A Ministry of Grace in the Heart of Andover

Pastoral Transition

Please email with any questions or concerns regarding Pastoral transition at Grace.

1/3/2018 Transition Update: The Vision Board would like to announce Pastor Bruce Arnevik as the Interim Senior Pastor. Pastor Bruce will begin his time at Grace on January 23rd. Pastor Bruce lives in Minneapolis and has over 35 years of experience as a Lutheran Pastor in and around the Twin Cities, with 14 of those years working in the interim ministry. The Vision Board is excited to be entering this next phase of the transition at Grace, and confident that all the experience Pastor Bruce brings will help set us up for success in our future here at Grace. Please come and meet him in person and hear him preach beginning on the weekend of January 27th & 28th.

Soon after Pastor Bruce is onboard & fully engaged, we will begin the necessary foundational work to call Grace’s next Senior Pastor. This process starts with the convening of a Transition Team to assess our needs, which will then lead to the formation of a dedicated Call Committee. We welcome your interest in serving on either of these two bodies.

Pastor Sara Vanderpan will be concluding her time at Grace as the Bridge Interim Senior Pastor at the end of January to serve another congregation. We will have a special blessing during worship on January 20/21 to thank for the time she has shared with us.

Pastor Delwayne Hahn will continue in his current role as our part time Visitation Pastor here at Grace.  

As a congregation of Grace we are grateful for the ministry Pastor Sara and Pastor Hahn to us during the early stage of this pastoral transition.

**More about Pastor Bruce:    Pastor Bruce has served many congregations, both large and small in the role of senior pastor.  The initial call of his ministry was to a congregation he served for 20 years.  Since then he has served 8 congregations around the metro area in the role of interim senior pastor.  Pastor Bruce is well equipped with the knowledge and experience that will be needed to guide our congregation at Grace through this pastoral transition: Graduate of Luther College and Luther-Northwestern Seminary, Long Term Congregation served: Salem English Lutheran Church, Minneapolis 1981-2002. Lutheran Congregations served as Interim: Calvary, Minneapolis / All Saints, Minnetonka / Alleluia, St. Michael, and many others. Interim Ministry Philosophy: “I believe strongly in the positive value of an intentional interim time for a congregation.  Just as no two congregations are alike, so no two interim periods are identical.  I have been involved in strong and healthy interim periods which have served to positively transition a congregation from one chapter of its life and mission to a new one.”


Timeline of events over the next several months: 

Mon. Jan. 22nd: Pastor Bruce joins Grace Lutheran as our Interim Senior Pastor.

Sat. Jan. 27/Sun. Jan. 28th: Introduction and installation of Pastor Bruce at all services.

Spring / Summer 2018: Formation of a Transition Team and time of discernment for our congregation.  What is God calling us to do and how might we be transformed over the next several years?

Fall / Winter 2018/2019:  After the discernment process, formation of a Call Committee that is given the mission of calling a permanent Senior Pastor for Grace.




11/20/2017 Transition update: The Vision Board and our new Interim Senior Pastor are very close to finalizing the details of the interim agreement. This will be the long term interim replacement for Pastor Mark, that will serve Grace until we call a new permanent Senior Pastor.  Everything is in place except a start date for the Interim Senior Pastor sometime in January.  To serve as our pastor during this in-between time we have worked with the Bishop’s office to hire a Bridge Interim, Pastor Sara Vanderpan. Sara will begin her time at Grace on November 27th and will continue serving Grace until our Interim Senior Pastor is able to begin. Pastor Hahn will continue in his current position as our Visitation Pastor and will be sharing preaching responsibilities with Pastor Sara over the next several weeks.  The Vision Board thanks you for your continued prayers, support and patience. If you have any questions I encourage you to contact any member of the Vision Board and we will do our best to answer them. – Doug Hanson, Vision Board President.

11/15/17  Transition update from the Vision Board: After careful consideration and prayer, the Vision Board has selected a Senior Interim Pastor for Grace Lutheran, and this person has agreed to serve at Grace. We are currently working on the exact starting date and other details. More information will follow very soon. We thank you for your continued prayers, support and patience.  – Doug Hanson, Vision Board President.

10/25/17   Transition update from the Vision Board:  The Vision Board has met with Pastor John Hulden, Assistant to the Bishop.  He has provided us with some excellent candidates for our interim senior pastor and we are currently in the process of interviewing for the position.  Please continue to pray with us as we carefully evaluate, consider, and ultimately decide on this next step for Grace Lutheran.  -Doug Hanson, Vision Board President

There are 6 Steps in pastoral transition, which could last over a year.
  • Step 1 – Departing Pastor presents a letter of resignation to the Vision Board and the congregation.
  • Step 2 – An interim pastor is called to lead us during this time of transition
  • Step 3 – The congregation engages the in-between time of transition.
  • Step 4 – The Ministry Site Profile is completed.
  • Step 5 – The call process begins.
  • Step 6 – Congregational meeting is held to vote for the pastoral candidate

If you would like a detailed layout of each step, please contact the church office for a printed copy.

9/13/17 Vision Board Letter to the Congregation re: Pastor Mark’s retirement

9/13/17 Pastor Mark Announces Retirement