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PSD Call Manual

Understanding the Pastoral Vacancy Support System Section 1 

When a congregation experiences the departure of its pastor, there are people who will come alongside the congregation to provide help and share their experience through the process. Look especially to the following:

The PSD District President & Staff

The District President assists the congregation with three special responsibilities:


  • Ensuring the continuation of the Gospel Ministry of Word and Sacrament.

  • Assists in the process by which the congregation calls a pastor.

  • Provides the congregation with a list of pastors for call consideration (call list).


Your District President is:


Rev. Dr. Mike Gibson

949.854.3232 ext. 202

Normally there are individuals in the District office from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Anyone can take your message.


Your principal contact at the office is:

Maddie Gong

For information regarding Intentional Interim Ministry (see description below):

Rev. Dr. Richard Paul


Rev. Peter Alexander

Anchor 1

Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety. Proverbs 11:14

The Circuit Visitor

The Circuit Visitor has been elected by the congregations of your circuit and by the convention of the Pacific Southwest District. He will serve as the District President’s on-the-scene representative and is available to advise you. Congregations are encouraged to reimburse him for his expenses. Specifically, the Circuit Visitor helps in these ways:


  • Assists the congregation in the selection of a vacancy pastor if they choose to have one.

  • Actively assists the congregation in identifying resources.

  • Secures assistance for preaching, Holy Communion, confirmation instruction, weddings, funerals, baptisms, visitation, etc.

  • Helps the call committee to assess the needs and opportunities of the parish.

  • Attends meetings relating to the calling of a pastor as the representative of the District President.

  • Attends meetings of the church council and/or voters’ assembly as requested by the congregation, the District President, or as the Circuit Visitor deems necessary.

  • Assists in the arrival and installation of the new pastor.

To find who your Circuit Visitor is click here or contact the District office.

Anchor 2

The Regional Vice President

The Regional Vice President is also elected by the District in convention. He will support the Circuit Visitor and be available to assist in the Circuit Visitor’s absence.


Your Regional Vice President is:

Region 1

Rev. Dr. S T Williams, Jr

St. Paul's Lutheran Church


Region 3

Rev. Tim Eaton

Edgewater Lutheran Church


Region 2

Rev. Dustin Parker

Concordia Lutheran Church


Region 4

Rev. Vince Harman
Christ Lutheran Church


Anchor 3

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Psalm 32:8

The Vacancy Pastor

  • Provides pastoral services during the pastoral vacancy. He is responsible for the services of worship, visitation and catechism instruction as agreed upon with the congregation. He normally attends voters’/church council meetings and any other activities that the congregation deems necessary, as available and as determined by mutual agreement with the congregation.

  • Specific responsibilities and compensation of the vacancy pastor should be clearly defined by the congregation and agreed to, in writing, by the congregation and the vacancy pastor. A sample agreement between a congregation and a vacancy pastor is shown in Appendix A.

  • The Circuit Visitor may be the vacancy pastor, or another area pastor may be chosen.

  • A vacancy pastor is almost never to be placed on the congregation's call list, except under extraordinary circumstances, in consultation with the District President.

Anchor 4

The Intentional Interim Pastor

An intentional interim pastor is a specially trained pastor designed to help a congregation in an intentional way, for a specific period of time, to address and resolve specific concerns or to help in a transitional period following a special need experienced by the congregation. An intentional interim pastor also performs all the responsibilities of a vacancy pastor and is not to be placed on the congregation’s call list. The Circuit Visitor and office of the president will assist in determining the need and availability of an intentional interim pastor. For more information on intentional interim ministry, visit

Anchor 5

The Congregations and Pastors of Your Circuit

The congregations and pastors of your circuit will be happy to assist you if you encounter an emergency and are unable to contact your Circuit Visitor or the District President for immediate assistance. If immediate pastoral help is needed, please attempt to contact the interim/vacancy pastor or Circuit Visitor first.


To find the other churches and pastors of your circuit click here or call the District office.

Anchor 6
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