Author Archive for Daniel DeBlock

LuTMA Training Event

Lutheran Transitional Ministry Association (LuTMA)
(formerly NALIP)

LuTMA Training Event

California-Nevada-Hawaii District – LCMS, Livermore, CA

Phase I – Feb. 3-7, 2020
Phase III – August 17-21, 2020

Information and registration can be found on
We have online registration for this class
You may pay via PayPal or mail a check.

Attendees will be staying at:
 Hampton Inn Livermore
2850 Constitution Drive
Livermore, CA  94551
Phone:  925-606-6400

Use code LMA when making reservations.
Website link to make reservations:

Single occupancy, Mon-Wed:  $159; Thurs-Sun: $139 + taxes & fees
Double occupancy, Mon-Wed: $169; Thurs-Sun: $149 + taxes & fees

Complimentary hot breakfast.
48-hour cancellation policy.

Reservation Cut-Off:  Thursday, January 30, 2020

Executive Director Search

Executive Director Job Description

Executive Director Application


Photos from the NALIP Conference 2019

2019 NALIP Conference Attendees Celebrate 25th Anniversary





Pete Alexander (IMC-LCMS) and Dick Mathisen (IMA-ELCA) cut the 25th Anniversary Cake at the NALIP 2019 Annual Conference.










Interim Ministry “Alphabet Soup”

Interim Ministry “Alphabet Soup”

Most training for Lutheran intentional interim pastors is provided by two organizations, the Interim Ministry Network (IMN) and the National Association of Lutheran Interim Pastors (NALIP). Both groups run training classes for interim pastors and hold an annual conference.

IMN is the larger group. It runs about 12 training courses a year, consisting of a 3-day course, “The Work of the Leader” and a 5-day course, “The Work of the Congregation”, with practical experience in-between. It is ecumenical and inter-faith, with members from Christian denominations as well as Jewish rabbis and Unitarian Universalists.

NALIP serves primarily Lutheran pastors from the ELCA and Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, although it is open to other persons. NALIP runs about 4 training classes each year, consisting of two 5-day courses with practical experience in-between. Both the LCMS and the ELCA have an association of interim pastors. IMA is the Interim Ministry Association of the ELCA. IMC is the Interim Ministry Conference of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. NALIP has been, a joint activity of IMA and IMC, with a 4-member board composed of 2 members from IMA and 2 from IMC, but is in the process of re-structuring as LuTMA (Lutheran Transitional Ministry Association).

2019 NALIP Conference Reflections

2019 NALIP Conference Reflections

By Lois Van Orden, Chair, NALIP Conference Planning Committee

The 2019 NALIP Conference was held at the Maritime Conference Center in Baltimore, Maryland June 18-20. Overall, the evaluations reflected a positive reception of the conference site and the workshop format with the NALIP educators presenting the topics. Additionally, offering two workshops at the same time and repeating the topics was a well-received venue for encouraging greater participation.

We give thanks for the educators who presented the following workshop topics: Peter Alexander: “Contracting, Covenants and Pre-entry Practices” and “The Big Transition: Discovering a Missional Mindset for a Post-Christian Church”; Beth Marie Halvorsen: “Using ‘Centered Flexibility’ in Crisis or Major Transitions”; Rev. Martin E. (Schroeder) Lee: “Organizational Learning and the Intentional Interim Pastor (Theory)” and “Cultivating Learning during the IIM Assignment” (Practicum); and Timm Griffin:   “FOC-US”

We appreciate Fred Poeppel who once again served as MC – with humor and as an efficient time-keeper, and for the chaplaincy leadership of Susan Williamson who offered humorous devotions based on the wit of Martin Luther. We express gratitude for the Rev. Dr. John Denninger, LCMS Southeastern District President who became the solo judicatory guest because of a very last-minute family emergency for ELCA Bishop of the Delaware Maryland Synod, Bill (William) Gohl.

Plans are already underway for the 2020 Conference to be held June 23-25 in a western U.S. location (Denver? San Diego? Other possibilities?). Excellent suggestions were offered by the conference participants for a keynote speaker. The Conference Planning Committee is engaged in contacts to determine availability, etc.

The Conference Planning Committee was presented with unique challenges this year with the unexpected illness of Executive Director Ken Ruppar. We greatly missed his expertise but thanks to his excellent leadership for past conferences, the committee regrouped, delegated tasks, and offered a well-received conference for the NALIP members. We thank the committee members: Lois Van Orden, Chair, Tom Schoech, Fred Poeppel, and Martin Haeger; and Acting Executive Director Sherrie Hofmann. We also a welcome new committee member Orinda Hawkins-Brinkley who volunteered to serve at the 2019 conference.

We look forward to the 2020 Conference and trust that all of you who could not attend the 2019 Conference, will save the date (June 23-25) for next year.

IMA Newsletter Fall 2019

IMA Newsletter Fall 2019

  1. NALIP Separates Officially from IMA-ELCA, Celebrates 25th Anniversary

At its 25th Annual Conference, the National Association of Lutheran Interim Pastors (NALIP) officially approved its re-structuring and separation from the Interim Ministry Association of the ELCA (IMA-ELCA) and the Interim Ministry Conference of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (IMC-LCMS). NALIP will be re-named the Lutheran Transitional Ministry Association (LuTMA). Its activities remain unchanged, the training courses for intentional interim ministers and its annual conference. For details on upcoming NALIP activities, see the NALIP website (

  1. Interim Ministry Network (IMN) Annual Conference – November 11-14 2019

The Interim Ministry Network will hold its 2019 Annual Conference November 11 to 14 in Baltimore MD at the Maritime Conference Center. For details see, the IMN website (

[If anyone is uncertain about terms such as NALIP, IMN, IMA or IMC, please see “Interim Ministry Alphabet Soup” elsewhere in this newsletter!]

  1. NALIP Restructuring to LuTMA

The NALIP Coordinating Council (NALIP’s Board of Directors) has been extended for one year, from June 2019 to June 2020 to oversee the transition to LuTMA. LuTMA will become effective at the NALIP / LuTMA Annual Conference June 21-23 2020.

  1. NALIP / LuTMA Executive Director Position

This fall there will be a search for an Executive Director to serve LuTMA. Watch for more information in future publications. Ken Ruppar, who was formerly the Executive Director of NALIP, is being treated for leukemia. Continuing prayers are requested for Ken. The Executive Director position is being temporarily filled by Sherrie Hofmann.


  1. IMA Board Actions

The IMA Board appointed two ELCA interim pastors, Lois Van Orden and Sherman Bishop, to one-year terms on the NALIP Coordinating Council (NALIP’s Board of Directors), and another pastor, Orinda Hawkins-Brinkle, to the NALIP Conference Planning Committee.

  1. NALIP Misconduct Workshop in Ohio August 12-14 2019

NALIP held a very successful “Misconduct in Congregations Workshop” in Stow OH August 12-14, with 27 attendees. It was sponsored by the ELCA, NALIP, and the Northeastern Ohio Synod. Presenters were: Barbara Keller, Therapist and ELCA Consultant for the Prevention of Misconduct; Beth Marie Halvorsen, Interim Pastor and NALIP Faculty Member; and Marcus Lohrmann, Interim Pastor and former bishop of the Northwestern Ohio Synod.

  1. Portico Contact for Intentional Interims Changes

IMA members thank Portico for providing a dedicated expert in dealing with changes for intentional interim pastors since January 2017.  Andrew Feller can be reached at 612.752.4060, or 800.352.2876 ext. 4060, fax 612.752.5060, or [email protected].

Interim Ministry Association of the ELCA (IMA-ELCA)

The Interim Ministry Association of the ELCA is a non-profit organization of ELCA Interim Ministers. We send our newsletter to our list of about 1500 ELCA ministers who have taken interim training from IMN, NALIP or other qualified organizations or who have served a synod call to interim ministry. Our website is  The members of the IMA Board are: Richard Klafehn, Chair; Robert Hansen, Treasurer; Richard Mathisen, Acting Secretary; Dan DeBlock, Newsletter Editor; Sherrie Hofmann; and Dwight Wascom.

Letter to Membership June 2019

IMA Newsletter June 2019

Interim Ministry Association of the ELCA (IMA-ELCA)

The Interim Ministry Association of the ELCA is a non-profit organization of ELCA Interim Ministers. We send our newsletter to our list of about 1500 ELCA ministers who have taken interim training from IMN, NALIP or other qualified organizations or who have served a synod call to interim ministry. Our website is

IMA Annual Meeting at NALIP Conference (June 18 2019)

In the past, the IMA Annual Meeting has been held only at the NALIP Conference. After NALIP completes some restructuring changes (see below), the location of any Annual Meetings will be flexible. This year’s meeting at the NALIP Conference will be held 4:45 pm on Wednesday, June 18, 2019.

  1. Last Call for NALIP Interim Ministry Conference 2019

The annual conference of the National Association of Lutheran Interim Pastors will be held June 18-20 at the Maritime Conference Center in Linthicum Heights MD. For information, go to

  1. NALIP Restructuring to LuTMA

The NALIP governing body has proposed a set of changes that will make NALIP a membership organization. These changes are expected to be approved at the June 2019 NALIP Conference. The impact of this transition will involve the official separation of IMA from NALIP when it is complete, because LuTMA will be a membership organization rather than being wholly-owned by IMA (ELCA interims) and IMC (LCMS interims).

  1. Effect of NALIP Restructuring on IMA Constitution

The IMA Constitution has already been modified in expectation of the NALIP Restructuring Changes. The IMA Constitution changes will take effect when the NALIP Restructuring is completed. Copies of the new IMA Constitution have been sent out.

  1. Survey of ELCA Interim Ministers

The IMA Board has requested comments from ELCA Interim Ministers about the future of IMA and the location of future IMA Annual Meetings. The possible location of future IMA Annual Meetings is at the LuTMA (previously NALIP) Conference, at the IMN Conference, or at both conferences. We encourage all ELCA interims to respond to this questionnaire. Comments may also be sent to Pastor Rick Klafehn, Chairperson, IMA Board, at Richard Klafehn <[email protected]>,

  1. IMA Board Openings

The IMA Board has openings for additional members of the Board. IMA Board Members are usually elected at IMA Annual Meetings, but there are other ways to become involved as a board member. For more information, please contact Richard Klafehn <[email protected]>,

  1. IMN Conference November 11-14 2019

The Annual Conference of the Interim Ministry Network will be held November 11-14 2019 at the Maritime Conference Center in Linthicum Heights MD. This is the first year that the IMN Conference will be held separately from the NALIP Conference. For information on the IMN Conference, go to:

  1. Possible IMA Annual Meeting at IMN Conference

The IMA Board has approved the possible occurrence of an IMA Annual Meeting at the IMN Conference November 11-14, if arrangements can be made. This would allow the election of new IMA Board members at that conference.

  1. Prayers for Ken Ruppar

We request prayers for Ken Ruppar. Ken is undergoing treatment for leukemia diagnosed in March. His home address is 14615 Houghton St., Chesterfield VA 23832. (Ken resigned as Executive Director of NALIP due to illness.)

  1. Portico Contact to Intentional Interims

IMA members are very pleased with Portico for providing a dedicated expert in dealing with intentional interim pastors since January 2017.  Andrew Feller can be reached at 612.752.4060, or 800.352.2876 ext. 4060, fax 612.752.5060, or [email protected]. The original Portico announcement is attached. (Dan, in case you don’t have it handy.

The IMA Board

Richard Klafehn, Chair

Robert Hansen, Treasurer

Richard Mathisen, Acting Secretary

Dan DeBlock, Newsletter Editor

Sherrie Hofmann

Dwight Wascom


[See Attached Questionnaire]



  1. Do you favor holding the IMA Annual Membership Meeting at
  2. The Annual LutMA / NALIP conference?
  3. The Annual IMN Conference?
  4. At both conferences?
  5. At neither conference?


  1. What are the most important issues facing ELCA Interim Ministers?

[Open-ended question allowing for write-in answers]


  1. Are you willing to consider involvement with IMA as a board member or a committee member?
  2. iMA Board
  3. Membership Committee
  4. Publicity Committee

Galindo, Israel, ed.  Leadership in Ministry: Bowen Theory in the Congregational Context.

Galindo, Israel, ed.  Leadership in Ministry: Bowen Theory in the Congregational Context.  Didache Press, 2017.  292 pages, paperback.

A review by the Rev. Richard K. Klafehn

The training for Interim Ministry provides an important introduction to the concepts of Bowen Family Systems Theory (BFST), but there is simply not enough time to digest it, let it sink in and develop, and become skilled enough to use it.  And as the adage says, practice makes perfect.

That’s why this worthwhile collection of 21 essays, written by those who have applied and used BFST in their personal lives and congregations, is so very helpful.

This volume contains 21 essays by Israel Galindo, faculty members from the Leadership in Ministry Workshops (Columbia Theological Seminary) which he directs, presenters, and participants.

It is an immersion experience into the language and thought process of BFST as practitioners have applied it and experienced it in their own lives and congregations.

It is a practical tutorial provided by capable coaches and gifted mentors, who have used it in their own leadership roles within congregations.

The benefit of reading this book can be increased comfort with the concepts of BFST, improved ease at applying them, and stronger, less anxious, more confident, and courageous leadership.  I was able to put several illustrations and quotations immediately to use.

The 21 essays appear in a variety of styles and voices.  This feature adds to the book’s readability, enjoyment, and interest, whether one reads the work straight through or pauses after each essays for some intentional and deliberate reflection.  Some essays are shorter and serve as personal reflections.  Others are more directly instructional, including one extended case study in a congregational context.  Some are more practical.  Others are more theoretical.  Some seek to relate BFST to theology and others to science.  One rather winsome essay is written by an interim pastor who is also a cattle farmer and is titled “Herding in the Bovine and the Human.”

Essay topics include, among others: leadership through a BFST lens, navigating triangles, sibling position, common misunderstandings of systems theory, self-differentiated leadership, reciprocity in the emotional field, the possibility of change, letting go of outcomes, anxiety, and empowerment.

Edwin Friedman is quoted throughout.  A four-page bibliography is included at the end.

IMA report to the Conference of Bishops

IMA-ELCA Report to Bishops 2019.2

Portico Benefits Contact

Portico-Interim-Ministry-info PDF