Supply Pastors

The following describes how pastors may arrange for and compensate Sunday morning supply preachers in the event they are not able to be present for worship.


How do pastors or congregations obtain a supply pastor?

Any pastor regularly serving a congregation, including a stated supply pastor or an interim pastor who is the stated supply, should contact the synod office when seeking a supply preacher.

  • Synod office staff will provide you with the names and phone numbers of supply preachers with known availability for that Sunday, beginning first with available clergy and next with available authorized lay worship leaders.
  • To keep costs lower (for mileage reimbursement), staff will try to suggest supplies who live within easy driving distance of the congregation(s).
  • Pastors will then make arrangements themselves with one of the supply names given.
  • It is helpful to alert the synod office when a supply is contacted, so that the person’s name may be removed from the availability list.
  • If an arranged supply is an authorized lay worship leader who will preside at the Eucharist, the pastor should contact the synod office to request the Bishop’s authorization for the ALWL’s presidency on this occasion.

Congregations without a regularly called or stated supply pastor will have their worship leaders arranged by the Supply Coordinator on behalf of the synod.

What are the costs for a Supply?

Supply preachers should be reimbursed for mileage both to and from their home to the congregation, and between congregations (if they lead at more than one in a parish). Mileage is reimbursed at the current IRS rate. The synod supply rate is $125 for one service, $150 for two services, and $165 for three or more services (Synod Assembly action in June 2015.)  In a multiple-point parish, the grand total is equally shared among the congregations.

What information should a Supply Preacher be provided?

It is helpful to develop a letter for supply preachers, providing them with such details as directions to the church, Sunday morning schedule, a worship service outline (including hymns), notes on the sound system, practices around children’s sermons (if used), practices around the Eucharist, announcements, prayers, whom to contact in case of an emergency or bad weather, and the church musician’s name.

What should a pastor or congregation do if a supply is needed in an emergency?

In case of emergencies requiring Sunday morning absence-a last-minute illness, for example-please contact the Bishop to arrange for coverage.