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Students at commencement

Ministry in Context

Director's Word

This month I have a specific invitation to interns who will be returning to campus at Luther Seminary. Over the past few years we've developed a pattern of welcoming returning interns by listening to your stories (and inviting you to listen to each other's stories) about internship. This year we'll do this on Wednesday, September 4, from 1:30-5:00 p.m.

As we said in an email to you earlier this summer, we know the return to campus can be rough. We know you've grown in your leadership, and have lived into the role of pastor through the experiences you've had on internship. We want to offer you a start on a time of reflection on your leadership, a practice both conducive to your growth and learning now as well as a fruitful practice to continue in the years ahead. We'll certainly not exhaust all the great stories you have to share during this one afternoon. However, we want to get at the really powerful, meaningful stories we call "wow" and "oops" stories.

We've divided the afternoon into two sessions, inviting sharing of "oops" stories first, and then after a break, sharing "wow" stories. We'll let you define exactly what these two terms mean, but our thought is either would provoke examples of significant events, rather than run of the mill experiences. If you feel you have a remarkable "oops" or "wow" story you'd be open to sharing during the two plenary sessions, please email contextual learning to let us know. Give a brief synopsis so we can invite diverse stories for each plenary session. As the schedule below shows, we'll have plenary time to hear a few distinctive stories, priming the story-telling pump and then break up into staff or faculty led small listening groups of 3-4 people to tell more stories.

Here's the schedule. We'll begin with an informal meet and greet with light refreshments in the Northwestern Atrium at 1:30.

The event will begin at 2:00 in NW 100 following roughly this outline:

2:00 Welcome from Chris Scharen, Director of Contextual Learning (NW 100)

2:15 Plenary stories: "Oops" experiences

2:30 Listening groups hearing each other's "oops" stories from internship

3:15 Break

3:30 Plenary stories: "Wow" experiences

3:45 Listening groups hearing each other's "wow" stories from internship

5:00 Wrap up and sending

6:00 optional dinner groups

As you can see, we are planning optional dinner groups of 6-8. Students can sign up for these to continue the story-telling. If you would like to join in one of these, we'll have sign-ups available that day so you can join in.

Thanks for making an effort to be present for this day. Faculty and staff will be on hand to listen to your stories, and you'll be able to reconnect with classmates who are also returning from internships all around the country. To reiterate: it is not enough time to tell all that must be told, reflected upon, and learned from, but we hope it is a solid start. We hope it sets the stage for much more informal conversation and sharing in the weeks following.

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