Congregational Profile for Associate Pastor Call
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
Come... Learn... Grow... Care... Serve!
June 19, 2013
Table of Contents
Who Are We
Where Are We Going
The Building Program
Our Existing Facilities
What Excites Us/Inspires Us
Worship & Music
Learning & Faith Formation
Fellowship and Special Ministries
Partnerships with Synod, Church-wide, Ecumenical and Interfaith Organizations
The Community We Serve
The Leader We Seek
Associate Pastor Job Description
A. Congregation’s Current ELCA Congregational Trend Report and Demographic Zip Code Report
B. Geographic Distribution of Congregation
C. Paid and Volunteer Staff
D. Budget and Financial Services
E. Montgomery County
F. Statistical Analysis of the Community We Serve
G. Living in our Community
H. History of Prince of Peace
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
Congregation ID: 07647
11900 Darnestown Road
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Office E-mail: [email protected]
Web site: www.poplutheran.org
Synod: Metropolitan Washington DC Synod, ELCA
Congregation Council President
16613 Leopold Terrace
Rockville, MD 20855
E-mail: [email protected]
Call Committee Chairperson
20216 McNamara Road
Poolesville, MD 20837
E-mail: [email protected]
Call Committee Members
Pastor Steven Buechler
Who Are We
Prince of Peace is a congregation of people with diverse spiritual gifts, which treasures ways
to connect with God, one another and the community. The median age of members of our
congregation is younger than the ELCA average, and we’re located in a relatively affluent,
well-educated, and fast-paced area. We are blessed by God in many ways, but still hungry for
ways to grow in our faith and connect more deeply with God and the world around us.
We recognize that the world is an unpredictable place that offers continuous challenges. But
along with these challenges, we’ve been repeatedly surprised by the gifts and opportunities
provided by God. We are excited about where God may be leading us. As we grow in faith
and service, we remain open to redirection and innovation. In this world of change, Prince
of Peace is a stable, innovative and caring congregation with over 600 active members.
We are passionate about tending to the emotional, spiritual, and physical needs of our
congregation and community in the hopes of anchoring each other’s lives in the love of God
we experience through Jesus Christ.
PoP is located in the northwest suburbs of Washington DC. Due to the proximity to our
nation’s capital and prevalence of governmental, high-tech, and military jobs, it is a highly
transient area leaving many individuals in the community far away from family and friends.
With an ever-changing composition PoP prides itself in being a church that makes visitors
feel welcome while not overwhelmed or
intimidated. We help visitors quickly find a
way to become engaged in the PoP family. In
fact many of our new members are already
deeply involved in PoP prior to joining. We
draw members from a variety of religious
backgrounds. In fact, only about 50% of our
members were raised Lutheran. Yet we share
a common goal to grow in faith, support our
fellow members and serve our community.
We listen for God’s word through scripture,
service, and reflection, turning to a variety of
spiritual and faith formation opportunities.
While the ELCA is central to our identity
as a faith community, we are curious and
sometimes questioning followers who draw
on a variety of faith and spiritual resources
grounded by a Lutheran heritage.
We strive to reach out, connect, and make a positive difference through Christ, while
continuing to experience and live out our faith in the world every day. And while doing so,
we feel it is important to pause and listen with openness and trust for new opportunities of
faith exploration and new ways to serve, learn and grow.
Where Are We Going
Jesus gave his first disciples a new relationship with God. He formed them into a community
and empowered them, through word and deed, to share that relationship and community
with others in the world. Throughout our history, Prince of Peace has been a welcoming
Christian community that reaches out to serve others locally and beyond. Situated in a
dynamic yet often fragmented community in which people may be physically, emotionally, and
spiritually detached, Prince of Peace’s mission is to help people in our community become
more connected to God and to others.
As we remember our past and look towards our future, we recognize that we are blessed
by God to experience and empower connections and relationships with God and others
• Serving Others
• Engaging Children and Youth in Ministry
• Learning and Faith Formation
These are the key areas we will
emphasize and strengthen in order
to continue to be faithful disciples
of Jesus and to reach out to others.
We have a sense of urgency and
excitement about this, because we
realize that our area is growing,
becoming more diverse, and
increasingly transient. We recognize
the responsibility and opportunity
we have to share what God has given
us by being intentional about inviting
others to be a part of our community
and by helping people connect more
fully with God and others, especially
those from different or no faith
backgrounds. We welcome people as
they are and where they are on their
faith journey with God, looking for
new opportunities for ministry and
At Prince of Peace, we are passionate about our mission and excited for the future! While
our location on Route 28 helps bring regular visitors to our doors, most new members
comment that it was the welcoming spirit that made them quickly feel a part of our active
Although we continue to welcome first time visitors virtually every week, our ability to
innovate and invigorate our ministries and to be a welcoming place has been limited by
facilities that were designed for a much smaller congregation. As we realized that we needed
more space for our growing ministries, we also saw that change was sweeping across faith
communities in our area and many congregations were shrinking, not growing. Seeing
the need to expand our facilities as a positive, and recognizing that we needed to look
forward for inspiration and opportunity, we spent nearly three years engaged in a careful
and thoughtful multi-part effort that explored opportunities for ministry looking ahead to
the next ten to twenty years. This effort produced a three-phase master plan for growing
our facilities and we
are now developing
plans for the first
phase of construction.
More detail about the
process, the master
plan, and the building
program is on the PoP
As we envision the
future, the design
for the first phase
main building by adding new flexible spaces that will enhance worship, learning, service,
and fellowship. With the new space, the gathering areas used before and after worship
will incorporate standing and sitting areas near a coffee and snack area to provide relaxed
and welcoming conversations. The flexible spaces, including a fellowship hall that can be
easily divided in two sections, will allow us to incorporate a rotational model for education,
building on our VBS model that has been so successful. And the fellowship hall, commercial
kitchen, and adjacent gathering spaces will make it possible to easily support large events
such as dinners, live performances, as well as blood drives and community events by outside
groups such as NA, AA, and others. We also anticipate new ministry opportunities made
possible by the new spaces. These could include: an after-school program for high school
youth, offering a safe, secure place for fellowship, and doing homework; serving breakfast on
special Sundays including Easter; offering an alternate worship experience in the fellowship
hall; providing a nursery/pre-school ministry in the expanded nursery; and, providing one or
two evening meals that are open to the community, making it possible to not think about
cooking but coming to PoP to be fed. The spaces will also support smaller group ministries
for Bible study, discussion groups, and fellowship.
The Building Program
Our excitement for being able to live and grow our faith through new ministries made
possible by adding new flexible space, is tempered by the realization that adding new space
is very expensive and it will entail significantly expanding our mortgage debt. Many have
prayerfully considered whether to expand the building in order to transform our facility and
while about half the congregation has pledged support through financial gifts and the capital
campaign, others continue to wait. So, while we remain forward thinking in mission, we
continue to prayerfully watch, wait, and listen as we decide our next steps.
As this profile was being prepared, the architects finished the Schematic Design phase and
the contractor developed the first detailed estimate of construction costs. With a projected
cost of nearly 2.5 million dollars, work will continue on the capital campaign so we will
have part of the funding needed for the project. And, we are also working with the Mission
Investment Fund to obtain financing for the rest of the project, combining those expenses
with our existing
expect to ask
for approval to
during June. And,
we hope to be
on the addition
before June 2014!
Our Existing Facilities
Our main church facility was built in 1990, through the hard work and sacrifice of a small
number of original members. At the time, the congregation had virtually no money saved and
interest rates were very high. Although it was a difficult financial struggle for many years, the
area and the congregation grew quickly, and the facilities were soon inadequate to the needs
of the congregation. Nevertheless, the facilities continued to help us share God’s love! Most
people consider our sanctuary to be the best part of our facilities because of its warm
and welcoming natural wood, modern stained glass panels and individual seats that can be
arranged for a variety of uses.
In 1995, two of our active members proposed creating a memorial garden on the edge
of the woods. Now known as the Memorial Garden, this special space is lovingly tended
by members of our congregation. It serves as a place to quietly reflect upon the lives of
those who are now in their Heavenly home, and for neighbors to stop by for periods of
In 2005, in what we knew would be a preface to a larger building addition and renovation,
we added a 2100 square foot separate modular building back by the Memorial Garden
named the Besecker Youth Center, which provides additional education, activity, and meeting
spaces. This facility has movable walls, and has enabled us to serve both our own needs and
the needs of groups in our community.
During 2006, we completed several minor improvements to improve access to our facilities
including concrete stairs to overflow parking at the adjacent medical offices, a concrete
walkway from the front of the church to the sidewalk along Darnestown Road and a second
curb ramp improving access for those with mobility issues.
What Excites Us/Inspires Us
Worship & Music
Worship is at the center of the Prince of Peace church community, since worship provides
the opportunity to be fed and centered spiritually through word, sacrament, music, reflection
and community with one another.
In 2004, realizing that Sunday mornings were no longer the exclusive purview of religious
life, we began a Saturday evening service. It was our goal then and now to make worship
experiences more accessible to people in our congregation and surrounding community.
In addition to our weekend liturgies, we also offer
evening services during Lent and Advent, as well as
at other special times of the year.
Our regular weekend services offer a variety
of worship styles, with communion, lectionary
readings and a sermon offered at every service.
The “come as you are” Saturday evening service,
with piano accompaniment, is more casual and
intimate. The 8:30 am Sunday service also uses
piano accompaniment, but may also feature “Grace
Notes,” our member-led worship band. The 11:00
am Sunday service uses both piano and organ
accompaniment and often features a traditional
The music ministry at Prince of Peace is one of several core PoP ministries. A wide
spectrum of music is offered at Prince of Peace. Members enjoy the adult choir, youth choir
with instruments, and our praise band called Grace Notes. We’re also blessed by the musical
gifts of many members, as well as outside professionals and staff members who have a
variety of different gifts and play a variety of instruments in many styles.
Prince of Peace is continually exploring new ways to grow and enhance it worship & music
ministry, including enhancing audio visual elements in worship and making sermons, music
and other spiritual resources more accessible through the web.
Prince of Peace is committed to serving others in a variety of ways. Inspiring leadership
engages people to participate and be involved.
The Care Team ministry is relatively new, but is continuing to expand its ability to serve
the needs of the congregation. The ministry teams, formed as an extension of pastoral
care, are comprised of several lay members. The teams coordinate in providing assistance
to an individual or family in need, whether it involves driving to appointments, offering
companionship, cooking meals, or cutting the grass. Strong, committed, lay leadership of this
group of volunteers has led to its overall success. They have shown the ability to continue
providing services over extended periods of time for those members most in need.
Our on-site community garden, known as “Fruitful Fields, offers three fenced gardens. A
portion of the food grown in the gardens is donated to our local food pantry Gaithersburg
HELP. Individual plots are also available to “grow your own.” Prince of Peace also supports
Gaithersburg HELP through regular canned food drives, a Souper Bowl Sunday collection,
and benevolence contributions. Several Prince of Peace members have held positions on
the board of directors for Gaithersburg HELP; this has helped solidify its relationship to the
church over the years.
The Creation Care team helps educate the congregation on ways to be better stewards
of the environment. The team attempts
to raise awareness of issues such
as sustainability, equity, and a more
comprehensive understanding of sabbath.
The yearly Creation Care Carnival
begins with a blessing of the garden, and
includes activities such as an electric
car demonstration, rain barrel displays,
recycling information, junk mail reduction,
solar energy panels, and the ever-popular
“take a worm for a walk.” For the past
two years, the Creation Care Team has
participated in cleaning up the stream
at the rear of the church property in
conjunction with the annual Potomac
River Watershed Cleanup. Through social
networking such as Facebook, they
maintain close relationships with the Muddy Branch Alliance, Poolesville Green, Washington
Power and Light, the Poolesville Community Garden, and other community and faith-based
organizations to offer mutual support of initiatives.
Prince of Peace often participates in community events in support of its members. The
congregation has formed teams or provided volunteer support at Becca’s Run, Ian’s Run
and the 2013 Race for Hope, all of which raise money for brain cancer research, in honor
of several members and friends of the church
who have been affected by brain cancer.
The Derek Sheely “Lead the Way” event is
a race to raise funds for and awareness of
concussion and traumatic brain injury in
sports. It also helps fund The Derek Thomson
Sheely Leadership Award, a scholarship
awarded to a Frostburg State University
junior who exemplifies Derek’s leadership,
academic, and charitable qualities. The annual
event honors the memory of this young
member of the congregation, who died after
sustaining a sports-related head injury.
Prince of Peace encourages service among
members of all ages. Many of our youth
describe their lives as being changed by
their work-camp experience and by participating in events such as the 30 hour famine. An
element of service is often included in fellowship and worship events and is a component of
our confirmation program. We have an active
quilting group which meets weekly; each year
they make dozens of quilts which are donated
to Lutheran World Relief.
Prince of Peace cooperates with other local
agencies and non-profits in order to serve the
local community. Some examples of initiatives
that we have supported in the past include
Habitat for Humanity “Build-Days,” a Red
Cross Blood Drive, Thrivent events, Christmas
in April, local food banks and homeless
shelters. Additionally, we have cooperated
with area organizations such as Luther House,
N Street Village, Lutheran Social Services, the
Village at Rockville (formerly the National
Lutheran Home), Lutheran Campus Ministries
after school programs and others in providing
outreach in the larger community. The congregation annually provides Thanksgiving meals
and participates in a “Giving Tree” providing Christmas gifts for several local families in
cooperation with Montgomery County Public Schools.
We also provide meeting space for Narcotics Anonymous groups and have recently hosted
a blood drive for the Red Cross. Our limited facilities inhibit our ability to provide space
for many community functions and events, but changing that is one of the key goals of our
building program. As we look ahead to the building expansion we are energized with the
prospect of being able to continue
to support these and other local
community functions in more
diverse and comprehensive ways.
Prince of Peace has a strong and
inspiring Youth program. Youth
are provided with relevant
opportunities for fellowship,
spiritual growth, service, and
faith formation. Our high school
program is led currently by a
member who received training and
certification through Gettysburg
Seminary in youth ministry.
Two of our high-energy Youth service activities are an annual Work Camp experience and
in 2013 a planned international trip to Haiti. Both trips are igniting faith in our Youth and
allowing them to experience the
amazing power of community to
accomplish God’s work. PoP Youth
also participate in a “30 Hour
Famine” each year. This event
provides a day of fasting, service,
and prayer. Our Youth work
throughout the year raising funds
to assist with the costs associated
with their activities.
Recently, the High school youth
joined the Social Ministry
Committee and other members
of Prince of Peace, as well as youth from St. John’s Lutheran Church in Rockville to make
and serve meals for the Wilkins Avenue Women’s Shelter in Rockville. The youth groups
came together to assemble lunches and breakfasts for clients at the shelter and hope to
participate in this service event again in the future.
In addition to their service activities, the high school youth also participate in recreational
activities such as a recent back-packing trip to western Maryland and a ski trip to White Tail
We are proud of our ability to attract and engage youth in growing their faith. Every
year we are fortunate to hear the faith statement of our 9th graders as they complete
confirmation. These statements are proof that we are making a difference in their lives
and their spiritual growth. We have a strong confirmation program that feeds into our High
School Youth program. As we move forward we strive to extend the success of our High
School Youth program to include more programs and opportunities for younger children.
Learning & Faith Formation
PoP is committed to learning and building a foundation of faith for all. While we continue to
value traditional venues such as Sunday School, First Communion, Confirmation and Bible
Studies, we have been recognizing the need
to enhance and supplement these programs
with other models and opportunities. We
are aware that something needs to be done
to invigorate learning and faith formation,
particularly for pre-confirmation ages and
also for adults. We recognize the need to
explore changes in the way we do traditional
programming (for example, considering
modeling Sunday School in a rotational,
experiential model like VBS); we realize
that we have not fully utilized the web and
social media as opportunities for learning
and building faith; and we are concerned
that we make opportunities for learning
and faith formation available to busy adults
who frequently don’t have time available for
things like evening Bible studies. While we don’t have all the answers, we are excited by
the possibilities and opportunities that we know exist, and we are looking for an Associate
Pastor who can help us explore
the possibilities and implement
Currently, Sunday School
Classes for children age three
through high school are held
between church services
during the school year. Layled adult classes are also held
between services and vary
between traditional Bible-based
studies, book discussion groups,
or special topics, such as an
exploration of the ELCA Social
First Communion instruction is offered to third graders in the spring during a separate class.
This experience culminates when they gather to make the bread to be served when they
commune together as a group along with their parents the following day.
Our two-year Confirmation program for children in grades 7-9 utilizes the Faith Inkubators
material and includes other innovative programming planned and led by lay volunteers,
parents and the pastor. Confirmation is intended to be a faith formative experience
which combines learning, fellowship and service events and includes the participation and
leadership of many parents and other adult volunteers. Each fall the 9th graders write and
read their personal Faith Statements and are confirmed on Reformation Sunday.
Faithful Families is a popular program which brings
families together to share a dinner, craft and Bible
story. It is a great way for the entire family to spend
the evening learning, having fun and growing their faith.
Started in 2011, Clay Pots is an adult confirmation
experience which allows adults of both Lutheran and
other faith traditions to more deeply explore their faith.
After studying, sharing and pondering, a faith statement is
written. Clay Pots culminates with an Affirmation of Faith
during the yearly Easter Vigil service.
As we move forward we need to explore new models
for igniting learning and faith formation. One model
that has been successful is the rotational learning and
activity based model that we use in our annual Vacation Bible School. Prince of Peace VBS
is well known in the community and in fact last year over 74% of VBS participants were not
members of Prince of Peace. This week-long extravaganza continues to expand and each
year is filled to capacity.
We know that our members look to the
church for ways to feel nurtured in their
faith and to re-energize them for their
daily lives. While we recognize that not all
learning happens in our church structures
we look forward to the possibilities that
the expanded space in the proposed new
buildings might hold for our educational
programming in terms of flexibility and
creativity, including the integration of new
technologies. We are eager to explore
alternatives to traditional Sunday School,
adult learning, and faith formation and
growth, as we seek to reach those looking for other formats or who are unavailable for
traditional formats because of their schedules.
Fellowship and Special Ministries
At Prince of Peace we like to have fun and pride ourselves in fostering a sense of welcome
and community. Interaction on a personal level is possible through an active fellowship
ministry. Fellowship activities vary and there are enough activities for members and
visitors alike to be involved in as many or as few activities as they prefer. For the youngest
members and their families we have activities such as Prince of Peace pre-school play dates
and “Faithful Families”. We also have
“empty-nester”social activities for
families with no children or grown
children. “PoP Rocks,” a group of
young adults, gets together for social
activities, church ministry events
and decorating the church sanctuary
Christmas trees. There are also book
clubs for women and men, potluck
dinners, soup and salad suppers, chili
cook-offs, receptions, coffee-houses
and silent actions. “Tables for All” is
a popular program featuring three
monthly dinners with rotating groups
of couples and singles to facilitate
meeting new people in a social setting
away from the church.
Our best known annual community
event is the Prince of Peace Yard
Sale. The Yard Sale serves to make
necessary items such as household
furniture, household items, and
clothing more accessible to those
in need. It is a true outreach to
families in our community. The event
is widely anticipated with a crowd
at the door ready to buy before
we open at 7:00am! Upcycling, or
turning someone else’s trash into your
treasures, promotes less waste and
greater sustainability. Food is served
with the assistance of our youth and
live music is provided by our own
“Grace Notes” band. It is a wonderful
example of combining fellowship,
witness, and services in one fun event.
At Prince of Peace we recognize that we have an obligation to be actively involved with our
surrounding community including schools, businesses and individuals. We also know that we
can no longer wait for potential new members to simply walk through our doors. We need
to meet them where they are today. Our Witness team is active in community events such
as Kentlands Day and Poolesville
Day, meeting with the community,
telling them about PoP and having
We also recognize the importance
of technology. We see our website
as a tool for not only keeping
current members informed but
also attracting new members. We
use both Facebook and email
to keep members and friends
informed of church events and
important announcements, and
to send sermon notes and stay
connected with the members that
can’t be with us at all times. For
those who wish to listen to past sermons, recordings are available on the website.
We have made great strides in
corporating technology into
our operations, ministries and
communication and we recognize
that technology will play an
ever-increasing role in staying
connected with our community
and our members as they attempt
to balance their busy lives.
Partnerships with Synod, Church-wide, Ecumenical and
Prince of Peace embraces Jesus’ call to be partners with God’s people outside of our own
congregation, in places where God is already at work for the good of God’s whole creation.
Because we live in a very diverse community, we have many opportunities to partner with
other Christians and those of other faiths.
Within our Lutheran community, we regularly support the work of the Synod and the ELCA,
and the many ministries we share together. Over the years, we’ve been particularly involved
in supporting local ministries such as the Village at
Rockville (formerly the National Lutheran Home);
the Lutheran Campus Ministry at UMD College Park
(whose band, Joyful Noise, has performed at worship
here); and the work of Lutheran World Relief (as
our Quilting group annual makes 40-60 quilts.)
The ELCA National Youth Gathering has been an
especially transformative event for our youth, and in
2012 one of our high school youth was a featured
speaker at the gathering.
With local ecumenical and interfaith partners, Prince
of Peace takes a lead in working with others to
care for our surrounding community. We are major
contributors of people, funding and resources for Gaithersburg HELP, an interfaith volunteer
agency which supports people in need in the Gaithersburg area. In partnership with Habitat
for Humanity, Prince of Peace has joined with both interfaith and secular groups to work on
housing projects. Because of our concern for caring
for God’s creation, Prince of Peace has also been a
partner with the Muddy Branch Alliance (formed to
care for and raise awareness about the impact of
storm water runoff heading towards the Chesapeake
Bay) and Interfaith Power and Light (which helps
congregations learn about more ways to care for the
We support Synod, Churchwide, Ecumencial and
Interfaith organizations with money, in kind donations
and volunteer efforts. Many of our members have
taken leadership roles in our partner organizations,
as have our Pastors. For example, our associate
pastor served on the board of Mar-Lu Ridge and
also served as President of Gaithersburg HELP. Our senior pastor currently serves on the
New & Renewing Mission Table of the Synod and participates regularly in the Rt 28 Clergy
Association (an interfaith group of clergy with congregations in our local area.)
The Community We Serve
Prince of Peace is located in Gaithersburg, Maryland, a suburb about 20 miles outside of
Washington, DC. The church is situated on Route 28, a heavily traveled commuter route
serving all of western Montgomery County. The area sits at a boundary between the more
urban areas of the greater Metro D.C. area and the more rural northern Montgomery
County. Information about demographic details, descriptions and links that describe our
surrounding community are found in sections E and F of the Appendix of this document.
Our community, like many in the metro area, is busy! The area is very transient, with
members frequently staying only a few years
before moving on. People living in the area
are typically highly educated professionals with
demanding jobs, long commutes, and over-booked
weekends. The children are in some of the
best schools in the country but have workloads
that demand much of them, leaving them with
little free time. Lastly, many adults in the area,
in addition to having the responsibilities of being
a parent, also have parents who need assistance
but live outside of the area, necessitating frequent
trips and placing another demand on their time.
Finding new ways to connect with those with
little time is a growing need.
Financially, household income is higher than
most areas. This is in part due to the number of two-income households, but also due to
the nature of the jobs that folks hold. While the high cost of housing in the area does limit
disposable income, people have enough to allow for frequent vacations (e.g. Christmas,
Spring Break, Summer), which is reflected in church attendance.
Despite the affluence of the region, there remain those in need. While the percentage
of families living below the poverty line is low, we are continually looking for ways to
meaningfully provide assistance. Currently, around 40% of County residents speak a
language other than English at home. English as a Second Language (ESL) classes may be one
way of doing this once we have more space.
The Leader We Seek
Over the past few years, Prince of Peace has come to really appreciate the benefits of a
well-functioning multi-staff team. The different skills, gifts and abilities of each of our staff
members have helped members of our congregation to explore their own God given gifts
and abilities, and to grow in faith and service.
We especially recognized this with our first Associate Pastor. Our first experience with an
Associate Pastor was overall a very positive, healthy and productive one for both Prince of
Peace and Pastor Sarah Scherschligt. We were blessed to have two very talented, yet also
very different pastors who helped us to grow, develop and connect in ways that neither one
of them could have done by him or herself. We now have a much greater awareness of the
benefits that can come from having a multi-pastor team, and we are looking to build on this
To encourage this, we realized from the start that we would need to be flexible in organizing
the staff and responsibilities based not just on job descriptions but on individual talents,
interests and passions. Although the Associate Pastor had key areas of responsibility, it
benefited both the Associate Pastor and the congregation for us to give latitude to the
Associate Pastor to take initiative to dream and implement ideas not necessarily envisioned
in the job description. This allowed for us to tap into interests and passions that we hadn’t
envisioned, and to develop some great new ministry opportunities.
In continuing to build on the success of the past few years, it’s important that our next
Associate Pastor also be someone who is a good staff team player; who can dream and
envision new possibilities and opportunities; and who can inspire and empower members
of the congregation to explore and develop their own gifts for ministry. We are looking for
someone who is thoughtful and creative; who can help members discover and use their gifts;
and who can infuse his or her own gifts into the life of our congregation.
Recently, our Council and Senior Pastor have been studying Len Sweet’s concept that
ministry should be EPIC (Experiential, Participatory, Image rich and Connective.) As we
seek to grow ministry at Prince of Peace, and seek to build deeper connections to God and
others, it’s important that our next Associate Pastor, along with all of our staff, be committed
to helping make the Gospel real in people’s lives by helping and modeling ways to make all of
our ministries more EPIC.
Associate Pastor Job Description
The Associate Pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church is an ordained minister of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The Associate Pastor exercises his/her
ministry consistent with the standards and policies for ordained ministers of the ELCA
and in cooperation with the Senior Pastor, the Congregation Council, Staff and Members
of Prince of Peace. The Associate Pastor is responsible to the Congregation through the
Congregation Council, and reports directly to the Senior Pastor.
Generally, the Associate Pastor, together with the Senior Pastor, provides Word and
Sacrament ministry, pastoral care and support to the baptized people of God in living
out their various ministries. The Associate Pastor will be involved in all areas of the
congregation’s life and ministry, but in order to help our ministry at Prince of Peace grow
and develop, the Associate Pastor will focus his/her time and energy in certain areas.
Specifically, these areas include:
• Primary responsibility for supporting Learning and Faith Formation. This includes
working closely with the Education and Youth Ministry teams and the Youth and Family
Minister; leading the effort to make learning and faith formation for all ages more
experiential and participatory; and working with others to make faith development and
learning materials and opportunities easily accessible in a variety of web and social media
• Primary responsibility for supporting Service to the community and wider world. This
includes working closely with the Social Ministry Team and others to develop ways to engage
the congregation in direct service to others and to explore ways to partner with other
community organizations to use our building and resources to serve the wider community.
• Sharing responsibility, with the Senior Pastor and the Care Team, for Pastoral Care,
including visitation, counseling, weddings, funerals and baptisms.
• Sharing responsibility, with the Senior Pastor, for supporting the Fellowship Team in
developing events and activities which create a sense of welcome and community and which
support key worship, outreach and service events.
• Sharing responsibility, with the Senior Pastor, for Worship leadership. Generally, it is
expected that the Senior and Associate Pastors will split preaching evenly, and that both will
participate and cooperate in the planning and leading of weekly worship.
The Associate Pastor will deliver a written and verbal report at the Annual Meeting and will
give monthly written and verbal reports (including vacations and continuing education) to
the Congregation Council.
The Associate Pastor will attend weekly meetings with the office staff, weekly meetings with
the Senior Pastor and monthly meetings with the administrative staff.
The Associate Pastor will serve on synodical / extra-church committees with the
concurrence of the Senior Pastor and the Church Council.
• Demonstrates good judgment and the ability to maintain confidentiality in all matters.
• Demonstrates ability to communicate clearly and accurately with a wide variety of people, displaying sensitivity, patience and a caring attitude.
• Makes a genuine effort to cooperate and work well with others.
• Demonstrates an attention to detail and displays the ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously and effectively.
• Possesses a willingness and commitment to learn and work with Prince of Peace’s structures and processes.
• Shows an openness and willingness to learn and add new skills.
Compensation and Professional Expense Reimbursement
We plan to offer a compensation package that will be in keeping with Synod guidelines.
The following people are former members who can be contacted for further
insights and impressions of Prince of Peace and our ministries.
Becca Schaefer Baldwin
230 Redwood Circle
Broomfield, CO 80020
(301) 943-0022 / [email protected]
[email protected] / (301) 385-7039
4500 Mira Loma Drive
Reno, NV 89502
(540) 588-4831 / [email protected]
2012 Associate Pastor Survey Summary -‐-‐ 65 surveys submitted 10 highest ranking skills we need in an associate pastor Caring and Support persons in the midst of crisis/problems/major life Serving decisions Worship Communicates a comprehensive understanding of the Bible and Christian theology. Learning and Teaches and leads adults in faith development. Finds creative Faith Formation and meaningful ways of developing faith in adults. Worship Hears and translates both law and gospel as it applies to the lives of people. Caring and Serving Worship 4.42 4.36 4.36 4.24 Shares the Good News of Jesus the Christ! 4.23 Interest and strong ability to carefully plan and conduct meaningful and inspiring worship services. Learning and Teaches, works, and relates well with high school youth, young Faith Formation adults and youth ministry leaders. Caring and Supports and nurtures individuals by visiting with them in Serving settings other than church functions. Learning and Teaches and relates well to preschool and elementary age Faith Formation children Learning and Easily connects with others in person and by using technology, Faith Formation including the web. 5 lowest ranking skills we need in an associate pastor Inspires and motivates persons to develop and use individual and Stewardship group resources in the service of the Church. Learning and Initiates and supports cooperation in local inter-‐church and inter-‐
Faith Formotion faith programs. Leadership management and Provides oversight of the organization and work of staff, organization committees, etc. Leadership Provides leadership to programs of the ELCA through the Synod management and and church-‐wide organizations as well as other affiliated organization institutions. Leadership management and organization Works with accounts, figures, and budgets. 4.18 4.13 3.98 3.97 3.88 3.52 3.37 3.11 2.75 2.30 21
A. Congregation’s Current ELCA Congregational Trend Report and
Demographic Zip Code Report (www.poplutheran.org/associatepastor_call/
B. Geographic Distribution of Congregation
% of Congregation
Average Distance (miles)
0 to 5
C.Paid and Volunteer Staff
Senior Pastor Associate Pastor (vacant)
15 hours per week (Temporary until next Associate Pastor)
Bible Study Pastor
5 hours per week (Temporary until next Associate Pastor)
Administrative Secretary30 hours/week
Music Coordinator25 hours/week
Saturday Accompanist/ Adult Choir Director 10 hours / week
Youth and Family Minister
15 hours / week
Nursery Attendant Part-time 5 hours / week
Parish Administrator – Office & Tech Support 8 hours / week
Parish Administrator – Church Use
8 hours / week
Parish Administrator – Facilities Management 8 hours / week
Glad Tidings (monthly newsletter) Editor
Vacation Bible School
Inside Property plus contract janitorial and trash pickup services
Witness Ministry (includes Glad Tidings production, periodic advertising, web site and signs)
D. Budget and Financial Services
Our general operating budget for 2013 is $475,329. Of this amount, approximately 59% is
for staff salaries, benefits and expenses; 13% for debt service; and 10% for benevolence (5%
Synod Share and 5% other benevolence). Prince of Peace also receives a substantial amount
of restricted donations, especially for mission trips and our Capital Campaign. At the end
of May, 2013, Prince of Peace cash accounts had a balance of approximately $311,000. This
included $11,000 in unrestricted reserves and $251,000 in the Building Fund.
Currently, Prince of Peace has received Capital Campaign pledges in the amount of
E. Montgomery County
In 2012, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Center for Research and Information Systems
compiled information about population, land use and how residents of Montgomery County
work, shop and travel in the Montgomery County Snapshot. The report may be found here:
An interactive demographic tool for the county may be found here:
F. Statistical Analysis of the Community We Serve
Ethnically, Montgomery County is slightly less diverse than the D.C metro area and has a
larger percentage of Asians and a smaller percentage of African Americans. The community
around Prince of Peace (‘our community’) is slightly less diverse than the County and has
an even larger percentage of Asians and a smaller percentage of African Americans and
Hispanics. It should be noted that, our community is much more diverse than the nation
as a whole and, over time, has becoming more diverse. Currently, around 40% of County
residents speak a language other than English at home.
In terms of family structure, households in our community are more likely to consist of
married couples with children (36%) than the county and metro region. Couples without
children comprise another 26% of households and non-family households (single or a group
of non-relatives), constitute another 26%, and families with one parent are 6.9% of the
total households. Family size tends to be larger in our community, and there are a larger
percentage of children and middle aged people (35-64) than in the county and metro region.
Population growth is another defining feature of our community. Growth in our community
has outpaced the county over the last decade (10% vs. 7.5%) and is expected to continue to
do so over the next several years (4.7% vs. 3.8%).
Education is highly valued in the community. Montgomery County is first among large
counties nationwide in educational attainment, with nearly 30 percent of residents having
earned an advanced degree. Within our community, the number of people holding
Doctorate degrees is 6 times the national average and 30% greater than county as a whole.
The schools surrounding Prince of Peace reflect the community’s emphasis on education.
Many families have more than one income and this is reflected in household income. At
$111,595 our community’s median household income is 17% higher than the surrounding
County, 22% higher than the D.C metro area, and 53% higher than the nation. This does not
mean there are not pockets of poverty. While the percentage of families living below the
poverty line is low (2.7% compared with county 3.9%, metro area, 4.7%, and nation 9.7%),
there are those in our community that are in need.
The share of County households making more than $200,000 per year nearly doubled from
eight percent in 2000 to 15 percent in 2010. Yet, the cost of housing in the County - the
2010 median sales price of a single-family detached house was $455,000 - can severely
impact family finances. Almost 40% of County homeowners are ‘cost burdened’, spending
more than 30% of their income on mortgage costs. For context, consider that according to
Forbes, at the end of 2012, homeowners nationwide were spending only about 13% of their
monthly incomes on housing payments. For County renters, the share of cost-burdened
households is 54%.
The major occupational categories are reflective of the education-levels in the area. Over
38% are in professional occupations (e.g. engineers, lawyers, scientists) with another 24%
in management, business, and finance. Montgomery County’s three largest public sector
employers are the Montgomery County Public School System, the National Institutes of
Health, and the National Naval Medical Center. The County’s three largest private sector
employers are Adventist Healthcare, Lockheed Martin, and Marriott International. The
area has a strong biotechnology sector and hosts Medimune and Human Genome Sciences
The majority of County residents (59%) work in Montgomery County; another 30% of
residents work outside of Maryland (D.C. or northern Virginia). The average County
resident’s commuting time was 34.0 minutes in 2010. For our community, commuting
seems to be somewhat bifurcated: either you have a reasonable in-county commute (50% of
residents have a commute less than 30 minutes) or a long commute to the center of DC or
northern Virginia (30% have commute approaching or over an hour).
G. Living in our Community
Our community offers many opportunities within a very close proximity. There truly is
something for everyone here no matter whatever your tastes or inclinations. Within several
miles of our church, there are major commercial areas. These centers were built with
more than just shopping in mind. They do include the typical shopping, but they also offer
swimming, fitness, and tennis, putt-putt in the summer, movie theaters, and a lake to walk
around and enjoy. In the near future, a new aquatic center will be constructed along Route
28, near the church. Also, close at hand are county, state and city parks and nature centers.
They offer hiking opportunities, a swimming park and educational programs. We have a new
regional library, which offers a variety of programs and have two Senior Centers within a
short drive. There are many dining-out opportunities. We have easy access to public rail,
bus transportation and the local interstate. Our immediate area ranges from the typical
suburban community to beautiful countryside dotted with farms and our own Sugarloaf
Extraordinary medical and research facilities are located around the metro DC area,
including NIH (National Institute of Health), National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda,
Children’s Hospital and NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology). Both
the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University offer exceptional educational
opportunities through their Shady Grove campuses located near the church. Additionally,
Montgomery College, with campuses in nearby Rockville and Germantown, is recognized
nationally as one of the top community colleges in the country. In addition, many of the
universities in Washington, DC, are easily accessible by Metro train from the Shady Grove
station in Gaithersburg. Other educational opportunities include Hood College and other
smaller colleges and technical schools in MD.
Our community is a short drive to both Baltimore, MD and Washington, D.C. Both of these
cities offer a variety of cultural experiences, sporting events, live theatre, museums and
historic monuments. Washington, DC, as the nation’s capital, brings a strong federal influence
to the entire area. The Federal Government and other large corporations located in the area
attract people from all over the United States and the world. This diversity can provide an
enriching experience for county residents as it offers opportunities to learn and understand
people from different cultures, countries and other parts of the United States.
H. History of Prince of Peace
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church began during the summer of 1982 when the Lutheran
Church in America (LCA) sent Pastor Samuel Besecker to establish a congregation that
would serve communities in the Gaithersburg, Darnestown, and Poolesville areas of
Maryland. The first worship service was held on December 6, 1981 in the gymnasium of a
local elementary school, and Sunday school classes began one month later. Prince of Peace
became officially organized as a congregation within the Maryland Synod of the LCA on
November 14, 1982.
In 1990 the congregation built its current sanctuary with education and fellowship space.
The first service in the new building was held on Sunday, December 22, 1990. The building
was formally dedicated on February 5, 1991. New activities and increased attendance at
worship services resulted. Additional worship opportunities were added in 1994 with a
contemporary service at 8:30 am and in 2004 with a Saturday service at 5 pm.
On June 1, 2002, Pastor Steven Buechler began his ministry as the new pastor of Prince of
Peace. Since Pastor Buechler’s arrival, the congregation has moved forward in many ways.
In July of 2002, Prince of Peace began offering the opportunity for high school youth and
adults to attend a week-long program called “Workcamp” to reach out to the community.
Volunteers engage in helping repair homes of low income and elderly people, and together
with other Workcampers, they reflect on how God is acting through them to make a
difference in the world. This program has become an annual event.
In response to a need for more contemporary music at our 8:30 AM Sunday service, a
worship band was formed in February 2003. “Grace Notes” is composed of instrumentalists
and vocalists who provide a variety of music styles, including Christian rock, folk, and some
newer arrangements of more traditional music. Comprised of members of the congregation
and our paid pianist who assists with keyboard, this group plays for our early service as well
as special events such as our yard sale.
April 2005 saw the construction of the Besecker Youth Center, a free-standing 2100 square
foot multipurpose building. This building enabled us to meet the needs of our growing
Sunday school, Confirmation, and Youth programs, as well as to provide space for several
community groups that use our facilities. While we still have very limited fellowship space,
the addition of the youth center has enabled Prince of Peace to grow in our commitments
to youth, education, and community involvement.
From 2005 to 2009 the congregation recognized the need to more fully develop staff
and programming. In these years, we addressed administrative staff needs through more
paid secretarial help and volunteer parish administrators. We reconfigured and increased
our music staff, and most significantly we called our first Associate Pastor, Pastor Sarah
Scherschligt, in 2007. Pastor Sarah focused on youth and family ministry, faith formation,
social outreach and community building. Pastor Sarah served the synod on the board of MarLu-Ridge, on the Stewardship mission table, and as the founder and leader of the Creation
Care Team. For the past three years, she also served as the president of Gaithersburg HELP,
a food pantry. In 2012 Pastor Sarah accepted a call to Peace Lutheran Church in Alexandria,
These staff additions greatly enhanced our ability to engage in vital ministries, particularly
worship, youth learning and serving ministries. Our various efforts succeeded at attracting
new people to Prince of Peace and our expanding ministries and activities started
outgrowing our facilities. By the fall of 2009, the Church Council recognized the need to
evaluate our facilities and the Council re-commissioned the Building Committee.
By 2010, it was clear that Prince of Peace had outgrown its fellowship hall. Attendance at
Vacation Bible School, and various social events was suffering from overcrowding. As a
result, Prince of Peace is currently pursuing renovation and new construction to improve
fellowship, worship, learning and service opportunities. More information on this effort may
be found here: http://www.poplutheran.org/building/index.html
The 30-year- history of Prince of Peace has been one of honoring the traditions of the
Lutheran Church, while moving forward with members from diverse religious backgrounds
to minister to the wider community in western Montgomery County. We believe this is also
our future. We know that God has great things in store for us.
We pray for the gift of a new associate pastor to travel with us through the next chapters of
I. Called Pastors
Pastor Sam Besecker – Pastor Sam started Prince of Peace as a mission congregation.
His service ran from the summer of 1982 to May 1, 1993 when he semi-retired and
accepted a call in Pennsylvania.
Pastor Sally Roach – Pastor Sally served from February, 1994 to August 29, 1999 when
she left to accept a call in Oklahoma in order to be closer to family.
Pastor Steve Buechler – Pastor Steve started his call on June 1, 2002 after spending
the previous eleven years at a congregation in Prince George’s County, Maryland.
Pastor Sarah Scherschligt – Pastor Sarah served as the Associate Pastor at Prince of
Peace from 2007 to 2012, before accepting a call to Peace Lutheran Church in Alexandria,