance.
An invitation is often referred to as a “call” to serve somewhere. Formally, the invitation is often referred to as “Diploma of Vocation” that included a “Solemn Call” section of the document.
Upon receiving a “call” a minister would study the invitation, duties, opportunities and other considerations and compare them to his current position. Reaching a decision involved prayer, potentially a visit to the new location, or a number of written questions for which answers may help clarify lack of details in the original invitation.
A receiving minister usually notified the leaders of his current parish of the new invitation. Once the receiving minister made a decision, he would inform both parties. With a change in his place of service, he would arrange for the move to the new position.
One exception to this process was the first assignment upon graduation from the seminary. The school administrators would handle multiple requests for graduates and make the initial assignments based on the congregation or other position (such as being a foreign missionary or in a special ministry to the deaf, the military, a correctional facility, etc.) and the background of the graduate and knowledge and skill previously learned and during at least one year of internship or vicarage.
Another exception might be an invitation to serve in an institutional setting for a formal organization of the church. The procedure would be much the same, but the job functions would be different than that of a local congregation.
This chapter presents the Diploma of Vocation involved in each ministerial role held by Harold H. Brauer. The sequence of his service shown in the attached Diplomas of Vocation involved:
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Julesburg, Colorado
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Amherst, Colorado
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Ogden, Utah
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Symco, Wisconsin
Redeemer Lutheran Church, Green Bay, Wisconsin
North Wisconsin District, Stewardship and Missions Counselor, Wausau, Wisconsin