First Third Conversations

Being Brave: Daring Greatly Part II

braveA blog post by Megan Clapp

Have you heard “Brave” by Sara Bareilles? I’ve been listening to it on repeat all summer. If you haven’t heard it yet, check out the lyrics video below before you keep reading:

http://vevo.ly/2AqimM

Also on my summer agenda has been reading, processing, and living with Brene Brown’s incredible book, Daring Greatly. She writes about vulnerability and how it can transform the way we live, love, parent and lead. She also writes about shame and

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Resource for Ministry: Daring Greatly

VulnerabilityA blog post by Aaron Fuller

Some of you may be familiar with researcher and author Brené Brown. She’s gained traction through TED Talks and David Lose Her work centers around understanding human connection and the dynamics of shame and vulnerability. I’ve been reading her latest book, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead.

I’ll just say it: you need to read this book if you work in ministry. If you need convincing,

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Leadership of a New Pastor

Walking TogetherA blog post by Adam Butler

My wife and I are buying a house. After living with my parents for a few months and moving into a short-term lease apartment here in Sioux Falls, we’re pretty excited to have our own place -- our own house. To repeat my wife’s sentiment, “I can’t believe someone is actually letting us do this.”

One of the most difficult things about this home buying process is realizing how little you know about these kinds of “grownup” things.

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Living into the Kingdom

love GodA blog post by Megan Clapp

There’s been a lot of “talk” online lately about millennials and the church, why they’re leaving, why they need the church, and a whole bunch of responses along the spectrum.

I’ve read a lot by Rachel Held Evans, the author of all the links above, and I appreciate the way she wrestles with questions of faith and church in an honest and authentic way. I like her ideas about what millennials are hoping to encounter in church,

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Bringing Justice into the Light

Justice into lightA blog post by Jesse Weiss 

Recently, a group of young adults that are serving as camp staff this summer got into a fairly deep conversation about salvation and the question of God’s justice. Their conversation was good, but it was grounded more in cliché answers than in theological understandings. As we further explored the issue of a just God, not only for their own understandings but also for their roles in the lives of our campers, we tried to gain a better understanding of

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Taking Time to Rest, even if it means saying "No"

SereneA blog post by Tim Bowman

I haven't been working directly in youth ministry for very long, but there is one thing that I have learned, which is that youth ministry is hard. Seriously, it is not an easy profession to be a part of. There are so many different voices coming to you on a day to day basis: senior pastors, associate pastors, other church staff, synod staff, parents, volunteers, and of course, the youth.

We have a lot asked of us on any given day and even more in a given month or semester.

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The Common Thread of Coming Out

Tell your storyA blog post by Sarah Bane

Coming out… I cannot claim to know the courage and poise it must take to come out to someone. But, as someone to whom more than one person has come out, I have started to notice a common thread to each story: middle school. For each loved one who has come out to me, a common realization that “I am not ‘normal’” occurs in middle school, becoming a pivotal touchstone in their coming out narrative.

Middle school -- that tender, vulnerable age

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Bring it on home

HomeA blog post by Jesse Weiss

Each spring, I conduct about sixty interviews with young adults interested in serving on summer camp staff. Throughout the years, I have encountered many responses to interview questions that have brought me joy, as well as a fair amount of responses that have made me cringe.

For instance, when asking, “What does God’s grace mean to you,” I’ve gotten everything from “it means that I’ve been given a gift of undeserved love through Jesus

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The Dissonance of Fear and Hope: Reflections of a First Call Pastor

Lord LightA blog post by Adam Butler

By the time you read this post, I will be a real pastor.

I suppose that’s not completely true. I had my ordination service back in June and received a call as an Associate Pastor at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a month earlier. However, today is my first day on the job.

And I couldn’t be more terrified.

This terror comes in all kinds of ways, varying in intensity. I’m terrified that I’m not prepared for the vocation

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10 Things I've Learned About Young Adults

WrestlingA blog post by Aaron Fuller

For the past three years, I’ve been coaching wrestling at Augsburg College, a small ELCA college in Minneapolis. This time has given me the gift of hanging out with young adult wrestlers. Because of the nature of the sport and the coach/athlete relationship, I’ve learned some important lessons about young adults and their lives, which I would like to share with you here.

1. Athletes are “typical” young adults. So if you grew up disliking athletes

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