Ministry in Context

Queen of the Canned Goods

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

On being influential

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 Time 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

One more Spring Cluster

Washington Cluster: Tues., May 15, 2012, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at First Lutheran of Richmond Beach, Shoreline, Wash. (Julie Josund)

Photo Album

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

Relaxing in the Easter pulpit

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 tells

Meeting Gustav Adolph Anderson

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

The view from the other side

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

Photo Album

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.

The Sorting

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

Spring Cluster Meetings

While these gatherings are still a few months away, it is a good idea to get them on your calendar now!

Oregon/Vancouver Cluster: Apr. 10-11 at Menucha Retreat Center, Corbett, Ore. (Julie Josund)

Southeastern Minnesota: Thurs., Apr. 12, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Our Savior's, Rochester, Minn. (Steve McKinley)

Minnesota Concurrent Interns: Tues., Apr. 17, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Luther Seminary (Steve McKinley)

Twin Cities West: Thurs., Apr. 19, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Prairie Lutheran, Eden Prairie, Minn. (Steve McKinley)

Living Lent

Lent. We are in the season of Lent, a time of reflection and preparation in the church year. But you know that.

Lent was a paradoxical time for me as a pastor, and it may be that for you. It was a time intended for reflection, but I was busier than usual with additional worship services and other pastoral work. It was hard to find the time for self-reflection or any other kind of reflection. (In my first two years as a pastor, I thought Lent would be a wonderful time to add extra Bible studies and