Over the past couple months, the Call Committee has been making progress and moving forward as we move through the call process steps recommended by the LCMC. As a committee, we have been in prayer about the steps to take and how to move forward, looking to God for his timing and guidance. After surveying the congregation in September, we have agreed that we are in a place of unity to begin looking for a new pastor. We received a job description from the Vision Council and, after reviewing it, are ready to send it out. We will be putting out the job description for the Associate Pastor position, along with an application, and hopefully begin interviewing soon after that. We have already received some names of people who would like to apply for the position, but are not restricting our search to that list.
As we move forward in this exciting time, we ask that you continue to be prayerful, both for the call committee as we move in the way that God leads us, as well as for the new pastor we will be hiring. We are looking forward to bringing a new pastor into our family!
Hello, my name is Kari Knudson. I was born and raised near Souris, N.D., by the Canadian border. My husband, Allen, and I have been members of Charity since February of 1990. Our four children have been baptized and raised in this wonderful church family. I have volunteered in many ministries here at Charity, but I’ve mostly been involved with the children and youth. Eventually, my volunteering led to being Charity’s first official children’s ministry director which I enjoyed for 11½ years. In 2015, I resigned from that position, but I still stay active in the youth and children’s ministries. I am a teacher, by profession, and these past two years have found me returning to the Bismarck Public School system – either taking on a small position or subbing. In my free time, I like to play volleyball, board and card games, crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, traveling, and best of all … spending time with my family and friends.
Ever since the first time Allen and I visited Charity, I loved the casual, contemporary worship services, the church family where we feel so loved, prayed, and cared for, and the presence of the Holy Spirit amongst Charity’s people and within the building itself. I also love the way this congregation has been very child- and youth-oriented – putting time, money, effort, and lots of prayer into the faith lives of our kids. Charity Lutheran is wonderful, and I want to do what I can to help our pastors, staff, council, and congregation follow God’s will for us.
Submitted by call committee members: Troy Bradley, Rick Collin, Erinn Dosch, Shirley Hanson, Kari Knudson, Jim Neumiller and John Wangen.
You may be wondering what the call committee at Charity has been up to these past months. Here is a quick update for you. Our first call of duty was in March when we met with the Vision Council and staff members under the direction of LCMC’s Pastor Steve Lien. This workshop was very informative and gave us a good sense of how we will be calling a pastor. We received a binder of information on the process of calling a pastor.
In April, we met with the Vision Council to kick off the call committee process. The council gave us information on where they had been, where they were at, and what expectations they saw for the future. Right after that meeting, the call committee met and decided to begin work on assessing the congregation to gain input from the people the new pastor will be serving. We met again in April to continue the discussion of assessment. Churchwide forums were held on April 23, and members of the congregation had the opportunity to meet the call committee members and ask questions about the process thus far.
In May we met to review what had been shared and discussed in the April forum meetings. We also reviewed our call committee binders. We discussed the following needs: prayer for discernment, appointment of chairperson, secretary, and administrative leader within our group, a budget, putting a packet together and a video for potential candidates, and doing an assessment from our congregational members. We also decided to interview staff members who will be on staff in the fall as to what they see in a new pastor. Later in the month, we met again. At this time, it was decided who would interview which staff member – having two call committee members present at each interview.
June brought us to interviewing staff members and reporting on each interview at the two meetings we had. We also started a list of possible candidates that people from the congregation bring to us. Throughout this whole time, congregational survey questions were a topic of oral and email conversations.
The committee met once in July. We went over the questions for the congregational survey. We agreed the survey needs to happen in September and only last 10 days, so it doesn’t drag out. We will have the survey on the webpage and set aside two Sundays/Wednesdays to have people submit surveys online using laptops. We will also have paper surveys (not to be taken home) to fill out during the time of the 10-day window. The call committee reviewed the questions to narrow it down to six. The questions went to the vision council for review. We talked through what we need to hear from the congregation and what we compiled from the staff to give us a clear vision in our search for an associate pastor. The committee appointed Troy Bradley to be our chairperson. He will be our liaison with the vision council. He will attend their meetings or appoint someone to attend in his absence. He will be the “go-to” person for all correspondence with vision council.
Since that time, we met in August, and have begun working on drafting our call based on the associate pastor job description given to us by the Vision Council. We have been comparing what several other churches have presented for similar type positions, to best represent ourselves. With this information and the results of the congregational survey, we will continue to draft questions for our interview process. We are also sending one or two representatives to the LCMC convention in Minneapolis Oct. 9-10, with the intention of meeting one or two potential candidates during a special session for Pastors seeking a call.
Throughout this whole time, we have had a representative from our committee at Vision Council meetings. We open and close our meetings with prayer and devotions. We pray for the Lord’s will to be known and for us to follow His will in calling our new pastor. Please uphold our committee and our meetings in your constant prayers. We welcome your input and suggestions. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We also have been wearing name tags during church service to identify ourselves as members of the Call Committee in case you wish to visit with us about any questions or concerns you have about this process as we move forward.
Rick Collin has been part of Charity’s congregation since 1986. His family is from southwestern Minnesota, but Rick was raised in a Maryland suburb while his father worked at the Washington, D.C., headquarters for NASA.
“Anyone who knows me or follows me on Facebook is aware of my passion for history, especially U.S. Presidents, military and Indian Wars, baseball and rock music, especially the Beatles. I worked for many years in radio news and at the State Historical Society of North Dakota and am now the Western District Representative for Congressman Kevin Cramer. Over these many years, Charity has been our church home, where our three daughters have been baptized,confirmed and married. Andrea and I have taught Sunday School, helped with Alpha and served on various boards and committees. I was a longtime lay reader and have lent my voice to many programs and projects. I have always been proud to say I am a member of Charity and I know God has great plans for our future. I consider it a privilege to serve on the Call Committee and help shape the future for this church family,” he said.
Hello, my name is Erinn Dosch. I was born and raised in Bismarck and have been coming to Charity all my life. In middle school, I was involved in teaching Sunday School, helping with the large group music time, as well as various other areas of the youth program. Throughout high school and after graduating college, I became more involved with the Wednesday night worship team, which I continue to be involved in. I have absolutely loved having the opportunity to be a part of that team.
When I think about Charity and how it has changed over the years, the one thing that I love is the sense of family I feel there. We’ve been through a lot, but we always come out stronger on the other side. I have had the opportunity to meet some incredible people and have formed lasting friendships. I am currently a preschool teacher at Missouri Valley Montessori.
In my free time, I enjoy reading, traveling, listening to music and going to concerts, and spending time with friends and family.
Hello, my name is Troy Bradley. I grew up in Bismarck until I was 10-years old and then moved to Beulah for the remainder of my childhood. My wife and I, along with our first son, Ben, moved to Bismarck in August of 2009 and began attending Charity that fall. I have been involved in VBS in the summer working with the tech team and registration. During the school year, I have also been helping direct the camera crew, run cameras and other odd jobs at the WOW services.
Most recently I have served on the Facilities Management Team and now the Call Committee. Charity has not only been a great place to worship and grow deeper in my faith with God; It has helped us develop lifetime friends that share the same beliefs in faith, family and life.
I am currently a stay-at-home dad to our wonderful three boys. It does come with its challenges, but I enjoy being their dad and shaping them into fine young men.
In my free time I enjoy golfing, camping, fishing, hunting, coaching my boys in various sports, watching football, and spending time with friends and family.
Hello everyone – I am Shirley Hanson. I was raised on a small dairy and grains farm in Wing ND. For 30 years I have been married to Jeff Hanson. We have been blessed with two strapping young men – Jayden and Mason both living in Bismarck. We have been members of Charity since 1990. Fortunately, I have been involved in the Sunday school program, Fellowship, Education, VBS, Bible studies, Cell groups, Riding Mountain and Minneapolis youth events, Greeting Committee, making coffee for all you coffee-drinkers and cookie eaters, and harassing Doug Leet and Jeff Brown….
I love how our Loving Father brings people to our church home. When the door opens in the morning, we are inviting a new guest to “feed” and hopefully make them feel welcome “in Jesus and our home”. I love the prayer support and knowing we as a church family has the flexibility to create our own ministries to serve a need.
My paid career is with US General Services Administration as a Fleet Manager. I have worked in this position for 30 years this December. Yes, I started when I was ten years old. My free time is not plentiful, but I love to spend time fishing, camping, gardening, spending time with my “girlfriends” and playing with my granddog. My husband and I also try to maintain his family’s farm. I love pinochle, playing games, and watching as many westerns I can. My expensive fun is trying to attend George Strait concerts.
By Jess Toman
This year has definitely been a challenging one so far with all of the changes going on at Charity. It has really been a time for all of us, especially staff, to take a look at our work and evaluate it. Is this what God is asking of me? The Charity family? There have been some very hard meetings taking place on the staff level, and we have been trying to discern God’s answer for these questions. Along the way, God has been revealing a new drive in each one of us along with cohesion and staff unity.
This last few weeks we have spent much time discussing things surrounding WOW for the upcoming year, and God has revealed a new plan. Much of the WOW idea will be the same, but with some tweaks. As we were evaluating what does WOW mean at Charity - we realized that WOW is so much more than just a worship service for the family, it is a worship evening for the family with many parts. We plan to offer a meal, Bible studies and classes for the kids, along with a family-centric worship service the whole family can attend. As we were praying through the times around each of these events, we were led to allowing more time for the Bible study/class portion and have adjusted things to make that happen. The connections our families make during these times are hard to do in just 55 minutes per week. We have extended that time by 20 minutes in hopes to encourage more fellowship and deeper study and more fun for the kids! Our worship service will be shortened to 45 minutes. We aim to allow for the family to worship together and know that sometimes it is difficult to last a full hour with the little ones. By jam-packing this service with great worship, a solid scripture-based message we hope the service and evening will leave you and your family ready for the rest of the week to go out into the community to do God’s work.
What about Sunday WOW? As we on staff were putting together a pro/con list for continuing Sunday WOW - it seemed evident that God was saying “yes.” There are still a handful of families (including mine) that find Sunday evening as the best time for our hectic schedules. Everything that happens on Wednesday will also happen Sunday, including content. However, we understand that even though all the logistical things are the same - the whole evening feels completely different. Fewer numbers give us the ability to connect and go deeper. That is why it seemed clear that we need to allow this option for our families.
Last week as the staff was praying and asking God to direct us, he gave many of us this Bible verse to reflect on. “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” - Isaiah 43:19. Do you see it? He is doing a new thing and preparing the way for us at Charity.
You may be asking, so - what does all this mean for me? Well, here it is - the official call for you to pray and ask God where your family fits in at Charity. We know some of you might be in a building year and may need to be in a Bible study for connection, some of you may have a desire to help with worship or tech things, and many are feeling the call of God to step out in faith to teach a group of children, young adults, or adults. Whatever the case, please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.
from various vision council members, call committee members, staff and guests during Charity's time of transition.