|What kind of Christian Public Leader student would be right for you:||We are looking for energetic, imaginative, curious leaders who are energized by chaos, intrigued by ambiguity, and willing to step outside the box to see how God is at work in the world and how we are gifted and called to be the church. |
At the same time, we are looking for theologically astute students who are willing to discern how the realities of our particular context cohere with and inform our understandings of church practice, ritual, tradition and theology.
This is a wonderful opportunity for any student who feels called to imagine and discern the future of 'church' in a non-traditional context.
|How many students have you worked with in the past:||0|
|How many rising students or seminarians do you work with currently:||0|
|For this coming semester, what is the maximum number of students with whom you could work:||3|
|What is the optimal length of learning for students working with you:||1 semester|2 semesters|4 semesters|
|Why would this length of time be best:||We are a new faith community doing something no other new start in the world is doing (o.k., maybe not the entire world, but at least in the ELCA and possibly even mainline U.S. Christianity)... and we seem to be breaking new ground and breaking old rules every step of the way. |
What we have learned so far is that collaboration is key... and that we all have gifts to bring, whether one is involved daily or monthly, short term or long term, on site or remote. What is more important than length of time is a commitment to faithful collaboration during the time you are committed
|Site keywords:||church planting, faith in daily life, faith in public square, vocational, missional, imaginative, collaborative, Spirit-led, Lutheran 3.0|
|What is your congregation or nonprofit organization all about:||We are a new Synodically Authorized Worshipping Community of the ELCA located 10 minutes south of Luther Seminary, near the Raymond Street Light Rail Station on University Avenue. |
In some ways, we are a very non-traditional ministry: a Monday - Friday collaborative community centered around faith in everyday life and faith in the public square, a strong emphasis on vocation (particularly, but not exclusively, in the economic realm), a commitment to relationship as a central act of our ministry (think, Andy Root's "the Relational Pastor"), and a devotion to creativity, imagination and wonder as central activities of missional discernment.
Part of the mission of the collaborative community is to generate profits from coworking, business and professional consulting, and other professional services.
Coworking/consulting profits, resources and facilities will be used to support the start of a new word and sacrament worshipping community... solidly grounded in Lutheran theology and practice but not necessarily in form (music, vestments, liturgical order, etc...).
|Please tell us a bit about your site:||Lydia's Place grew out of a group of pastors, seminary students and seminary professors trying to envision what God was doing in the area around University Avenue and Raymond Street, as Green Line Light Rail construction was transforming the area from an old warehouse district which had become primarily the domain of artists studios and non-profit offices. As the Light Rail neared completion, warehouses began to be converted to housing, drawing a mix of creative, artistic and forward-thinking individuals (largely millennial). |
These new residents were more likely to be spiritual but not religious... and not likely to go searching for the nearest Lutheran (or other) church. What mattered most were authentic relationships, the common good, and the ability to make a different in the world.
The folks moving in are also more likely to be self-employed, self-directed, self-starters for whom a coworking space could be beneficial not only in terms of work resources, but also as a place to find community and build relationships.
As you can see, context matters in the formation of Lydia's Place. So do relationships and collaboration. And we feel that we all learn when we bring those things into conversation and interaction with Lutheran understanding.
|Please tell us what a student can learn at your site:||Our students will learn:|
How the Spirit works in context, through collaboration and relationship, for the common good of all.
How Lutheran Theology anticipates and informs the church in this new and exciting context.
The value of pisteuo (a trusting belief) in the formation of Christian community.
Our students will be able to explore:
Lutheran vocation - how God gifts us and calls us to use those gifts for the sake of the neighbor;
Faith in daily life (particularly in the mon-fri economic realm);
Faith in the public square;
How the Spirit works powerfully through collaborative relationships;
How the Spirit might be gifting and calling them through this community towards God's preferred future;
And, how their own dreams and ideas might be realized and supported through this collaborative community.
We have challenges, yes... mostly in terms of economics... but the Holy Spirit keeps opening up possibilities for us in the future... and we are hopeful and trust that Lydia's Place will continue to grow.
Finally, we take collaboration seriously, and look also to learn from our students and to invite them into full collaborative partnership in this community.
|Current position:||Pastor/Mission Developer|
|Please tell us a little bit about yourself as a Christian public leader:||I am a second career pastor, with an Mdiv from Luther Seminary in 2012. Before seminary, I spent 20+ years as a writer and creative director in advertising and graphic design. I hold an MA from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and a BA in English from Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas.|
Much of my life has been about imagining strategically creative and honest ways to communicate a message. Now, as a pastor, I am working to communicate the Good News of God in Christ Jesus through the Holy Spirit (I like the Trinity, by the way) to a world that is tuning out the traditional church.
I was drawn to Luther by the missional church conversation, and drawn more deeply into development and redevelopment through the excellent faculty and missionally-focused programs and opportunities, and by contact and recognition from the Fund for Leaders and the office of Congregational and Synodical Mission at the ELCA.
While on internship, I began to explore opportunities for new mission starts in the Twin Cities, and was drawn into conversation with a group looking specifically in South Saint Anthony Park, along the new light rail line.
The rest is history... it's a long story, but I'd love to treat you to a cup of coffee to finish it out...
|Please tell us a little bit about yourself as a mentor of students:||The church doesn't have a mission, God's Mission has a church. That's one of my favorite ways to describe the focus of my work as a Christian Public Leader. As such, I proclaim that the Holy Spirit is actively at work bringing about the Kingdom of God... sometimes even in our churches. And my call, as a Christian Public Leader, is to realize that the church doesn't exist behind our own walls, but is found wherever and whenever two or more are gathered in Christ's name. |
In order to do that, I must be trusting and open, vulnerable yet firm in my convictions. I must listen and be heard, I must love God and neighbor as myself, and I must step forward into places I've never been before. I do not hide my faith, but celebrate it as God's loving gift. And, I try my best to be authentic and welcoming.
I want to walk alongside those students who join us, not just a mentor but more as a partner, not just a teacher but also a fellow learner, not just a supervisor but also a collaborator for the sake of God's kingdom.