Ministry in Context

Preparing the Pastors We Need: Part Three

This is the last in a series of posts drawing from a little book by George Mason titled Preparing the Pastors We Need: Reclaiming the Congregation’s Role in Training Clergy (Alban, 2012). The book could be described as practical guidance for congregations and clergy interested in supporting excellent "in context" learning for clergy in training. This applies to many contexts, not just the particular sort of pastoral residency Mason has led at Wilshire Baptist, the church he leads in Dallas. 

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Director's Word

As we turn to summer, and all the changes the turn of the seasons offer, this beautiful reflection by poet Mary Oliver encourages us to linger, to pay attention, and to wonder what God would have us do with our one wild and precious life!

The Summer Day
by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean -
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth

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Preparing the Pastors We Need II: Forming a Team

In May’s issue of Ministry of Context I began a series of articles drawing from a little book by George Mason titled Preparing the Pastors We Need: Reclaiming the Congregation’s Role in Training Clergy (Alban, 2012). Pr. Mason has led Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas since 1989. For the past 12 years, Wilshire has hosted a pastoral residency program focused on mentoring young pastors in their first years after graduation from seminary.

In the last post I discussed the crucial feature

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Director's Word

One of my top priorities as I get started as Director of Contextual Learning is listening to and learning from the congregations and pastors we partner with in this enterprise. Just last week, I had the opportunity to visit three very different congregations.

On Monday I was hosted by Pr. Kristine Carlson at Christ Church Lutheran in Minneapolis where Will Starkweather serves as Vicar (a common term for intern pastors in former Missouri Synod churches). A gracious host, Pr. Carlson told me about

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Preparing the Pastors We Need: Part One

I’ve found a little book by George Mason titled "Preparing the Pastors We Need: Reclaiming the Congregation’s Role in Training Clergy" (Alban, 2012). Pr. Mason has led Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas since 1989. For the past 12 years Wilshire has hosted a pastoral residency program focused on mentoring young pastors in their first years after graduation from seminary. While the program is a distinctive one, mostly intended to help deepen pastoral formation for traditions without

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Introducing Chris Scharen, the new Director of Contextual Learning

I'd like to introduce myself as the new Director of Contextual Learning. Ironically, God must have had me in mind for this call—my office is already in the Contextual Learning suite in the 3rd floor tower of Northwestern Hall. I've been there since 2008 when I began at Luther as Assistant Professor of Worship. I'll continue to teach worship part-time, but will shift the bulk of my time to the Contextual Learning enterprise. I'm excited to join a superb and dedicated staff hard at work in the

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