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Students at commencement

Ministry in Context

Pray and Break Bread: Navigating Ethical Responsibility and Pastoral Care When War is Part of the Story

On Friday, a small but dedicated group of Luther Seminary students and staff left campus for our second Pray and Break Bread event this semester. Spending time with Minnesota Veterans Affairs, Veterans for Peace, and Lutheran Social Services' Refugee Services, our learning revolved around the Christian ethical responsibility of peace-building as well as the urgency of competent pastoral care for veterans, refugees, and those for whom war, torture, and trauma is part of the story.

A huge thanks to our amazing volunteer hosts and seminary sponsors for making this day of learning possible! Chaplains in the Veterans Affairs medical system shared stories of deep compassion and complexity in spiritual care for veterans of many generations and experiences. Members of Veterans for Peace engaged us with personal stories of finding healing through art and protest, and posed powerful theological and ethical questions about war. Lutheran Social Services' Refugee Services shared their important work in refugee resettlement, and ways that local community members and churches can support refugees arriving in Minnesota. Finally, we shared a delicious meal at AfroDeli, a restaurant founded by local African immigrants and refugees. We left with hearts unsettled and full of new questions and energy for pastoral care and Christian public leadership. Thank you to all who hosted us for such important and timely learning!

Couldn't make it? Circle your calendar for Friday December 4, "Spanish-Language Ministry and Immigration Justice!" You can also come with us for our five interfaith and religious literacy outings in Spring 2016!

A big thank you to Bethlehem Lutheran Church, the Learning Pastoral Imagination Project, the Luther Seminary Student Council, and the Martin Luther Jr. Chair for Justice and Christian Community at Luther Seminary, who have financially supported this project. Contact Katherine Parent ( for more information.

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