Transitions – 2014 Archive

Transitions

2014 TransitionsWelcome to the Transitions page of the Bethany website.  We are glad you found us and hope you’ll come by often as additional information will be added just as soon as it becomes available.

What is the Transitions Webpage?

With the departure of Bethany’s Senior Pastor, Ron Glusenkamp, the Congregation Council anticipates many transitions in the life of Bethany Lutheran Church over the next two years.  According to William Bridges, a leading author in the area of change management, while change is situational, transition represents a process that people go through in coming to terms with change.  Our goal is to be proactive throughout the transitional process.  We know that keeping you informed lies first and foremost in ensuring our success, along with being open to truly hearing your questions and concerns.

How can I stay informed?

We envision this Transitions page to serve as a resource or reference library.  Here, you will find relevant information, including links to many documents focusing on our transitional journey.  All of this information can be accessed by clicking on one of the tabs located at the top of this page under the word “Transitions.”

Bethany held three Informational Gathering Sessions for the congregation and the Transition Team on Sundays, January 11, 18 and 25 at both 9am and 10:00am in Room 208. They also had a table in the Narthex those Sundays with Transition Team members in attendance.

  • Faith Formation (January 11, 2015)
  • Worship & Celebration (January 18, 2015)    
  • Outreach & Oversight (January 25, 2015)

How can I ask questions, share a concern, or request additional information?

We have set up a special email address to allow you to communicate with the Congregation Council.  Please feel free to click on the link below to send us an email.  We will attempt to respond either by email or in person within one week.

E-MAIL:  Transitions@bethany-denver.org

Peace,

Congregation Council

                  Koren Holden, President                                                Glenn Truglio, President Elect

                  David Furgason, Immediate Past President              Peg Kirchner, Secretary

                  Gwen Grace, Vice President-Personnel                      Ted Ziemann, Treasurer

Teams

The Call Process Has Begun! The Transition Teams (TT)

have been formed and was commissioned November 23, 2014.

Tom Brook is the facilitator; Pastor Paul serves ex-officio as well as Koren Holden as the Congregation Council president.  To contact the Transition Team in general email: BethanyTransitionTeam@gmail.com

The Transition Team has three Focus Teams.  Talk to the TT members directly or email your questions to each team:

  1. Self-Study:  BethanyTTSelfStudy@gmail.com.  Don Abram, Nickie Fowler, Susan Hinrichs, Leslie Stevenson
  2. Staffing Needs:  BethanyTTStaffingNeeds@gmail.com.  Kevin McAuliffe, Elaine Kaminen, Nina Engberg, Bryan Fagerholt
  3. Mission & Vision:  BethanyTTMissionVision@gmail.com.  Gretchen Hack, Mel Stolzenburg, Angela Bergquist, Jack Lindsey, Suzanne Bryson.

Pastoral Changes

2014 Interim Pastor PaulThe Reverend Dr. Paul N. Svingen called to Bethany Lutheran church as Interim Senior Pastor 

Congregation Council is pleased to announce that Pastor Paul Svingen will be called by the Rocky Mountain Synod of the ELCA to serve as Bethany’s interim senior pastor following the departure on June 14 of former Senior Pastor Ron Glusenkamp.  Pastor Paul will begin his ministry at Bethany with worship on Rally Day, Sunday, September 7, 2014.

Congregation Council is grateful to Bishop Jim Gonia of the Rocky Mountain Synod and his staff for their support in identifying an outstanding candidate for Bethany Lutheran Church.  In accordance with Rocky Mountain Synod guidelines during pastoral transitions, the call of Pastor Paul is extended by the Synod Council.

Pastor Paul has distinguished himself in the area of Intentional Interim Ministry, having served more than 30 ALC/ELCA congregations in a variety of states across the country as interim pastor over a career that spans nearly 40 years.  In addition to his pastoral work, Pastor Paul served on the faculty of the Interim Ministry Network and the Kairos faculty at Luther Seminary, where he taught coursework in the area of Intentional Interim Ministry.

Pastor Paul resides in Minnesota with his wife, Susan.  He will be temporarily relocating to Denver for this interim period.

A link to Pastor Paul’s bio can be found HERE.  Welcome, Pastor Paul!

Read some of Pastor Paul’s articles:

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September 29, 20142014 Ruth Ann

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, Bethany Lutheran Congregation,

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayers and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:4-9)

As I sit writing this, the rain is falling hard and the sun is brightly shining. When that happens, God places the bow in the sky as a promise of God’s presence, protection and love. It is a fitting time to write to you.

For the last seven years, I have been immeasurably blessed and honored to be your Pastor. We have shared the Gospel and Holy Sacraments as means of grace from our Lord. Together we have walked through the joys of baptisms, confirmations, weddings and anniversaries. We have traversed the valley of the shadow of death and come forth on the side of resurrection. There have been Christmas camels and Easter sunrises, Bible studies, faith formation, beans and rice. Thank you for entrusting to me the care of your souls, your children, and your life milestones. That is a trust I try never to take for granted as I follow my basic core value in being a pastor: love God and love the people. In short, as Pastor and people, we have been claimed, gathered and sent forth for the mission and ministry of Christ’s church. There is no more honorable work than this. Amen!

During these transitional months, it was said that I would use this time to listen to the Holy Spirit’s leading about my call as your Associate Pastor. That has been true. Yet it is also true that I have been discerning for the last year where God needed me to serve; whether that was to continue at Bethany or elsewhere.

Many of you have honored me by asking if I could become the new Senior Pastor. After much prayer and conversations with people who know me well and Synod staff, I have discerned that God needs someone else – a new Senior pastor at Bethany. God desires another pastor who can take our beloved congregation into the future to which God is leading.

When Pastor Ron departed for his new call, I promised Bishop Gonia that I would stay on at Bethany until a new Interim Senior had been called.

Stained Glass DoveNow, God, through the Holy Spirit, is calling me to serve a new congregation; King of Glory in Loveland, Colorado. God has led me to a church where the breadth of my gifts can be used in preaching and worship, pastoral care, music, youth and outreach. I am anticipating the pace of a smaller congregation where I might have more holistic life balance. I have been an associate pastor for the entirety of my twelve years in ministry. While leading from the ‘second chair’ is rewarding and comprehensive in the life of a congregation, I feel equipped to serve a parish on my own as solo pastor. You have taught me well.

These days, Bethany is in the midst of transition led by God. I acknowledge that my departure will be one more loss. Yet God is the heart of Bethany and I call upon you to call upon God for direction, comfort and the path forward. Christ is, you know, ‘the Way, the Truth and the Life.’ (John 14:6) A pastor is the shepherd, yet only a messenger of Christ’s Message to the flock. As Jesus said to Peter, ‘You know the way to the place where I am going.’ Look to Jesus, my dear flock, and trust that the future of Bethany is held by God who is trustworthy. ‘Walk by faith and not by sight.’ ( Corinthians :7) ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.’ (Proverbs :-6)

I am much encouraged by Pastor Paul Svingen’s presence and wisdom as a new colleague. Pastor Paul has been an Interim in thirty-one congregations. His will be a steady hand, grace-filled voice and wise administration.

Likewise, I am encouraged by my good colleague, Pastor Russ Britton. Through his knowledge, humor and passion Pastor Russ is already engrossed in Word and Sacrament ministry, while also tending to his role of Associate Pastor of Faith Formation. Gifted Janet Mortinsen faithfully provides pastoral care as our Director of Health and Wellness. Intern Stefanie Fauth-Lemke is very capable to lend her voice in leading worship, confirmation, teaching and wherever we may need her in coming months. Tory Plucheck and Natalie Dailey continue to cover youth ministries for all ages. I have the utmost trust in all of our faithful staff; especially Joel Halvorson and the office administration, music staff, BECC, custodians and both Congregation Council and Ministry Council.

We will have time in these next weeks to share memories, be strengthened by the Word and the Sacrament, laugh, cry and say goodbye. My last Sunday with you will be Sunday, November 16th.

I remain, walking with you in faith that comes from God alone, 

Pastor Ruth Ann Loughry

Letters

2014 LettersThe letters found below have been sent to the congregation as a whole and can be downloaded by clicking on the PDF link

  • Frequently Asked Questions, October 17:  PDF
  • Pastor Ruth Ann’s New Call, September 28, 2014:  PDF
  • Interim Senior Pastor Announcement, July 15:  PDF
  • A letter to Bethany Members regarding Pastoral Care during the immediate transitional period pertaining to the summer months of 2014:  PDF
  • Letter Announcing June 8th Activities: PDF  Good Gifts Order Form:  PDF
  • Pastor Ron Glusenkamp’s letter to the congregation:  PDF
  • Farewell letter from Council President Koren Holden and Council President Elect Glenn Truglio:  PDF
Beacon Articles

2013 Beacon TitleArticles found in our Monthly newsletter, pertaining to current church transitions, will be posted below. 

  • May/June 2014 Beacon:  PDF
Docs

2014 FAQThe file found below contains questions and answers concerning the transition of pastors at Bethany Lutheran Church and the process employed by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) regarding the call of a new pastor. 

  • Transitions Fact Sheet # – 17 October, 2014:  PDF
  • Transitions Fact Sheet # – 18 May, 2014:  PDF
Synod Info

2014 RMSThe documents found below (coming soon) have been provided by the Rocky Mountain Synod.

  • Congregations in Transition:  PDF
  • Intentional Interim Ministry:  PDF
Survey Info

BLC Survey“My dream for Bethany is that we move forward without fear, but rather into the direction the Spirit is leading. That we are an open, warm, safe, accepting, loving home for all… old and new members alike. And that we are committed to growing as Disciples of Christ in our faith and our service. Not afraid to change how we’ve always done things: and open to new ways too. ALIVE with the Spirit of Christ.”

This quote came to us via the Congregational Survey, and it does appear to reflect some aspects of the mainstream view of our where we are at as a congregation. It also sets a worthy challenge to us in terms of continuing to grow as the Bethany Lutheran Church.

The 2015 Congregational Survey was quite remarkable in its scope and coverage. Over 600 surveys were submitted, and after setting aside incomplete surveys 590 viable surveys were used. This is a very large sample and represents a significant percentage of the regularly attending congregation.

Here is a very short summary of the results of the survey. If you have additional questions, please ask any member of the Transition Team.

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BLC WhoWHO COMPLETED THE SURVEY

  • Those of us who took the survey are 58% Female, and 42% Male
  • About half of us who responded to the survey are 50 – 69 years old, but we had responses from younger congregation members (27% were age 14 to 49) and more mature members (23% were older than 70).
  • 69% of us are married or have a life partner, 17% of us are single, and 14% of us have lost a life partner.
  • 27% of us currently have children under 18 years old, 73% of us do not.
  • 64% of us have been members of Bethany for 11 years or more, 29% of us have been members for less than 10 years, and 7% of us attend frequently but are not members of Bethany.
  • In terms of members who volunteer their time at Bethany, 20% of us volunteer more than six hours each month to the church, and 80% are able to volunteer less than five hours each month.
  • Most of us (45%) attend services on average once a week, and 44% of us attend from 2-3 times a month or less.

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WHAT DID THE SURVEY TELL US ABOUT WHAT WE VALUE?

BLC ValueThe first part of the survey, what we value, asked us to rate the importance of a number of aspects of church to us and then asked us to rate how well Bethany has been doing these things (prior to our current interim period).

In the first part of the survey we rated things that the congregation believes are most important to Bethany. We found that what is most important to us is:

  1. Christian Education
  2. The Worship Experience
  3. Fostering Spiritual Growth
  4. Hospitality and Fellowship, and
  5. Outreach

The second part of the survey included statements that we wrote down to describe our dreams for Bethany’s future. The results were similar to what the first part of the survey told us, with one added surprise. The surprise was the large number of comments that had to do with desiring growth for our church:

  1. Hospitality and Fellowship (Community)
  2. Growth (a living and growing large church)
  3. Christian Education (children, youth, adults)
  4. Fostering Spiritual Growth
  5. The Worship Experience, and
  6. Outreach

So it seems clear that we are in concert in terms of what we perceive The Holy Spirit has placed in our hearts as our values for our church.

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HOW ARE WE DOING?

BLC HowThe difference between what we value as a congregation and how well we perceive it is being accomplished was also examined. This part says a lot about what our priorities are for needed change or what we think deserves our continued support. The congregation identified excellent, inspirational, diverse, and spiritually uplifting music as being in the top ten of importance to Bethany’s ministry, and also identified that the current music program is meeting or exceeding our expectations for this.

The second area identified as meeting or exceeding the congregation’s expectations in relationship to its importance to Bethany is world outreach.

And we found that we also have some work to do. Areas needing growth, support, and development include Christian education, services to our elderly and disabled, and choosing future pastors who can meet our desire for inspiring and dynamic preaching in our worship services.

Consistently, both in this survey and in the extensive research that was done in support of its use and interpretation at Bethany, it appears our values as a church are clear: Christian Education, A Welcoming Community, Nurturing Worship, Spiritual Development, and Outreach. And in what appears to be a message from The Spirit and an endorsement of the “great commission” (Matthew 28:16-29) our congregation is yearning for growth in our efforts to share Christ’s church with others.

Reports

2015 GracePeaceGrace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, 1:2-6

(New International Version).

Click on PDF to view the documents generated through the care and support of Bethany’s Transition Team.

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The Transition Team Report is composed of a series of observations and recommendations made to Congregation Council.  Upon their acceptance, it will operate as a guide and support to Bethany, its leadership and congregation.

2015 Transition Team Report:  PDF

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The following documents are referenced inside the 2015 Transition Team Report:  

  • 2015 Appendix 1 Congregation Survey Results:  PDF
  • 2015 Appendix 2 St Paul’s Lutheran Church:  PDF
  • 2015 Appendix 3 Organic Organizational Structure:  PDF
  • 2015 Appendix 4 Director of Faith Formation Job Description:  PDF
  • 2015 Appendix 5 Hiring Timeline Process Director of Faith Formation:  PDF
  • 2015 Appendix 6 Job Description Director of Welcoming:  PDF
  • 2015 Appendix 7 Circle Organization Chart:  PDF
  • 2015 Appendix 8 Ministry Teams:  PDF
  • 2015 Appendix 9 Resource Teams:  PDF
  • 2015 Appendix 10 Sample Job Description:  PDF

Other Important Documents

  • 2015 Glossary of Terms:  PDF
  • 2015 Becoming a Pastor at Bethany:  PDF

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