A newsletter for friends of the Global Mission Institute, Luther Seminary

Global Vision - Fall 2012

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Graduate preaching fellowship 2012: Connecting faith and creation

by Erin Schmidtke, M.Div. Junior

Peter Speiser and his wife, Anna Rudberg Speiser

For Master of Divinity graduate Peter Speiser, '07 and '12, the Lord's Prayer has deep connections to creation and care of the earth. That relationship is the inspiration for his travels around the world as the recipient of this year's Graduate Preaching Fellowship.

Speiser will visit Japan, South Africa and Armenia to learn from flourishing rural faith communities. His wife, Anna Rudberg Speiser, will join him on the journey. She also attended Luther Seminary for her Lutheran year while earning her M.Div. degree at Harvard Divinity School.

Throughout the next year, the two will volunteer at rural ministry training programs. They also hope to work with organizations like Heifer International, which provides livestock to families in countries facing hunger and poverty, and Habitat for Humanity, an organization that builds houses for those in need.

They are currently visiting the Asian Rural Institute in Japan, a Christian-based training center for sustainable agriculture and community development for leaders from developing countries.

During this time abroad, Speiser hopes to explore how faith intersects with agriculture, natural resources and care for the earth. He became interested in rural ministry and care of creation through his internship at Prairie Star Ministries and Shalom Hill Farm in southwestern Minnesota.

"I think many Christians are beginning to incorporate an environmental element into their understanding of discipleship and I hope to gain a deeper awareness of these issues on a global scale," he said.

While he travels from Sept. 20, 2012 through Aug. 31, 2013 Speiser will update his blog, "From the Ground Up," with information and insight about his experience.

Speiser looks forward to experiencing the world through a theological lens. As he writes on his blog, "In short, I want to be able to preach with greater conviction and clarity about who God is as our creator and sustainer."

About the Graduate Preaching Fellowship

The Graduate Preaching Fellowship offers a unique opportunity for a student to spend a year in another culture for reflection and skill strengthening in the art of preaching in preparation for parish ministry in the United States. The primary intent of the award is to afford the student freedom for the study of preaching and time for other experiences related to preaching and worship. It is supported annually by a generous gift from an anonymous donor.

The insights and experiences gained by association with other cultures are meant to broaden one's understanding of preaching in the whole of Christ's church and will contribute significantly to one's preaching in a congregational setting.

Read about the 2011 Graduate Preaching Fellowship