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May. 03, 2013

Rethinking “Welcome”

“A radically welcoming community seeks to welcome the voices, presence and power of all people — especially those who have been defined as The Other, pushed to the margins, cast out, silenced and closeted — so they can help to shape the congregation’s common life and fulfill the reconciling dream of God.” Stephanie Spellers, Treasurer, Canonfor Missional Vitality, Diocese ofLong
Apr. 23, 2013

As We Rethink Evangelism…

“Many church members today recognize that evangelism is vitally necessary for the church to have a future amidst widespread decline. At the same time, few prospects provoke greater dread and discomfort. This conference offers an opportunity to reframe evangelism in a grounded, holistic, accessible way for a new apostolic age.” Dwight Zscheile, assistant professor congregational mission and leadershipLuther Seminary /
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Apr. 18, 2013

Mr. Rogers and Mission

By Derek Tronsgard Earlier this week the city of Boston was rocked by bombs and tragedy.  And ever since Monday, the 24-hour news cycle, the internet, TV, radio, and other media have been covering the fallout non-stop.  And in the midst of all of the coverage and saturation of this event, one sentiment has gone viral.  I’ve seen it all
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Mar. 28, 2013

Planting the seeds

By Julie Hagen I recently taught the Parable of the Fig Tree to my Sunday school children.  I always struggle with this lesson.  I don’t like that we never find out if the fig tree makes it or not.  Don’t you want to know what happens to the Fig tree? Reflecting on our topic of “Reclaiming The Servants Heart” has
Jan. 28, 2013

Campbell’s Soup – Stupid Like a Fox

Courtney Young is a May 2012 graduate of Luther Seminary – MDiv with an emphasis in Congregational Mission and Leadership. Missional, millenial and now, a new mother, Courtney shares her thoughts with us here: Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the church and social media.  Partly because I used to work in seminary relations so I got to troll
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Oct. 18, 2012

Youth Ministry and the Rise of the “Nones”

By Derek Tronsgard Earlier this month the Christian blogosphere exploded when news came from the Pew Research foundation stating that the fastest growing religion in America is, in fact, “no religion”.  This self-identifying group of the “nones” are young (18-29), uninterested in joining a church (even after kids!), and evenly distributed between men & women, economic backgrounds, educational backgrounds, and even
Oct. 12, 2012

The rise of the “nones”

There’s a new Pew Report out, with clear indication that there is an increase in those who say they have “no religion.” Rev. Clint Schnekloth has by far the most interesting response I’ve seen, arguing that: As a weird hipster Lutheran…I am, to begin with, happy with the increase in the number of people reporting their status as “nones.” I
Oct. 21, 2011

Earthly death = living proclamation?

by Christie Hallenbeck “Death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.” The late Steve Jobs’s foreshadowing thoughts now permeate mainstream conversations of death. So let’s enter the conversation. In light of public shock over the death of this modern symbol of immortality,
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Jul. 26, 2011

Life Teams Part IV by Jerry Watts

Moving into a youth ministry marked by mature faith markers is slow work sometimes.  But living in Jesus’ promise in Matthew 28 to be with us always to the end of the age strengthens us for the upward call of discipleship and evangelism that comes with the promise. For me the picture below is one of those God sightings. Sitting
Mar. 24, 2011

Sin, grace and popular culture

Dr. Christian Scharen, in his book Faith as a Way of Life: A Vision for Pastoral Leadership, writes compellingly about the challenges of discerning God in the midst of popular culture. Unlike certain Christian communities who want to put a box around specific forms of culture and label them “safe” or “unsafe,” Dr. Scharen argues for God’s ability to speak