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The Ministry Site Profile has been activated!  The Call Committee met on October 12, with Pastor Mitch Phillips, Assistant to the Bishop.  We reviewed the next steps and process to prepare for and interview candidates.  Pastor Mitch and the Bishop reviewed our Profile and have reached out to a few possible candidates.


Continue to keep us in your prayers as the Call Committee moves to this next important phase of interviewing.

We are anxious to share the vision for our church and to let the Holy Spirit work as we Call a new pastor.

Thank you for your support.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact any of us.

Your Faithful Servants,

Jill Heck, Chair
Christy Gabler, Vice-Chair
Jennifer Knaggs, Devotional Leader and Prayer Warrior
Kate Ilg, Historian and Scribe
Troy Gerspacher, Liaison to Executive Council
Todd Costello, Liaison to Congregation
Aaron Riesing and John Burke, Technology.



Greetings from the St. Matthew Call Committee. We continue to work diligently on the process of calling
our next pastor. We are completing our Mission Site Profile or MSP. After it is completed and approved
by our Executive Council and our Synod Bishop, it will be placed on the ELCA website listing for open
pastor positions.

A brief summary of the content of the MSP includes the following:
● Demographic information and description about our Congregation and Medina Community.
● Explain trends or changes in our congregation
● Description of our church’s mission and current programs for ministry
● Providing our Church’s organizational structure, Strategic Plan and financial statement and
● List our top 3 assets and how they are being used to accomplish our top 3 mission priorities
● Description of our current participation in the Synod and in our local community


We have incorporated our transition team’s survey results from last year to fill out characteristics of our
congregational leadership style, theological perspective, along with what characteristics and experience
we want in a new pastor.

We are compiling a list of references from inside and outside our church as well as a member of the
ELCA rostered clergy.

As we discuss and determine these details, we will be reaching out to many of you in the congregation
for your thoughts and opinions to help supplement this information.

Yours in Christ,
Todd Costello
2021 Call Committee - Liaison to the congregation




Dear friends in Christ,

Greetings from the Call Committee!  We know that you have been hearing our committee mentioned in the prayers that you may keep us in your thoughts and pray for our efforts in this process to call a new pastor to the ministry of St. Matthew.  We are following a 9-step process as outlined by the ELCA on the Call Process.  Happy to report that we have checked off the first 3 steps!  As a team, we are working through step 4, which is one of the more involved and timely processes.  Let’s reintroduce you to the Call Committee and the roles that we have taken within the group:

Jill Heck - Chairperson

Christy Gabler - Vice Chairperson

Kate Ilg - Historian / Ice breakers

Troy Gerspacher - Liaison to Executive Council

Todd Costello - Liaison to the congregation

Jen Knaggs - Prayer Warrior / Devotions

Aaron Reising - Technology

John Burke - Technology

We thought we might share with you part of the language we are using to guide and perform this duty of “calling” a new pastor to St. Matthew.  

What is a Call?

The Call Process is NOT a pageant in which contestants present themselves to their best advantage so they will be the winners.  The Lutheran Call Process is unique because it is an effort to discern what God wants for the local church and for the whole Church in order that the Gospel may be proclaimed and the sacraments administered in accordance with the Gospel.  The Call Committee, the Council, and eventually the entire congregation participate fully in the process.  In the Call Process the Bishop, the Congregation, and prospective pastor work together with the guidance of the Holy Spirit to bring about a new partnership that is faithful to the Gospel, empowers the local church in its ministry, and strengthens the whole Church as people of God.

The Call Committee, with input from the congregation, and approval by the council, puts together a ministry site profile [MSP] which states the congregation’s reason for being, its mission, and the needed leadership skills and gifts of a pastor to work with them toward that mission.

At this point, we have had introductory and kickoff meetings with Pastor Bill and with the assistant to the Bishop, Pastor Karl Bierman.  We have also gathered multiple documents for review and discernment.  They include the Pastoral Search Survey from 2020, the Transition Task Force Summary, and additional support documents from the NEO Synod office on NEO church demographics, the call process, and the MSP.

Our goal is to be as transparent as we are able without jeopardizing the level of confidentiality we have been entrusted with.  We hope to bring you good news as we reach milestones in this process and continue to ask for your prayers, patience, and support.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at or 330-391-1309.

Yours in Christ,

Todd Costello

2021 Call Committee - Liaison to the congregation


4-2-21 UPDATE
The Call Committee has met two times - once with Pastors Bierman and Diehm to review the call process, the second to share a devotional, get to know one another better, and address preliminary topics.  The Call Committee will meet again soon.

The Committee requests prayers from the congregation, the Executive Council, Five Star Ministries, and other church leaders.