Ministry in Context

Wonderful, but messy

By and large, life is a wonderful gift. A bit messy, but good. By and large, ministry is wonderful. Very messy, but very good. We are in the season of Advent, with all the deep delights that accompany our trip back to the manger in Bethlehem. As you wonder and wander with the shepherds, may you find joy and peace in the days ahead.

But on occasion the messiness of life takes a darker turn. We encounter horrific pain or downright evil. In recent weeks we have seen glimpses of that dark reality as

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For the Lay Committee: Thinking about the holidays

Here we are in Advent, that hectic and joyous time. We celebrate Christmas as families gather for gala celebrations, festive meals and traditional activities. That is great.

But for some interns, this could be a hard time. Some interns might not be going home for Christmas for the first time. They will be missing out on things they have always done and the people they have always enjoyed these holidays with. If the intern has a family, the intern’s spouse will be going through the same kind

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The Morning Report

If you have seen “The Lion King” (and we hope you have!) you might remember that delightful little song called “The Morning Report,” in which Zazu, the red-billed hornbill who serves as eyes and ears for King Mufasa, comes before the king to give an account of what has happened in Mufasa’s kingdom in the last 24 hours.

    Chimps are going ape, giraffes remain above it all
    Elephants remember, though just what I can't recall
   

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Brave spelling

On the refrigerator door at our son’s house there is a family picture drawn by our grandson Luke, who is in kindergarten. There is Mommy and Daddy, his little sister Eliza, Luke himself, and their Jack Russell terrier, identified in the drawing as “Loosee.”

Picky persons might want to point out that her name is really spelled “Lucy,” but Luke’s version comes from the concept of “Brave Spelling” being taught to the kindergarteners in Mrs. Meinhardt’s

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Photo album

Washington/Alaska cluster
North Bend, Wash.  Oct. 2011

Back row: Pr. Jim Johnson, Kari Lipke, Pr. John Bjorge, Pr. Jon Nelson, Anders Peterson, Ben Hilding.
Middle row: Pr. Carol Jensen, Mandy Brobst-Renaud, Pr. Paul Palumbo, Pr. Scott Fuller.
Front row: Alicia Hilding, Gina Herman, Julie McCain, Annette Andrews-Lux, Julie Josund, Joe Skogmo.
(Taking the photo: Pr. Paul Hoffman.)

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Figuring out a new place

My wife, Nancy, and I are in China as I write this. We were on a tour of the China highlights with a group and are now visiting with my sister and brother-in-law, who have lived in China for the past five years. Along the way we visited with a friend who has taught for a few years at a university in Shanghai. All in all, we are having a delightful experience. We are constantly trying to figure out local patterns, customs, histories, purposes and appropriate behaviors. It's not simple, but it's interesting

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For the Lay Committee: Know the Roles

The Internship Committee should be meeting regularly by now. You may be wondering what role you play in the internship besides meeting once a month. The text below comes from the online Committee Handbook :

What roles do committee members play?

  1. Supporter
    You provide counsel and encouragement for the intern and his/her spouse. You provide support and honest feedback—something that everyone needs.
  2. Sponsor
    You are able to acquaint the intern with the members of the congregation and

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Documents Due

As October becomes November, certain documents pertaining to internship are either due for completion or soon will be.

Learning Goals are due by the end of the second month of internship which, for most interns, means the end of October. Learning Goals are broad summary statements which are inclusive, far-reaching, and visionary. These goals (ideally 3-5) are then fleshed out with objectives, which focus upon specific aspects of the overall goal. Those objectives should be:      

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God's peculiar people

More intelligent people than yours truly might pick out a little Heidegger for leisure reading, but I go for things like the thrillers penned by John Sandford . I’ve read them all.

One of the pleasures of Sandford is that he is Minnesota-centric, with most of the crimes he deals with taking place in the Twin Cities or “Greater Minnesota.” In one of his books some of the action took place about a block from where I really live.

Of course another of the pleasures is in thinking along

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Photo Album

Oregon/Vancouver Cluster

Row 1: Pr. Mike O’Berg, Ray McKechnie-Wartburg, Pr. Tom Dodd, Pr. Chris Kramer, Elizabeth Damico-Luther, Stacey Siebrasse-PLTS
Row 2: Youghshim Mason-Wartburg, Rebecca Ajer-LSTC, Matthew Anderson-LSTC, Pr. Chris Nolte
Back row: Laura Stephenson-PLTS, Pr. Dorthy Nielsen, Pr. Jon Strasman, Pr. Jim Stender

 

Southwestern MN and South Dakota Cluster

Interns Jason Darty (Southern Seminary), Bailey Landa, Anthony Christoffels, Stephanie Christoffels, and Lisa Konzen

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