Story Magazine - Second Quarter, 2006
Luther Seminary conferred degrees on 136 newly prepared witnesses of Christ's gospel at the 137th Commencement, May 28, at Central Lutheran Church, Minneapolis.
But what if our identities were bound up less in what we do but in why we do what we do? Bound up less in a specific call and more in the One who calls?
The Fourth Commandment reads in part, "Honor your father and mother." Ruth Reigstad's life-- and her death--bears witness to that.
Families are the new mission field. In Africa, mission historians tell us that the most effective missionaries of the 19th and 20th centuries were the ones who could best enter the home with the good news of Jesus Christ. The same is true today.
The updated CYF extends beyond youth and family to include children and young adults. Classroom work grounds students in theology, youth culture, practical leadership and more.
Every course involves having the students share an autobiography, especially as it is framed by scripture. It's transformed the atmosphere in the room, he says. "When we tell our stories in class, it breaks down barriers between students. It's preparing them to be real people in the parish." And Hillmer includes himself in this assignment. "I tell my story, too. I want them to know I am flesh and blood; I have sinned and fallen short of God's glory."
Although she said it was "bizarre" to be on campus without her classmates, participating in the program is "very re-energizing."
Even as the ELCA pastors in Minnesota's Brainerd Lakes area--many of them Luther grads--shepherd their own congregations, they have their eyes on a larger flock. The four congregations are working together to support a new mission church to reach a growing number of unchurched residents.
Pastors in Luther Seminary's Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) program are going high-tech to bring their preaching to a higher level. And pastors from the Southwestern United States are meanwhile looking to Luther to revitalize their congregations.
Scholar and Luther Seminary systematic theology professor Gerhard Forde left a mark on the Lutheran church in his almost 40 years of teaching and writing.
Along with the many first-year students on campus this fall, Luther Seminary welcomes another new face, Pastor John Martin Mann, who has accepted the call as seminary pastor.
In 1987, Brunsberg started Lost and Found, a ministry in Moorhead, Minn., which provides counseling for those involved in addiction and offers assistance to family members as they get loved ones into treatment.
What does it take to keep younger men interested and active in the church?