Students at commencement

Ministry in Context

Learning Goals and Project Proposals

Most interns should be at work now on their Learning Goals and Project Proposal. These are forms due to be submitted by the end of the second month of internship. Supervisors and Lay Committee should be expecting to talk with the intern about the forms.

Learning Goals are “broad summary statements which are inclusive, far-reaching, and visionary.” These goals (ideally 3-5) are then joined to objectives which “are "mini-goals" which focus upon specific aspects of the overall goal.”

Internship reflections

by Julie Wright

Shortly after I arrived at my internship, my grandfather died unexpectedly. In the midst of beginning a new and exciting internship experience, I witnessed the death of such a dear man – someone who had loved and nurtured me my whole life. As he took his final breath, I held his hand, stroked his hair, marked the cross of Christ upon his brow, and spoke his name. Five days later, as we laid him to rest, I had the great honor of preaching at his funeral and co-officiating at

Fall cluster meetings

Northern Minnesota: Tues., Oct. 4, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Trinity Lutheran Church, Brainerd, Minn. (Rick Foss)

Washington State: Tues., Oct. 4-5, Rainbow Lodge, North Bend, Wash. (Julie Josund)

North Dakota: Thurs., Oct. 6, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Calvary Lutheran Church, Grand Forks, N. D. (Rick Foss)

Twin Cities East: Tues., Oct. 11, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Como Park  Lutheran Church, St. Paul, Minn. (Steve McKinley)

Oregon/Vancouver, Wash.: Oct. 11-12, Menucha Retreat Center, Corbett, Ore. (Julie Josund)

Twin Cities West:

Photo Album

Former Deployed Internship Associate Sherwood Glover (right) and his wife Jeanne paid a recent visit to the Contextual Learning office during a driving tour around the country. They are pictured with CL Director Rick Foss.


Brad Doty, Chase Smith, Courtney Young and Beth Krolak talk about their internship experiences during the senior de-briefing and launch event in early September.


Scott Simmons, Michelle deBeauchamp, and Mary Sue Dreier share a laugh during the de-briefing

The excitement of an intern/vicar

It’s the point in the year at which many internships are starting up. This is thrilling for the intern, the supervisor, and the congregation. That excitement is reflected in a letter we received recently from Pastor Phil Gardner at Trinity Lutheran Church in Sandusky, Ohio.

"I am pleased to report that Sharon Brown is on board and getting much more than just her feet wet. Her first official responsibility among us was on Sunday when she participated in the annual blessing of book bags as

Lay Committee: Welcoming the new intern

It's time to welcome a new intern in your congregation, and you're looking at the guidelines for the Lay Committee's work. There are a lot of things you can be doing to help your new intern (possibly with a family) feel at home and prepare for the coming year.

Take a look online at our Lay Committee Guide. You will find suggestions for welcoming your intern, as well as ideas for working with your intern from month to month, enabling you to help the intern be successful during the upcoming year.

Saying Goodbye

At the closing cluster meetings each year, we discuss saying goodbye. This is the advice given to interns at that time. Supervisors hear all of this, but lay committees might find this advice helpful.

1. Talk openly about leaving and your feelings about it.

2. Accept invitations out, even if they were not offered before.

3. Pay outstanding debts in the community.

4. Have a farewell celebration -- accept gifts graciously.

5. Take time to say individual good-byes to special people, one-on-one, before the

Photo Album

Last Cluster of the year - Washington/Idaho group overlooking Puget Sound.
Ryan Cosgrove, Pr. Jeff Russell, Pr. Julie Josund, LS; Rick Foss, LS; Justin
Mootz, Pr. Paul Paumbo, Bishop Chris Boerger, Barb Gwynn, Jeanette Clark,
Ethan Hulme (behind Jeanette), Pr. Kathy Hawks, Katie Emery, John Simonson.


Global mission in a local congregation

by Michelle de Beauchamp

Our Savior's Lutheran Church is a 900 member church located in Owatonna, Minnesota, which has a population of about 25,000 people. The members of the congregation vary in occupations from farmers, factory workers, teachers, nurses, small business owners to construction workers. It is a congregation that is slowly growing (especially with younger families), and this year the building is being expanded because there is not enough education space for the kids.

When I arrived

For the lay committee: Consider an exit interview

Most internships are now in their final few months.  Final evaluations will be completed during the summer.  Committees will sit down with the intern to talk about how the internship has gone, what they have particularly appreciated about the intern, and areas for future growth.   It is an important conversation at a significant intersection in the path toward ordained ministry.

It well might be a time to make the conversation two-way: not just about the committee’s insights