First Third Conversations

A digital sabbatical

"2008-04-08 (Methwold Old Vicarage) - 061" by Nick McPhee via Flickr. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.A blog post by Andy Root

Image credit: "2008-04-08 (Methwold Old Vicarage) - 061" by Nic McPhee on Flickr.

Hello faithful visitors to this First Third site!

You have probably noticed that things have been quiet on this page, as well as on our Twitter and Facebook feeds for the last four weeks or so.  There’s a reason -- things have been very busy for Children, Youth and Family Ministry (CYF) at Luther Seminary.  We’ve moved into some very exciting new places (both

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Lent, Spring, and Pondering Big Ideas

spring flower

A blog post by Terri Elton

Image Credit: Spring Scene with Liverleaf by Randi Hausken on Flickr

Some days I’m not sure which hat I’m wearing …

There are days, in the midst of a meeting, I get the “mom I need you” text and suddenly I’m transported from my work agenda to caring for my kids.

There are times when I’m creatively and passionately trying to figure how to make one of the deep truths about Christianity come alive -- like talking with my group

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Fostering Faith in a Digital Age - Wrap Up

social mediaA blog post by Terri Elton

Image Credit: Social Media Apps by Jason Howie on Flickr

As we come to the end of our month thinking about this command and wrestling with what this question means for our leadership and ministry, let me pause and reflect on seven learnings.

1. It’s ok to feel incompetent! We live in a time when we are moving off the map, away from the territory many of us knew and into uncharted waters. It’s ok to be disoriented. But it’s not ok to let that

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Fostering Faith in a Digital Age - a command and a question

PhoneA blog post by Terri Elton

Image Credit: Social Media Apps by Jason Howie on Flickr

It doesn’t take much to make me feel incompetent when it comes to technology. For example, while my college daughter was home during break, I asked for help fixing something in iTunes. After a sigh, she let me know iTunes was “out” and Spotify was better. Now, I knew about Spotify, but didn’t know how it worked. Forty-five minutes later I was up to speed with a few playlists and friends.

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And it's a wrap...

DoveA blog post by Terri Elton

Image Credit: Holy Spirit Dove Window by Hickory on Flickr

As we face the new year, the holidays are just about all wrapped up. The Christmas music has lost its luster, the holiday treats are gone (and fresh veggies sound better than ever), and it is almost time to pack up the decorations for another year. It is just about time to call this holiday season a wrap.

But before we do, let's take a look back. How'd it go? Did you get lost in the holidays or were you able to

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A Time to Connect

friendsA blog post by Terri Elton

Image Credit: Friends by Rodrigo Suarez on Flickr

Each year as I turn the calendar from November to December my mind creates a list of people I’d love to connect with during the holidays. Some of the connections are givens, like time with my brother and sister-in-law from California. Other connections are not guaranteed, like meeting with my college roommate. The “not guaranteed” connections require intentional effort to happen, and somehow the holiday

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Lost in the Holidays Part II

ChocolatesA blog post by Terri Elton

Image Credit: Chocolates by Jonathan Reyes on Flickr

Bittersweet -- there is no better word for the days of Advent, Christmas, and New Years than that. Sweet sums up the excitement of being with family and friends, of living in a season of giving, of having an intentional season focus on serving, and, of course, the yummy treats which delight our taste buds. Sweet describes the gift tradition is and the opportunity for passing things on from one generation to another.

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Lost in the Holidays

A blog post by Terri Elton

Image Credit: Christmas 2007 by Christina Rutz on Flickr

Some say, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” while others dread the season. Christmas, the heart of this season, is centered on Christ, and yet amidst the holidays Christ often gets pushed aside. Truth be told, it’s a hard time of the year to be a church leader…and it’s a hard time to keep the focus in our personal lives as well. So how is it we don’t get “lost

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Intro to November's Theme: Stewardship

StewardshipA blog post by Terri Elton

It is November, a month set aside for giving thanks. What a great practice that is. Pausing and giving thanks is something we can't do enough. As you make your way toward Thanksgiving I encourage you to fully participate in this season's rituals. But our focus for this month is going to be on something deeper and wider than giving thanks. Our focus is going to be on the question, what is it to be a steward?

As we take a look at the word steward, we get a glimpse what

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What Does All This Mean?

ContemplateA blog post by Terri Elton

We’ve spent the month wandering through ideas, insights, resources, and research on younger adults, their understanding of faith, and implications for ministry. Each post offered a picture, a snap shot, of what’s important and meaningful for younger adults today.

We were reminded that Martin Luther was a younger adult when he reformed the church; we got a picture of the breadth and depth with which younger adults engage in ministry, among their peers and with

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