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Students at commencement

Ministry in Context

Sharing Voices: Students, Stories, and Projects in 2013 - 2014

This year, we have been sharing the voices of our students by spotlighting transformative stories and projects. We've specifically lifted out those students whose contextual work has become deeply engaged with the world God loves! As we wrap up the academic year and move into the summer, we'd like to offer a round-up of these students' valuable learning and contributions. Enjoy!

Tom Westcott
Pub Theology Project at St. Mark's Lutheran Church

Chris writes: "Tom knew he had an intern project to plan, and wanted it to emerge organically out of listening to the hopes and fears of the people he is called to serve. [...] Tom went out to talk to community members, from as diverse locations as the police station and local bars. From all this listening and study, he determined a clear need was an opening up, a continual reformation of the church. He heard a desire for a place ordinary people could risk talking about their faith, questions they have, and convictions they’ve come to. Around the same time, he ran across a book by Brian Berghoef called Pub Theology. The match between need and project was struck." Read the full article here.

Matt Fleming
#iam_ Project at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd

Matt writes: "The #iam_ Project began with a team of staff and lay members of the congregation that met weekly to plan for Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd’s change to the Narrative Lectionary. With a talented group of artists, teachers, marketers, and a couple lousy pastors around the table, we came up with an idea. We would invite the congregation to give us forty days, to explore the story of this man who says, “I am,” defying empire and culture. And then we would invite our own congregation to say, “I am,” in the face of all of the forces that claim our allegiance, that define us, that try to brand us with their identity." Read the full article here.

Emmy Kegler
Welcoming a Gay Intern at Light of the World

Chris writes: "Two intertwining aspects of Emmy’s internship caught my attention: She is an intern at a new mission congregation in the suburbs, and she’s openly gay. While common wisdom might assume urban congregations would be more open to welcoming an openly gay seminarian, “the times,” as Bob Dylan sang, “they are a-changin’.” The particular DNA of Light of the World helps make sense of why they were open to welcoming and helping to form Emmy in her pastoral journey even before becoming Reconciling in Christ (which is an official process of congregational welcome to GLBTQ persons)." Read the full article here.

Dilame Atebo
Refugee and Citizenship Mentoring at Lutheran Social Services

Tim writes: "With a Bachelor of Arts in Educational Psychology from Addis Ababa University in Ethopia, first-year Children Youth and Family MA student Dilame Atebo has come to Luther seminary with noble goals. Her work in Ethiopia has ranged from volunteering as a gender specialist through the United Nations Development Program, to the African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse as a project officer. Dilame’s passion for the dignity and rights of the most vulnerable in society fuels her faith and study and will continue to be a significant factor as she engages in context through her studies at Luther Seminary." Read the full article here.

Liz Cheney
The Bridge Ministry in the Iron Range

Liz writes: "With any great "vision" or project, when God is involved we may not end up in the same place we thought we might when we started and that has certainly been the case for my project.  The Iron Range is a hard place to “break” into and that has been the case with college students.  I think if I had another year our church would be hopping with college students! What I have discovered through this process is that God works in spite of our goals and visions and is always up to things even when we don't realize it or see it right away.  The Bridge Ministry has served people that I never set out for it to and it has been a really wonderful "space" in the church!" Read the full article here.

Yu Yi (Jennie)
Chinese Ministries at The University of Minnesota

Tim writes: "Jennie comes to Luther Seminary via her home of Shanghai, China. As a corporate executive, Jennie has had a fruitful career prior to coming to Luther. Yet, her role of leading a house church in Shanghai with her husband led her discernment down the path of theological education and Christian public leadership training at Luther Seminary. With an interest in doing thesis work around young adult faith formation, Jennie has discovered the Mandarin Scholars’ Fellowship at the nearby University of Minnesota Saint Paul campus. In cooperation with the Hospitality Chinese Center, Jennie is merging her experiences with “house church” back home with the dozens of Mandarin scholars who happen to be studying in our neighborhood." Read the full article here.

Lisa Janke
Violence Prevention Work in Ngaoundéré, Cameroon

Lisa writes: "I learned from my experiences in Cameroon that Cross Cultural Education doesn’t simply give insight into another culture, it gives insight into our own. It draws attention to things that we take for granted and may never have had the need to acknowledge or explain. It helps us see what we’re doing well, and what we need to learn. It draws us into living more fully in the world God made. It may be some of the most difficult yet most rewarding work you will ever engage in." Read the full article here.

Rufus Kudee
Welcoming a Cross-Cultural Intern at Como Park Lutheran

Rufus writes: "People often ask me how am I surviving in a different cultural context. I usually tell them that wherever God sends you, He prepares the people, place, and yourself for that area. I believe that God has prepared the people at CPLC and I see them as God’s people. The people at CPLC treat me as their intern pastor. I have lived in different countries under different contexts. It is important for me to understand that with joy and excitement of starting out fresh as an intern in a new context, that every new context requires building a new relationship and trust." Read the full article here.

Dan Nelson
Dealing with Conflict in Internship

Dan writes: "Perhaps you are now finding yourself in a relationship that is tense. Whether you are an intern or a supervisor, there are very real challenges when the visions of two people called to preach the Gospel of Christ do not match up. What do we do with the dissonance and hurt that comes with a shattering of expectations of a year in ministry together?" Read the full article here.


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