Tips for circuit coordinators
Here are some tips to help you find congregational representatives in your circuit. Keep in mind, the representatives from the congregations don’t need to hold the Lutheran confessions in as high a regard as you. You simply want leaders.
- Find the e-mail addresses of the circuit pastors.
- Generally, a circuit has about 8-12 congregations. There are a number of ways you can get the pastors’ addresses. The easiest would be to ask a pastor who would be likely to help you get this project organized. This is most likely your own. The least you will need is a list of the churches in your circuit. Your circuit visitor would be the best contact for this, as long as he would be supportive at this level.
- If you prefer to find the pastors yourself, you can get their email addresses at lcms.org. Go to locator at the top right corner. Click on it to get a pull down menu, and click worker. Go to the far left side of the next screen; type in the last name, and click submit.
- You can also locate by church. From the same locator menu on lcms.org, click on church. In the far left screen, type in the town and state of the church. Click submit. A screen will pop up giving you the name of the pastor(s). Click on the name, and the next screen will give you his email address.
- Write to each circuit pastor. Introduce yourself and explain that you would like to see a seminar in your circuit and ask for his help. Explain that he may be asked to lead a presentation, but for now you would simply like his help in finding a representative from his congregation who could help you. Explain in the letter that if he’s not able to help you, and it’s a large church with secretarial staff, you would like his permission to contact his office secretary to get these names. Don’t expect responses from all of the pastors. You may not get any. The purpose of this letter is obviously to get the pastors’ help, but the other is to make sure you are not seen as going behind the pastors’ backs. You want their support. Be very tactful and respectful in your request. This could be a form letter. Here’s a sample letter.
Possible scenarios. Hopefully you will get a positive response, but don’t count on it. The following are suggestions if you don’t get a response. This does not mean, however, they won’t cooperate for the actual seminar. It is not likely to be too difficult to find pastors to lead the presentations, especially when the work has been done for them. They would only simply need to personalize it. It’s at this first step, when they are not sure what this is about, that you may not get a response.
Churches with secretaries, and unresponsive pastors. Send a brief letter to the secretary and include in it this link www.theclcc.org/500anniv. Explain in the letter that you would like her help in locating a representative from that congregation to help you organize and promote a seminar to be done in your circuit. Explain that you will be calling her to get a name or some names. Inform her that you have made contact with the pastor so she knows she has permission to speak with you, even if the pastor may not have responded. Ask her for council leaders, but specify that you would want the name of someone who would like to see an educational opportunity for the circuit and would be willing to work with representatives from other congregations. This is likely to be a fruitful exchange.
Churches without secretaries, and unresponsive pastors. Don’t despair. This may not be quite as easy, but now you will need to use more informal networks. The LWML can be a very good source for active laity. Find a woman who is active in the LWML in your circuit (The LWML calls them “zones.”). Ask that woman for names of other women in the zone who are active in the LWML and who would like to see an event like this.
If your circuit does not have an active LWML zone. Chances are you will now have a few names from other congregations. Meet with these people and discuss what could be done to locate representatives from the other congregations. Although you could use social media, it is recommended to get together face to face to plan, at least for the first meeting.