Our Pastoral Supply (Pulpit Supply) List provides a listing of the names of rostered ministers available for supply preaching and worship leadership when a called rostered minister is absent. The South-Central Synod of Wisconsin 2023 Compensation Guidelines honorarium is $175.00 for one worship service and $50.00 for each additional service. Congregations are also expected to pay mileage at the IRS standard mileage rate for employee reimbursements ($0.625 per mile as of 1/1/2023).
Please note that at times demand for pulpit supply may be very high, due to the number of congregations in transition at any given time, medical emergencies, pastoral sabbaticals, and more. With 134 congregations in the synod and only 32 individuals on the pulpit supply list (and not all are available year-round), there may be occasions when you are not able to find a supply pastor for a particular Sunday. If you are not able to secure a rostered minister to preach and preside, all is not lost! Congregations are invited to consider the following list of suggestions to help inspire worship planning:
- Use the Service of the Word – we have created a version of the Service of the Word following the pattern used in the ELW and other Lutheran hymnals. This service omits Holy Communion and may be led by a member of the congregation. You are welcome to use the synod-created version, or the one found in your hymnal. This service can be adapted to accommodate the suggestions below for creative ways to handle the sermon/message.
- Consider a hymn sing – we Lutherans love our music! If you have time for advance planning, consider inviting people to share their favorite hymn along with a short story or testimonial as to how that hymn has shaped their faith.
- Tell your story – Invite people to share stories about…their faith journey, a special ministry within the church, how they live their faith, etc. Get creative and have fun with it!
- Show a movie – Augsburg Fortress has a number of video-based education materials, such as Animate Faith, that include short videos that could take the place of a sermon, and would allow for a time of conversation and discussion during or after the worship service. Some congregations have used these series for mid-week Lenten worship services to great effect.
We realize that it can be disappointing to not be able to find a rostered minister to lead worship for you. We hope that the above suggestions can help provide options if that situation arises. Please be gentle with our supply pastors, our synod staff, and with yourselves – all involved are working toward the same goal, which is to ensure that the love of Christ is proclaimed in worship and beyond.