Well, as I sit and type this we still don't know where we'll be going. When this all started we had no idea and I think I can honestly say at this point we still have no idea. Yes, Jay was assigned to the Western North Dakota Synod within the ELCA's Region 3; however, it doesn't appear there are as many vacancies there that are fitting for Jay and his mission. This so-called process the ELCA has to place it pastoral candidates just doesn't seem to be fool proof. I still don't understand the whole fill out a form to tell us about your gifts and we'll find the right fit for you. Plus, my understanding of a First-Call is it gives the "new" pastor an opportunity to get a lay of the land and then get a feel for what he wants his ministry to be. Well, Jay has been serving a congregation for almost two years - doing all the things one typically does in his first call. So, Jay has that additional experience and there's no doubt that he wants to do parish ministry.
At least we don't seem to be stuck if there isn't any opportunities within the synod he's been assigned. Jay has spoke with the bishop and is waiting for info regarding one last potential church near Bismarck, ND. However, if either party doesn't feel this is a potential good fit then it is the last "first-call" opportunity within this assigned synod. I wish this bishop would look at Jay's true gifts and this past two years of experience and realize that Jay is not your typical "first-call" candidate. Jay has much more to offer than the average "first-call" candidate. Being a second career candidate, he has life experience and then he has the managerial/cooperate experience from working in the cooperate world. Well, if this last congregation isn't a fit, evidently the bishop can release him from his synod assignment which will put him back into the Region 3 pool of eastern North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota. As many of you know, we had preferred SD hoping to get closer to my family. Who knows, it still is possible if nothing works out in ND.
Okay, enough of my babbling . . . the bottom line, we still don't know where we are going or when we are going.