First Week is a time to welcome the new incoming junior class and get them ready for their journey and time at Luther Seminary. As these new students get familiar with campus and talk about their own vocational calls, they also experience ministry in the Twin Cities during a day of context. During their time off campus, new students experience what it means to have an active ministry in this world; to open their minds to what they see their own ministry transforming into during their time at Luther.
Dan Nelson visited Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. They have five services, and more than 1,600 people worship there every weekend. A native of Texas, Nelson had never been exposed to such a large Lutheran church before. Dan commented, "Even with a larger congregation, the church had a very welcoming and home-y feeling to it."
During the day in context, Nelson found out that Bethlehem plays a very active role in its community. Along with onsite services, youth programs, Bible studies and service projects, the congregation has also helped start new churches in the area--including Spirit Garage and Jacob's Well. Bethlehem has a very visual presence in its neighborhood, holding events like a blessing of the pets and a bread blessing to share with surrounding homes.
From his experiences at Bethlehem, Nelson was opened to a new form of ministry where leadership is not about being pastor, but being part of a team that serves the Lord in a larger context. Nelson states "I want to be able to keep an open mind to the variety of ways one can serve God here and abroad." Hoping that as he learns and experiences what God's ministry is all about, he will be able to keep an open mind to the variety of ways his ministry can serve the community and the Lord.
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