Dear Nativity Community,
Kyle Soderberg, Nativity’s own former Deacon Intern and current Co-Director of Public Ministry, has been interviewed by a call committee and recommended to Nativity Council for consideration of a call by the Congregation. This is Kyle’s first call as a Minister of Word and Service (Deacon).
A Congregational Meeting to vote to call will be held after all worship hours on October 22 and 23. Voting will be in-person only and by ballot. If the call is approved, Kyle will be ordained and installed as Deacon at Nativity.
What is a Deacon?
The ministry of Deacons, also called Ministers of Word and Service, has been recognized throughout the history of the Christian church. In the ELCA, Deacons are called and ordained by congregations. As Ministers of Word and Service in the ELCA, they “connect the church with the needs of the world and work to equip others to lead a living, active, and caring Christian life.”* The Deacon’s unique role supports a congregation in extending their mission into the world and encourages individuals within the church in living their baptismal covenant of service.
Why a Deacon at Nativity?
Kyle, a member of Nativity, was on staff part time when he felt the tug of the Holy Spirit to consider going back to school to become a Deacon. Part of this process required his home church to meet with Kyle and help him discern this calling. In 2018, the Nativity Council met with Kyle to determine if he had the skills and competencies needed to serve as a Deacon. Nativity Council endorsed Kyle to pursue the Office of Deacon.
Kyle completed his course work and on April 7 of this year was approved by the Candidacy Committee of the Minneapolis Area Synod. The candidacy committee shared the following regarding Kyle:
“Kyle is articulate and authentic. He genuinely understands the call to Word and Service ministry. Kyle works hard and effortlessly to integrate what he learns into action. He exhibits deep self-awareness and empathy. He is a lifelong learner who can expect to refine what it means to be a Christian public leader. Kyle is remarkable at community organizing, adept at navigating when to equip, empower, and lead groups around social justice. He has deep listening skills.”
As Nativity staff reviewed staffing needs, the idea of calling a Deacon to oversee operations and outreach ministries was considered. Proposed staffing changes were brought to the Nativity Human Resources team. The team along with Pastor Glenn Seefeldt reviewed the staffing proposals and their financial impact. The Human Resources team approved the Deacon of Operations and Outreach job description and reviewed the idea of Kyle serving in that position.
Kyle was interviewed by a call committee authorized by the Nativity Council. The committee then recommended Kyle to the Council for consideration of call by the Congregation.
An Invitation to the Community
The Congregational Meeting to vote to call will be held after all worship hours on October 22 and 23. Voting will be in person only and by ballot. If the call is approved, Kyle will be ordained and installed as Deacon at Nativity.
The community is invited to talk with Kyle and hear more about the Deacon role ahead of the Congregational Meeting. We welcome you to join him in conversation in the Nativity Commons these two weekends.
Saturday and Sunday, October 1-2, before and after worship
Kyle had hoped to be available for conversation after worship the weekend of October 15-16, but family health circumstances have called him out of town. Community members are welcome to call, email or text Kyle to get to know him better or to better understand the potential role as Deacon. You can contact him at Kyle@NativityChurch.org and (612) 388-7135.
Thank you to the Nativity Community for your participation in the discussion and voting process around this call.
Pastor Glenn Seefeldt
*From “Rostered Ministers of the ELCA” https://elca.org/About/Leadership/Rostered