Ministry in Context

Director's Word

As we turn to summer, and all the changes the turn of the seasons offer, this beautiful reflection by poet Mary Oliver encourages us to linger, to pay attention, and to wonder what God would have us do with our one wild and precious life!

The Summer Day
by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean -
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth

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Preparing the Pastors We Need II: Forming a Team

In May’s issue of Ministry of Context I began a series of articles drawing from a little book by George Mason titled Preparing the Pastors We Need: Reclaiming the Congregation’s Role in Training Clergy (Alban, 2012). Pr. Mason has led Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas since 1989. For the past 12 years, Wilshire has hosted a pastoral residency program focused on mentoring young pastors in their first years after graduation from seminary.

In the last post I discussed the crucial feature

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Learnings from the Road

I was more-or-less out of touch for a couple weeks in May. Pat and I were on a “Turbo Tour” of Europe, touching the soil of eleven different countries in the company of other Americans, Australians, and New Zealanders. Most of the Americans were contemporaries of ours, meaning folks who can remember when Dwight David Eisenhower was president and your television picture, if you were fortunate enough to have one of those new-fangled devices, came in two colors: black and white.

Pat and

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The Craft of Ministry

By Ingrid Arneson Rasmussen

I just got off the phone with my dad. He is on a vacationing in Grand Marais, MN. Each summer he gets in the car, drives the eight hours north, and plants himself on the shores of Lake Superior for several days. It’s his solo pilgrimage—one he takes with thousands of other Minnesotans. He didn’t describe the stops he made along the way; he didn’t need to. A donut at Tobies , gas in Duluth, smoked fish in Two Harbors, a soda in Silver Bay, and another

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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

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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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Director's Word

One of my top priorities as I get started as Director of Contextual Learning is listening to and learning from the congregations and pastors we partner with in this enterprise. Just last week, I had the opportunity to visit three very different congregations.

On Monday I was hosted by Pr. Kristine Carlson at Christ Church Lutheran in Minneapolis where Will Starkweather serves as Vicar (a common term for intern pastors in former Missouri Synod churches). A gracious host, Pr. Carlson told me about

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Life is Good

One of the businesses temporarily displaced from its Boylston Street headquarters by the Boston Marathon bombings was the “Life Is Good” company, well known for its line of optimistic apparel and other sundry items bearing the “Life Is Good” logo. When they were able to return ten days later, a reporter on the spot questioned the company president about the irony of the situation.  “We don’t say ‘Life Is Easy,'” the president replied. “We

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Preparing the Pastors We Need: Part One

I’ve found a little book by George Mason titled "Preparing the Pastors We Need: Reclaiming the Congregation’s Role in Training Clergy"   (Alban, 2012). Pr. Mason has led Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas since 1989. For the past 12 years Wilshire has hosted a pastoral residency program focused on mentoring young pastors in their first years after graduation from seminary. While the program is a distinctive one, mostly intended to help deepen pastoral formation for traditions without

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Registration for 2013-14

In response to a number of questions received from cluster meetings, we report this from the Registrar’s Office:

 The course schedules for the 2013-2014 academic year will be made available in early May 2013. Once spring semester grades have been received, reclassification of all students will occur (in June). Registration by class status for Fall Semester 2013 will begin July 9, 2013. 

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