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Now to God who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to God be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

[Ephesians 3:20-21, NRSV]

I suspect that one of the overlooked gifts of the resurrection of Jesus is a new and unbound imagination.

We are told that after Jesus’ death on that fateful Friday long ago his most energetic followers simply returned to their lives before Jesus. It was as if the horizon of their vision shrunk back to what they had known before, the way things used to be.

ELCA seminaries look to identify, nurture and sustain new leaders 

CHICAGO (Feb. 22, 2018) – In partnership with Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton’s Leadership Initiative, the seven seminaries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) will  launch a combined effort to encourage new candidates for ministry in the ELCA.

The program, “Do you want to change the world?,” is being promoted through a series of videos, the first of which will be released Feb. 22. The video addresses the current leadership shortage of the ELCA and the effort to seek more candidates for ministry.

Decreased seminary enrollment combined with a record number of ELCA rostered ministers who are retiring, has resulted in not enough ministers to fill the open calls or to provide creative leadership in this time of rapid change in our church and in the world. The ELCA seminaries have addressed this need by working independently and in collaboration to increase the number  of candidates. According to the Rev. Dr. Jonathan Strandjord, director of ELCA seminaries, this has resulted in a modest increase in fall starts for Master of Divinity candidates in 2017.

Building on these efforts to invite and encourage future leaders, this program will help seminaries identify new candidates and provide resources that promote the vocation of public ministry, while providing marketing pieces for the good of the whole church.

The program is made possible by a grant from the Richard Hay Barkalow Charitable Seminary Fund of the inFaith Community Foundation.

On Saturday, February 10th, sixty young people from across Indiana and Kentucky, accompanied by adult youth ministry leaders, pastors, and deacons, gathered at Pilgrim Lutheran Church, Carmel, IN, for the third annual Bishop’s Youth Day. (Another forty who had registered were unable to attend because of weather.) Ranging in age from eighth grade to seniors in high school, this group of young disciples was energetic, engaged, and inspiring.

Called to Beloved Community: Episcopalians and Lutherans Walking Together

Racism in all its forms is sin. In Christ, dividing walls of hostility have been broken down and we are called to be ambassadors of justice and reconciliation. At its November 2017 meeting, the Indiana-Kentucky Synod Council called for the establishment of a working group to assist the people of this synod to address racism and to live into the new life, justice and reconciliation offered in Christ crucified and risen. As we begin to establish that working group that will span both states that are part of this synod, we are also piloting some joint work on racism with the Episcopal dioceses of Indiana. This video is a brief introduction to that work.

 

 

In his fascinating book, The Patient Ferment of the Church, the late Mennonite theologian Alan Kreider (who taught at the Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, IN) digs deeply into the life, theology, and practices of the church in the Roman Empire of the second and third centuries after the death and resurrection of Jesus to find clues as to why the church grew in times of significant challenge. Near the very center of the church’s teaching and practice of that time Kreider was surprised to discover patience.

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