Ministry in Context

When is internship over?

You in the back row…when is internship over?

When you give your last sermon in the internship congregation.

Wrong. Over by the windows, what do you think?

When the congregation has its farewell party.

Sorry. You in the front, sticking your hand up and jumping up and down.

When you move back to campus.

Wrong. Anybody else want to try?

I didn’t think so. Here is the correct answer:

Internship is over when all of your evaluation forms have been returned to the Contextual Leadership

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Muppets in Ministry

Journalist Dahlia Lithwick, who usually has better things to do with her time (like covering the Supreme Court for the electronic magazine Slate,) recently wandered a bit away from her home territory (or maybe she didn’t) with an article in Slate proposing that every living being is either a Chaos Muppet or an Order Muppet. Quoting from Lithwick:

Chaos Muppets are out-of-control, emotional, volatile. They tend toward the blue and fuzzy. They make their way through life in a swirling maelstrom

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The glories of sticking around

May 20, 2012. 3:00 p.m. Central Lutheran Church. Luther Seminary Commencement. 175 glowing graduates. Certificates and degrees awarded. Robes and regalia in abundance. Glorious singing. Wonderful speakers. Well-planned. Good weather. Family and friends filled the huge sanctuary with a celebratory buzz and discreet camera work. All in all, a great day.

As I reflected on this graduation gala, it was a lot like the previous three commencements I have been part of since coming to Luther in the summer

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A Top Ten list for interns

By Amanda Highben

Amanda Highben recently completed her internship at University Lutheran Church in East Lansing, Michigan, with Pastor Fred Fritz as her supervisor. She graciously shared these observations.

When my husband Zeb and I still lived in Minnesota, I was often able to stay up late enough to catch the Top Ten List on the Late Show with David Letterman because it started at 10:30. But once we moved to Michigan I usually missed the Top Ten, as the Late Show doesn’t start until 11:30

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New Arrivals

The month of May saw two new arrivals within the internship network.

Nicolas Christoffels was born on May 5 to interns Stephanie and Anthony Christoffels. Nicolas was 7 pounds, 5 ounces at birth, 19 ½ inches long.  Stephanie is interning at Christ Lutheran in Hartford, S.D, and Anthony at the Colton (S.D.) parish.

Annalies Messner was born to Sally and Josh Messner on May 10, weighing 8 pounds, 15 ounces and measuring 19 inches. Sally is Teaching Congregations Coordinator in the Contextual

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Welcome, Jo!

If you contact the Contextual Learning office during the early summer months, you may hear a different voice answering the phone or see a different name showing up in your email inbox than you are expecting. Jo Quanbeck is filling in during Sally Messner’s maternity leave.

Jo is not new to Luther Seminary—she earned a M.Div. degree here in 2005 and worked for the Center for Biblical Preaching in 2006-2007, assisting with the early development of workingpreacher.org. She claims the Twin

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Time to step up

I began service in my first call on July 1, 1967. I was an assistant pastor. The senior pastor took ten days to break me in and then left for a two-week European vacation.

It was a large, downtown church in a major Eastern city. It was the summer of 1967, a summer that was riddled with urban rioting. Our city was no exception. When the senior pastor had been gone for two days, rioting broke out and reached into the neighborhood around the church. Our block was put under a dusk to dawn curfew. Armed

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Photo Album

On May 8-9, about 25 new internship supervisors gathered at Luther Seminary for an orientation to their role as they prepare to mentor students through internship in the coming year.

Pastors Marda Messick (St. Stephen’s, Tallahassee, Fla.), Heather Culuris (Kenyon Area Internship Committee, Minn.) and Marta Poling-Goldenne (New Song, Anthem, Nev.) enjoy a smile at the New Supervisors Orientation.

Pastors Howie Skulstad (Bethany, Minneapolis, Minn.) and Bob Lindstrand (Advent, Anoka, Minn.)

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Dealing with God's plan

I was in a conversation with one of the ELCA synod bishops recently, and he began to reflect on various ministry situations in the synod he serves. He acknowledged that these past few years have been difficult for many individuals and congregations, both politically/relationally and financially. We talked about how it was sometimes hard to see very far into the future with clarity and how often the paths we design or imagine turn out different from what we hoped to design or wanted to imagine.

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Walk slowly and never look busy

By Steve Arnold

When I look busy I communicate that I don’t have time for a person. When I look busy I put up walls and barriers rather than communicate a sense of welcome. I recently saw a sign that said, “People who are always in a hurry work out of a sense of oppression rather than a sense of call.” This is a strong statement, and as I ponder the statement I believe it to be true.

I have been in diaconal ministry for 42 years, and for 25 of those years I was tasked with preparing

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