Ministry in Context

Behind in Their Reading

I’ve talked to quite a few pastors recently, and I am concerned about them. I don’t think they’re keeping up with their internet reading.

These pastors tell me that they consider themselves blessed to be serving where they are. Their congregations are supportive, encouraging and understanding. While there is a steady throb of disagreement within those congregations, the pastors understand that as a sign of health, people wrestling with hard issues together. These pastors say that

A Reflection on Trust

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without

Internship Updates: Orientation, Interviews, Preference Forms, Cluster Meetings

Internship Orientation for students is running smoothly. Future Interns, if you are not attending the sessions on Thursday afternoons, please make sure to check your email for the recordings and handouts. Pastors, your trainings will occur in May.

Internship Interviews are now complete, with the exception of interviews that were rescheduled to after inclement weather. Future Interns, if you need to reschedule and have not reached out to your interviewees, please attend to this immediately. Pastors,

Teaching Congregations Updates: Spring 2014

Teaching Congregations in Spring 2014 is already underway! Students, if you do not need a new placement and have already submitted your Learning Agreement for 2013 - 2014, no further action is required. You may begin your contextual work.

If you do not need a new placement but did not submit your Learning Agreement last semester, please submit that as soon as possible; they were due March 1.

If you need a new placement, please begin by reviewing the Site List. If no site works for you, your chosen

Cross-Cultural Education Updates: Upcoming Lectures, Cross-Cultural Opportunities

"Becoming Buddhist When Jesus Isn’t Enough: A Third Wave Womanist Negotiation of Race, Gender and Religion": The 2014 Mahle Lecture at the Wesley Center for Spirituality, Service, and Social Justice at Hamline University features the absolutely fantastic Black womanist process theologian Dr. Monica Coleman. Dr. Coleman will be giving a lecture entitled: "Becoming Buddhist When Jesus Isn’t Enough: A Third Wave Womanist Negotiation of Race, Gender and Religion"

This lecture examines the transformative

Director's Word

In January's column, I wrote about how the story of Jesus’ incarnation shared in the Christmas Eve service reminded me to lift my eyes from focus on the church to notice God’s love for the world.

God so loved the world -- John's Gospel tells us -- that God became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth (1:14).

I am committed to trying to lift up ways God is at work loving the world, and to notice where our staff, students, and partner congregations are getting involved in what

Welcoming Tim Coltvet to Contextual Learning, Highlighting Connections

If you were to read my most recent bio, it would likely say that I am the Coordinator of Contextual Learning and Coaching for the Children, Youth, and Family Ministry Master's degree, that I am a pastor, that I love my call to walk alongside seminary students as they are called to learning, and that I have served in two vibrant ELCA parishes in the Twin Cities to shape Children, Youth, and Family Ministries. This has, indeed, been my calling at Luther for the past five years!

As we begin the Spring

Sharing Voices: A Guest Post by Lisa Janke on Cross-Cultural Education in Cameroon

Lisa Janke is an MDiv middler and a member of the Manitoba Northwestern Ontario Synod of the ELCIC (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada). In this piece, she discusses working on sexual and domestic violence prevention in Ngaoundéré, Cameroon, learning how to "boldly declare" her theological convictions, and using cross-cultural education to destabilize privilege and highlight justice.

In 2012, I was sent to Ngaoundéré Cameroon, at the request of our partner synod, the

You May Refer To Me As...

When asked about my ethnic background, I usually say “Scotch Irish” and leave it at that. In fact I do carry Swedish on my mother’s side, but we were never into that when I was growing up, and I liked Scotch Irish better. I’ve had lutefisk once in my life, which was once too often. But haggis? Bring it on!

I visited Scotland for the first time last September, and it immediately felt like home, like this was where I belonged. Knowing that, for Christmas my eldest daughter gave

A Meditation on Thirst and Love

For this month's Ministry in Context, I'd like to share a short meditation from Catholic poet, Mary Karr.

Disgraceland

Before my first communion at 40, I hung
to doubt as Satan spider-like stalked
the orb of dark surrounding Eden
for a wormhole into paradise.

God had first formed me in the womb
small as a bite of burger.
Once my lungs were done
He sailed a soul like a lit arrow

to inflame me. Maybe that piercing
made me howl at birth,
or the masked creatures
whose scalpel cut a lightning bolt to free me