What is a part time pastor?
Functionally, a half time pastor is paid half as much as a full time pastor and works half as much. Part-time means that a pastor works twenty-five hours a week with five hour flex for pastoral emergencies. This means the pastor works three eight and one third hour days a week and also is available to come in for pastoral emergencies like end of life care and funerals.
Our Christian tradition teaches that justice and fair treatment are important. It is just that if a pastor is going to have salary reduced by half they also have their hours reduced by half. Also, for the sake of a pastor’s family this time reduction opens up the possibility for other work or for taking on cost saving activities in home management.
Why is pastor part time?
Our council, congregation, and pastor are all in agreement that because of our current financial situation at Grace it was important to reduce pastor’s hours. One of our core values is stewarding our building and financial gifts we have at Grace Lutheran. This is very much in spirit of this core value.
If the financial situation of our church changes pastor can start working 2/3’s time or full time again.
How will pastoral emergencies be handled on days when pastor is not around?
Pastor’s hours will be posted on his door each week, as well as in the newsletter and bulletin. On days when pastor is not in the office the first step is to check whether our secretary, Paul Berge, is in. He works from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Between those hours, please call Paul and he will call pastor if it is an emergency that needs immediate attention. The second person to consider is the Pastoral Care Liaison. Council members have volunteered to step into this role. When both Paul and Pastor are out of the office please call the pastoral liaison and then they will call pastor.
What is an appropriate emergency to call pastor about when he is not at church?
Here are six things that are emergencies that warrant calling pastor when he is not at church:
- One of our members just passed away
- One of our members is actively dying
- One of our members is thinking about harming themselves or others
- One of our members has had a medical emergency, such as a car accident that has resulted in emergency surgery or another example would be a stroke or heart attack or other things like this
- Significant damage was done to the church—damages in the thousands not hundreds
- Media are on church property
Pastor is still concerned about other issues and wants to be involved with those other areas of your life, but those he will check in with you on when he is back at church.
This article is in the July issue of Grace Notes.