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Students at commencement

Ministry in Context

Welcome, Dave!

My name is David Scherer and I am the new Christian Public Leader Coordinator here at Luther. I graduated last spring from Luther with an M.A. in Congregational Mission and Leadership. I have an amazing wife named Carolyn and two beautiful kids: Matthew (4) and Thomas (2). I come from six generations of Lutheran pastors - don’t hold it against me. My upbringing was far from the usual former pastor’s kid.

I was raised by a “New Age” mom, said a Sanskrit chant at the dinner table every night, cut my teeth on Christian community with fundamentalists, was slain in the Spirit by Pentecostals, sang hymns with the Lutherans, and have practiced contemplative prayer with the Catholics. In some ways you could say that I am the poster child for post-modern spirituality. Oh, and did I mention that I’m a bilingual liturgical rapper in my other day job? In other words, I am the Lutheran equivalent of a unicorn.

While I am a European-American who finds himself pretty firmly planted in the Lutheran tradition, I have always been in the translation business throughout my life. As the only white student in my urban school’s math class I learned how to find a common language with those who appear different than me. As I bounced from an Ashram to a Lutheran Church in my adolescence I learned how to listen for God’s living voice in many different settings. This is part of why I am so excited to work with each one of you as you discern God’s viva vox evangeli in your own life.

As Christian Public Leaders in the twenty-first century, I believe that we are called to translate the word of love that God has spoken in a way that makes it come alive for people’s current reality. The 1996 Nairobi statement on Worship and Culture states, “The incarnation is our mandate for the contextualization of the Gospel.”1 You will be dealing with more and more people who are experiencing the hybridity and rapid development of our current culture.  How will we translate the Kerygma in a way that meets people where they actually are, rather than where they were fifty years ago? I am not entirely sure.  But I am excited to learn alongside you as we bumble along together toward “God’s preferred and promised future."2

Grace and Peace,

Dave

1. Plantinga, Cornelius Discerning the Spirit (Eerdmans: Grand Rapids, 2003) p. 81
2. Kiefert, Pat. We Are Here Now (Allelon: Eagle, ID, 2006) p. 65

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