Nativity’s Transition: Discernment for Our Future

February 1, 2024

Nativity’s Transition Team will host “Listening Sessions” throughout the month of February to discuss priorities you consider important for the future of Nativity along with what type of leadership will be needed to help move Nativity forward in ministry. We invite everyone in the congregation to share their thoughts in one of the scheduled sessions and/or through the online survey. (The survey ran through February 21 and is now closed.)

  • February 3, 6:30 pm following Saturday worship
  • February 4, following both AM worship hours
  • February 10, 6:30 pm (during the Annual Meeting)
  • February 11, following both AM worship hours

Additional sessions will coincide with scheduled book groups and confirmation:

  • February 7, during Wednesday AM Bible Study (Contact bppat127@gmail.com)
  • February 7, during the Student Action Leadership Team session (Contact renee@nativitychurch.org)
  • February 8, during the Thursday AM Book Study (Contact Jules Bonde at madjules@gmail.com)
  • February 10, during the Saturday at Nine Book Group via Zoom (Contact Jerry Hoffman at jerjo.hoffman@gmail.com)
  • February 13, during the Tuesday AM Social Justice Book Club via Zoom (Contact Paula Biessener at paulabgolfer@icloud.com)
  • February 21, during Confirmation (Contact renee@nativitychurch.org)

We look forward to hearing from the Nativity community. All are welcome to join the in-person sessions and/or submit survey feedback. Questions? Contact Tim Scheid at timscheid@gmail.com.


January 4, 2024

With Pastor Ben’s departure this summer, a Transition Team was authorized by Nativity Council and was formed to help lead Nativity through the early process of discernment. The Transition Team, consisting of Gail Bergsven, Beth Erickson, Donna Steinwand, Tim Scheid, Denise Lamirande Clark, and Glenn Seefeldt, is actively working on completing the Ministry Site Profile and is planning listening sessions with the congregation in the first quarter of 2024. After listening to the congregation, the team will complete the Ministry Site Profile and submit it to the Minneapolis Area Synod Bishop for review and conversation. This phase determines what is needed for Nativity to move forward in vital mission. 


August 11, 2023

Dear Siblings in Christ,

In this weekend’s message, I reflected on the wisdom of Ecclesiastes reminding us that change is inherent to the many seasons of life. God promises to be with us in the midst of change, providing a rhythm to cope and wisdom for the journey—wisdom gathered via community.

Nativity is in a season of change as we adjust to Pastor Ben’s departure and think about our future together. Calling another pastor will be a significant part of the discernment process, a process that all of you will be invited to be a part of.

As we begin our process to call another pastor, the author of Ecclesiastes provides good counsel.

God is in the midst, providing an energy and rhythm to discern God’s wisdom.
The path forward is not linear, but organic. Be flexible and listen, listen, listen. In listening, we can discern the wisdom of God.
Be patient. Resist the temptation to move too quickly.
Trust the process. God will provide.

As we look ahead in faith, I propose the following process over the next year for Nativity’s transition.

Phase 1: Taking Care of Business

The Ministry of Nativity will continue, and current staff will fill in for areas Pastor Ben covered. When needed, we will employ part-time help.

Confirmation was one of Pastor Ben’s key areas. A team approach involving myself, Deacon Kyle Soderberg, Dr. Kelly Sherman-Conroy, and Renee Hoffman will serve confirmation ministry. Our 10th grade confirmation will begin in September as usual. The 7th, 8th and 9th grade confirmation will begin in November on their normal schedule.

Worship and preaching were also among Pastor Ben’s responsibilities. We will have a variety of speakers over the next months, offering diversity of presence and thought.

Phase 2: Transition Team

Nativity Council authorized the formation of a transition team at its June 2023 meeting. The team began meeting this week. Their work will focus on completion of the Ministry Site Profile. This profile involves a survey and study of the congregation. Completion of the profile involves lots of listening to the community and staff.

Upon completion, the profile will be submitted to the Minneapolis Area Bishop for review and conversation. This phase determines what is needed for Nativity to move forward in its vital mission.

Phase 3: Recruitment, Interview, and Call

In this phase, Nativity Council will appoint a call committee. Typically, two or three people from the transition team are part of the call committee along with additional people from the Council and congregation. The call committee meets with Synod staff to understand the process better and learn how candidates are selected and recommended.

The call team will interview candidates and then recommend a name to Nativity Council for recommendation to the congregation. When this occurs, there will be opportunities for the congregation to meet the candidate for call, after which a special meeting of the congregation will be held for the purpose of voting on the candidate to serve as pastor.

The outline here is what our community might expect over the next year or so. Is God in the midst? Yes, indeed, and we are following a process that will invite spiritual wisdom as we move into the future, trusting that God is leading us and God’s love supporting us.

To hear more about the transition as well as wisdom for the journey ahead, I invite you to listen to this weekend’s message.

In Faith,

Pastor Glenn Seefeldt

Image reading Nativity Lutheran Church Transition Process