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.
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
During Minnesota Foodshare month in March, Augustana Lutheran Church in West St. Paul joined in friendly competition with St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, also in West St. Paul, to see which congregation could raise the most food.
Just to spice things up a little more, Augustana Intern Ingrid Arneson Rasmussen suggested a competition between the pastors of Augustana to see which one of them could get the most food donated in their name. So it was Team Mark (for Pastor Mark Aune) against Team
While walking through the neighborhood the other day I was discussing the injustice of the world with our dogs Abby and Hobbes. Specifically, I was pointing out to them that
magazine recently published an issue identifying “The 100 Most Influential People in the World” and had the nerve to leave me off the list.
“Appalling. Simply appalling,” commented Hobbes. This young gentleman has only been a part of our household for a few weeks and is still working on ingratiating
Washington Cluster: Tues., May 15, 2012, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at First Lutheran of Richmond Beach, Shoreline, Wash. (Julie Josund)
Oregon and Southwest, WA interns and supervisors playing up the stereotype of Oregon weather at Spring Cluster Retreat. Front row: Laura Stephenson, PLTS; Youngshim Mason, Wartburg; Pr. Dorthy Nielson; Pr. Chris Kramer, Pr. Jon Strasman; Pr. Chris Nolte; Pr. Tom Dodd. Back row: Rebecca Ajer, LSTC; Ray McKechnie, Wartburg, Elizabeth Damico, LS; Stacey Siebrasse, PLTS; Pr. Mike O’Berg
Interns Amanda Schultz and Felix Malpica visit with Pastor Roy Satre at the Southeastern Minnesota
My first Easter sermon was long. It was very earnest. I was trying to explain the inexplicable and somehow make everybody (especially occasional attenders) realize how miraculous the whole Resurrection event and promise was.
It was an admirable effort, I guess. I don't think it was very helpful. I needed to relax a bit. It was important, of course, to prepare for such a sermon and to be as clear and insightful as possible. But the burden of explanation didn't lie with me. Easter is a story that
By Ben Hilding
Internship is a year to “try on the shoes” of being a pastor within a specific congregation. At the halfway point of my internship at Edmonds Lutheran Church in the Pacific Northwest, I have to admit that perhaps one of my greatest learning experiences has not happened within my internship site at all. Approximately three weeks before internship began, my grandmother informed my wife and me that we were not, in fact, the first people from our family history to spend time
In my “family of origin” we used one particular phrase to describe those people who went to church on Christmas and Easter every year. “C & E Christians?” “Christmas and Easter Christians?” No.
We called them “Religious Fanatics.” It was hard for us to imagine why anybody would go to church that often. Most years--most--we made it for one holiday or the other. That was plenty.
My parents did not dislike the pastors of the church we technically
Systems Theory class
Julie Josund is leading a class on Family Systems theory this internship year. Participants shown are (from left): Malcolm Brown, Matt Maas, Julie Josund, Alicia Hilding, Ben Hilding.
All kidding aside, the annual internship placement meeting of the Contextual Learning staff does not involve a magic Sorting Hat, or the throwing of darts on a map. The staff is sequestered for three days to carefully consider the needs of students and sites, and to optimize the placements