Students at commencement

Ministry in Context

"Luminous Beings are We": Star Wars, Yoda, and Wisdom for Internship

Star Wars is a part of my story, beginning in a galaxy far, far away when I was in high school, and has continued into later chapters of my life as I got married and had kids. Today I have the good fortune of living with family members who embrace Star Wars, and as such have learned enough to potentially answer through the $400 round if I was on Jeopardy. Yoda’s words, “Much to learn, you still have,” would apply to my depth of knowledge, but I do see the value in this epic tale,

Black Lives Matter: Reflections for Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

“There was a time when the church was very powerful--in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society.”-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Letter from a Birmingham Jail)[1]

Days after the Jamar Clark shooting, my heart was aching as my city was boiling over with racial

Good News from Pastoral Interns

For a fun surprise in this month's Ministry in Context, we wanted to share some good news from some of our current Luther Seminary pastoral interns. Please enjoy these small stories of joy, and please keep all of our internship teams in your hearts.

On December 16, 2015, pastoral intern Jon Rundquist and his wife, Tiffany, welcomed baby Bridget Irene (10lb 4oz and 21.75 in long). Jon is serving at Zion Lutheran Church of Amor, Battle Lake, MN.

On December 30, 2015, pastoral intern Joel Nye and his

Director's Word: Engaging God’s People for Mission and Ministry

Last month I highlighted the importance of vision casting for any given community. If that were ministry in a nutshell, we would focus on vision casting alone, get the word out there, and hope that everything falls into place, right? Well, actually, not so fast! Vision for mission and ministry in the Christian church is uniquely and necessarily caught up in the incarnation, "God with us." God chose to touch the ground through the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. We too, are called to engage

Toolbox Update: What is "Shiplap"?

Are you familiar with the names Chip and Joanna? If you recognize the names, then you know all about “shiplap”. Thanks to the current “DIY-Do It Yourself” movement in our culture, HGTV’s Fixer-Upper hosts, Chip and Joanna Gaines, have introduced us to shiplap, a rough sawn pine paneling found in historic homes. Shiplap is a favorite construction element for Chip and Joanna as they travel the process of imagining new possibilities for an existing home in an established

Toward a "Most Respectful Interpretation"

My friend Jill was trying to find the perfect restaurant for her pregnant sister who was allergic to smoke. They searched meticulously to ensure that wherever they chose would have no traces of smoke.  Finally they found a cozy little bistro with clean air and good people -- or so they thought! Ten minutes into their meal, they both glanced over to see a haggard and despondent woman seated at another table.  As she stared at them intensely, she pulled out her long Virginia Slim cigarettes

Internship Program Updates (2015 - 2016)

As we head into the Thanksgiving season, here are a few internship program updates for you during this 2015 - 2016 year.

We love talking with our internship teams! If you are a current intern or supervisor and have not yet participated in or scheduled your one-on-one phone check-in with your internship point person, please see us at contextuallearning@luthersem.edu or 651-641-3266 to schedule that time.

Meanwhile, please note that internship site applications for internships beginning Fall 2016

2016 Summer Ethics Fellowship for Seminary and Divinity School Students

Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics (FASPE) is now accepting applications for its 2016 program. FASPE Seminary uses the conduct of the clergy during the Holocaust and in Nazi Germany as a launching point for an intensive course of study on the contemporary ethical challenges facing religious leaders. FASPE is predicated upon the power of place. Fellows visit Auschwitz and other sites in Germany and Poland where they consider how to apply the lessons of history to the ethical

Pray and Break Bread: Navigating Ethical Responsibility and Pastoral Care When War is Part of the Story

On Friday, a small but dedicated group of Luther Seminary students and staff left campus for our second Pray and Break Bread event this semester. Spending time with Minnesota Veterans Affairs, Veterans for Peace, and Lutheran Social Services' Refugee Services, our learning revolved around the Christian ethical responsibility of peace-building as well as the urgency of competent pastoral care for veterans, refugees, and those for whom war, torture, and trauma is part of the story.

A huge thanks to our

Director's Word: Clarity of Vision

For those of you on internship, do you remember this image from our internship orientation? In the orientation session, we talked about two distinct arcs of learning over the span of one’s internship. One of the arcs had to do with the flow of internship: entering a community, establishing rhythms of reflective practice, growing in leadership/bearing fruit, and lastly, ending well. The other arc had to do with some integrative practices that every leader must exhibit when leading Christian communities: