Ministry in Context

For interns returning to campus

The Contextual Learning staff will be welcoming you back from internship on Wednesday, Sept. 5, the second day of classes. The day’s chapel service will call attention to the fact that you and your intern colleagues have returned from internship to begin the "final launch phase" of your seminary training.

In the afternoon, we’ll host a reception in the NW Atrium at 1:30 p.m. Following that, we’ll move to NW 100 Auditorium for a plenary session and small group discussion from 2-5

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Don't forget those signatures!

Many of you are coming down to the wire on your internships. We trust that you are working to submit your final evaluations. Remember that, while all of the reports and evaluations can be done online, we need to have hard copies of the last pages of the evaluations with the proper signatures on them! Your internship is not complete until we have those signatures!


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For the 10,000th time

One warm July night Mrs. McKinley and I treated ourselves to a Neil Diamond concert at the local hockey-and-concert arena. We’ve seen Neil in action before and were quite eager to go again.

While there were some younger people there, most of the crowd was our generation, more twilight-side-of-the-hill than morning-side-of-the-mountain. But then Neil himself is 71. Nonetheless, the man radiates energy and performed for two solid hours without an intermission. Of course many of the songs were

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Don't neglect those weekly meetings with your supervisor

Weekly meetings with your supervisor are important for your formation. Don't let them slack toward the end of internship.

Supervisory session a la Puget Sound. Intern Ben Hilding with Pastor Julie Josund, Edmonds Lutheran Church.

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Summer pondering

Summer is a great time to reflect. I have fond memories of childhood summers. School was out, and I had friends around. There was programmed activity, I’m sure, but what I remember are lazy times playing with friends. There were fields to play in, tiny creatures to discover, weather patterns to watch—a time when I cultivated a curiosity about life. We had way more questions than our parents or older kids could answer, and it was wonderful.

Summertime isn’t quite so lazy anymore.

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Saying good-bye

Every year at the Spring Cluster Meetings we have a discussion about saying good-bye to the internship congregation. 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

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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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