Story Magazine

Second Quarter, 2005

Recent Grad Is One of Growing Number of New ELCA Missionaries

Brian Konkol, '05 spoke at the 2005 Global Mission Institute member dinner in April.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) recently reported that at least 135 new mission personnel with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) are being deployed through August 2005, the highest number of new missionaries in recent years.

"The number of people interested in mission service is overwhelming," said Sonya Lindquist, associate director for international personnel, ELCA Division for Global Mission.

One of the newest to accept their first calls to serve abroad is recent Luther Seminary graduate Brian Konkol. Konkol served his internship in South America, at Ebenezer Lutheran Parish, a three-point parish, in New Amsterdam, Guyana, from August of 2003 to July 2004.

"Realizing how connected we all are...to people all over the world" greatly impressed Konkol while in Guyana, he said.

It's important to remember "that when going to these different countries our role isn't really giver and teacher, but receiving and learning from them," Konkol said. Halfway through his internship Konkol said he knew global mission work was something he wanted to continue doing.

In August Konkol will return to Guyana to serve his first call as pastor at Emmanuel Parish, a four-point parish, in Skeldon. He is also serving as the director of a Lutheran camp and retreat center that hosts mission trips from the U.S. Konkol said he is looking forward to talking with young people about ordained ministry and sharing with them that God empowers all people and that they have the ability to use their gifts to serve God.

Currently there are 281 ELCA missionaries serving throughout the world.

(Information provided by ELCA News Service.)