Ministry in Context

Director's Word

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work (I Corinthians 12: 4-6).

Bruce joined our family nearly two years ago. He was given to the Humane Society by a family that had experienced job loss and couldn’t feed and care for two dogs any longer. So, while his litter mate stayed with the family, Bruce’s

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Questions About Internship and Insurance? Click Here!

This past year has produced many changes in the health insurance industry which have affected Contextual Learning’s requirements and expectations for this component of congregational support in 2014-2015. The launch of the Affordable Care Act means that most students who are not covered through an employer’s policy now have the option to purchase individual coverage through a state-sponsored insurance marketplace, as an alternative to the policy currently offered through Luther Seminary.

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A Meditation on Fear and Trust from the Iona Community

Lord Christ,
Help us to have the courage and humility to name our burdens
And lay them down,
So that we are light to walk across the water
To where you beckon us.

Our pride
Armoring us,
Hardening us,
Making us defend our dignity by belittling others.
We name it
And we lay it down.

The memory of hurts and insults
Driving us to lash out,
To strike back.
We name it
And we lay it down.

Our fear,
of unsolved questions,
of the unknown,
of fear itself,
We name it
And we lay it down.

We do not need these burdens,
But we have

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A Reflection on Trust

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without

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"I Love to Tell the Story": A Reflection on Telling Stories

I’d sung it many times in my young life. When we sang I Love to Tell the Story at my grandfather’s funeral, it stayed in my head and in my heart; I didn’t understand or even appreciate it then. I do now. I’m aware of how important stories are to the Christian community and to me. Our lives are woven together and it’s the stories we tell about ourselves, about our community, and about our lives of faith which make up the warp and weft of our shared life.

In that vein,

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Blessing for a New Position

May your new work excite your heart,
Kindle in your mind creativity
To journey beyond the old limits
Of all that has become wearisome.

May this work challenge you toward
New frontiers that will emerge
As you begin to approach them,
Calling forth from you the full force
And depth of your undiscovered gifts.

May the work fit the rhythms of your soul,
Enabling you to draw from the invisible
New ideas and a vision that will inspire.

Remember to be kind
To those who work for you,
Endeavor to remain aware
Of the

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The grace of community

In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, the Apostle is writing to a community for whom he has real affection. You’re familiar enough with Paul to realize that this love doesn’t preclude the occasional reprimand or extended harangue. Paul is not afraid to list what he calls the "works of the flesh."

It’s a pretty gnarly list—actions and attitudes, appetites and deeds that are destructive to community and to people—drunkenness and deceit, anger and anxiety. The chaos

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Our Turning World

My heart shall sing of the day you bring.
Let the fires of your justice burn.
Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near,
And the world is about to turn.

Even as the sidewalks are still frozen here in St. Paul, and the ground is way too stiff and snowpiled to even think about planting and harvest, we are in a season of flux. This should come as no surprise to people in our line of work. We know the rhythms of liturgical years as well as program years. Like the slow rotation of the earth, even now

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New supervisor training

Now that internship placements for 2011-12 have been made, the Contextual Learning staff will welcome new supervisors to Luther's campus May 10-11. During the event we will learn both about the art and mechanics of supervising an intern.

We will begin with chapel on Tuesday, as Rick Foss and former Contextual Learning interim director, Gary Wilkerson, will lead worship and a rite of sending for interns and others going out into new ministries.

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