Ministry in Context

Truth and Promise, Victory Over Death: Remembering Becky Whitlock

Many of you know that Becky Whitlock, our sister in Christ, was serving her internship in Rural Retreat, VA when she died unexpectedly on the 11th of September.  The news came as a shock to everyone. She was a beloved wife, mother, friend, and colleague; a woman of faith who, while serving in her home congregation of Holy Trinity in Kingsport, TN, was finally able to respond to God's call to ordained ministry by joining the community of Luther Seminary as a student in the Distributed Learning

Developing Practical Wisdom: A Reflection on Systems Theory

In the third semester of our Christian Public Leader course for Master of Arts students in the professional degree pathway, we focus on Developing Practical Wisdom while serving in context. Our guide this semester has been the book, Leading Change in the Congregation: Spiritual and Organizational Tools for Leaders by Gilbert Rendle (Alban Institute, 1998).

In our most recent preceptorial for this class, we considered a story coming out of the chapter on general systems theory. It caused us to think

Excellent Mistakes: A Reflection on Doing and Learning

Just for the sake of giving him a name, I’ll call him Nebuchad-nezzar. Nebuchad-nezzar did his internship last year, and came away with excellent and hard-earned evaluations. I was talking with Nebuchadnezzar, and told him that his successor, Jeroboam, had now begun his service, and good reviews were coming back.

Nebuchadnezzar pondered a minute, then posed a semi-rhetorical question: I wonder if Jeroboam forgot the Kyrie the first time he led worship.

Nebuchadnezzar, you see, did forget the

Internship: Cluster Meetings

Twice per year in the fall and spring, all Internship supervisors and pastoral interns around the country are hosted by the nearest ELCA seminary for something called the "cluster meeting." At the cluster meeting, supervisors and pastoral interns enjoy a chance to meet, talk, ask questions, provide feedback, and learn from other partners in the Internship experience. These are valuable sessions and they contribute greatly to the Internship in both semesters. (They are also a fun way to get to know

Internship: Insurance

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.

CPL: Learning Agreement

Christian Public Leader placements are off and running smoothly! As a friendly reminder: Once students have been placed with a Christian Public Leader site, the student and the mentor must complete a Learning Agreement worksheet. The purpose of the Learning Agreement is to outline clear goals and expectations for the placement, including vocational and skills development as well as the practical aspects of the mentorship. This semester, these were due September 29.

Learning Agreements may be downloaded

New CPE Units: Recovery Church, HAUMC Dignity Center

Are you a Methodist student? Are you interested in CPE? Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches' Community Justice Ministries is offering two special CPE programs for United Methodist students: the Recovery Church and the HAUMC Dignity Center, both in the Twin Cities. Spring timings available. Please contact GMCC's CPE Director, Rev. Dr. Susan Allers Hatlie, for details: sallershatlie@gmcc.org

Also, are you planning for, beginning, or finishing CPE? Please don't forget to notify Contextual Learning.

New Cross-Cultural Opportunities: Pray and Break Bread, SPIN, Norway, Berlin, Krakow, Oswiecim

There are many new cross-cultural opportunities coming up this year! Upcoming options include the October Pray and Break Bread trip, Saint Paul Interfaith Network's Fall Dialogue Series, and the FASPE Fellowship's June intensive in Berlin, Krakow, and Auschwitz. Read on for more details.

Pray and Break Bread's "Twin Cities Abrahamic Traditions"

Registration is filling up for our Friday October 24 Pray and Break Bread trip, "Twin Cities Abrahamic Traditions." On this trip, we'll be visiting with

New Volunteer and Job Opportunities: City Camp, Project for Pride in Living

We are excited to share some new volunteer and leadership opportunities: a Summer Chaplain/Community Leader for City Camp in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Pre-K Volunteer for PPL Scholars in St. Paul, Minnesota. Please read on for more details.

City Camp, Philadelphia PA

In Summer 2015, the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania will hire around 30 summer team members, many of whom live together in community in Philadelphia. These team members travel to parishes throughout the Diocese to lead day camp

New Resource for LGBTQIA Candidates: Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries' "Unofficial Guide" for First Call Candidates

Please click here to download a new resource from Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries, designed for LGBTQIA First Call candidates: Mysteries of the Ages: ELM’s Unofficial Guide for LGBTQ First Call Candidates.

This peer-to-peer resource, put together by LGBTQ first call pastors and members of ELM’s Candidacy Accompaniment Team, is intended to demystify parts of the candidacy and call process from Approval through First Call.  The resource is geared toward LGBTQ candidates specifically,