Experience and Skills:
1. Effective grounding in Word and Sacrament ministry, missional theology, the theories and practice of mission development, the Missional Church Movement, and in the biblical and Lutheran understanding of stewardship that responds to God’s grace in Jesus Christ.
2. Effective communicator in preaching, sharing learnings, writing and evangelical outreach.
3. Demonstrated ability working with leaders in adaptive ways and facilitating group processes as well as knowledge, experience and/or willingness to learn, listen and utilize the arts of community organizing in growing leaders and building tables.
4. Extensive knowledge of the organizational structure of the ELCA and its congregations.
5. Ability to utilize congregational trend reports and demographic data in the process of the development of congregational vitality for new and existing congregations.
6. Experience with missional strategies for the vitality of new and existing congregations.
7. Proven effective time-management and administrative experience and ability to meet deadlines.
8. Exceptional interpersonal, organizational, analytical and communication skills and the ability to work in partnership with peers, other DM unit staff, synod and regional staff.
9. Demonstrated competency among communities of color; and well as with people and communities experiencing poverty. Ability to relate and communicate well in diverse cultural, ethnic and socio-economic situations.
10. Active participation in a Christian congregation and God’s mission.
11. Ability to seek out additional resources and persons who can expand the capacity of the unit in doing God’s mission.
The Allegheny Synod is one of 7 ELCA Synods located in Pennsylvania. The territory covers seven counties of central Pennsylvania: Clearfield, Centre, Blair, Huntingdon, Cambria, Somerset, and Bedford counties. Large towns in the Synod include Dubois, State College, Altoona, Johnstown, Somerset, and Bedford. The Synod Office is in Altoona, PA. From Altoona any location Synod can be reached by car in less than 2 hours. This is an Appalachian Synod located in the heart of central Appalachia.
The Allegheny Synod has 115 congregations. Many of these congregations operate as part of multi-point ministry. At this time the Allegheny Synod has 16 two-point parishes, 4 three-point parishes, and 2 four-point parishes.
There are 55 active ministers of word and sacrament on our roster. We have 1 active deacon on our roster who serves as Lutheran Campus minister at Penn State. Currently we have 2 candidates in the TEEM program serving congregations. Additionally, we have a core of 27 authorized Lay worship leaders who rotate weekly to lead worship in congregations without a called pastor.
The goal of the Synod staff, over these last 4 years, has been to remind all our congregations that Christ is still alive and moving in the Allegheny Synod. This is a region that has lost people, job opportunities, and infrastructure over the last 30 years. Most of our congregations can remember times when Sunday worship had three-quarters to twice as many people in worship. Those people are not here anymore. The ones who are left are aging and many of their children have left the area. But there is still work for us to do. Jesus still has a plan for the Allegheny Synod. It doesn’t matter if we have 400 in worship or 14, God still calls us together and empowers us for the sake of the gospel. The Synod staff has worked to remind our people that they still matter to God, they are still known and beloved, and there is still work to be done.