Pastoral Call Team – 2/12 Update: Announcing Pastor Tara Beth Leach

Senior Pastor Call Team

Dear Good Shepherd, 

Since forming in April of last year, both call teams have been hard at work. By design, the Senior Pastor Call Team began their process first. In the past ten months they have vetted many candidates, including every candidate lifted up by the congregation, those coming in by direct application, and others from the Synod. We want to thank you all for your prayers and support throughout this process!

Several of these candidates also went through a formal interview process, which was guided by the five “essential” ministry gifts and five “very important” ministry gifts as identified by our Church-Wide Ministry Survey conducted about a year ago. One particular candidate stood out in a profound way and demonstrated exceptional gifts across all ten parameters. The call team and the candidate both felt a strong guidance from the Holy Spirit in this process, and by unanimous agreement, the Call Team has made a recommendation.

We are excited to share that the Senior Pastor Call Team has discerned Pastor Tara Beth Leach. It feels like coming home for Pastor Tara Beth, since she spent five years at Good Shepherd (from 2008 – 2013), serving in Student Ministry and being part of the preaching team. Many of you have heard and enjoyed her sermons over the years, most recently last December here at Good Shepherd. Several lifted her up, and after much prayer and discernment, the Holy Spirit led Pastor Tara Beth back to Good Shepherd. 

Pastor Tara Beth’s credentials are currently with the Church of the Nazarene. Since Good Shepherd is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), she has agreed to go through the process to become an ELCA rostered leader.

Pastor Tara Beth’s application to the ELCA will briefly delay the official Senior Pastor call confirmation, but it does not prohibit us from moving forward with hiring Pastor Tara Beth on staff as Senior Minister and leader. Her Candidacy process will start within the next 90 days. Bishop Curry of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod is supportive of this process. 

Completing the Candidacy process can take a variable amount of time and is dependent on the candidate’s credentials, and we will keep you apprised of her progress. Once Pastor Tara Beth completes Candidacy with the Metropolitan Chicago Synod, in accordance with our constitution, Good Shepherd Council will call a congregational vote to affirm her call as Senior Pastor. 

Council, and the Senior Pastor Call Team, want to engage with the congregation to be part of this exciting time to get to know Pastor Tara Beth. Thursday, Feb 23 at 7pm and Friday Feb 24 at 10am: greet, meet, or get reacquainted with Pastor Tara Beth Leach. All from our congregation are invited to attend one or both sessions.

Although not required by our constitution until Pastor Tara Beth becomes rostered, Council would like to hear from you, answer questions, and conduct a congregational vote of affirmation for moving forward with hiring Pastor Tara Beth as our Senior Minister. This is tentatively scheduled for Sunday March 5, 2023 at 12:00.

We are so excited for our entire congregation as we extend this leadership role to Pastor Tara Beth. We are joy-filled as we step into the future that God has planned for all of us as we “Invite everyone to walk together in the calling of Christ for a life of eternal impact.” 

For more information on Pastor Tara Beth, please see the attached bio. 


The Senior Pastor Call Team and Council

More Information

We post Updates regarding our Pastoral Call Process every two weeks. For easy navigation, we have condensed all information into one webpage for our community to access.

Visit Pastoral Call Process to learn more about the call for our next Senior and Associate Pastor, view our Ministry Site Profile, and read previous Updates.

Visit Meet Our Call Teams to learn more about the leaders serving on our Call Teams.

All Updates