First Third Conversations

Facing Reality: The Current State of Confirmation

By Dr. Nancy Going, Director of Children, Youth and Family Distributed Learning Program at Luther Seminary

Dr. Going shares the results of the listening project research that was done to take the temperature of youth ministry in the ELCA.

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‘Post-Modern’ Youth & 16th Century Teaching Tracts

By Dr. Hans Wiersma, Associate Professor of Youth and Family Ministry at Augsburg College

Is Catechism relevant today? Dr. Wiersma discusses how the documents that articulate doctrines and practices are not just for kids. In fact, Martin Luther said that is was more important that the parents learn it! How do we engage the whole church with leaning the catechism in our media culture?

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What are we doing? Maturing Christian Young People

by Dr. Nancy Going

What's the goal of confirmation? Perhaps your church has made many "tweaks" to the process: new curriculum, dropped the tests for faith statements, changed from classroom to small groups, stopped requiring robes and had the students make stoles instead, or even moved the target ages. But are you asking the bigger question: What are we doing to help young people have maturing Christian faith?

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What is the Church?

See this short video with a simple description of the Church. Use as a discussion starter in your confirmation class, youth minsitry or adult small group.

How do you answer the question: What is the Church?

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Art of Possibility

by Pastor Nancy Lee Gauche

Check out Tom Langemo's blog on the Art of Possibility!

Here’s some background in the form of a blog informing us what drives Coach Tom Langemo around “The Art of Possibility”.  You had a taste of this “art” at the First Third event on confirmation.  My challenge for all of us around the “art of possibility” is to remind us that faith is not ultimately secured by human effort.  Tom paints a picture of this process

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‘Affen Spiel’? How We Got Here

by Dr. Hans Wiersma

"Monkey Business"! That's what Martin Luther called the rite of confirmation as he knew it in his day. Luther's teaching helped inspire a renewed understanding of faith formation among young people.  That was 500 years ago.  What about today?

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Monkey Business Panel Discussion on Confirmation Video

Watch this video of the final panel discussion of Monkey Business: A First Third Dialogue on the Confirmation Process.

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Terence Fretheim at Missional Church Consultation

"Thinking Deeply about Relationship: The Practical Adequacy of Our Understanding of the God-Human Relationship"

The word "relationship" pervades current reflections about God in the life of the church. What do we mean when we speak of "relationship?" How adequate is our understanding of the God-human relationship for our missional commitments and conversations? What will we teach our children about the relational God of the Bible, especially the God of the Old Testament?

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Introducing AMP (All Metro Praise)...

"Collaborative Worship - an act of Stewardship" 

Dave Scherer and Tony Fair give us a peek into the emerging All Metro Praise (AMP) worship experience partnering city and suburban churches in praising God together with ALL of our gifts.  The first AMP worship experience will be January 29th at Augsburg College.  All are welcome - so come!

Where: Augsburg College, Hoversten Chapel

When: January 29th, February 26th, March 18th, April 29th and May 3rd

Time: Open mic at 5:30, worship

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Todd Hobart at Missional Church Consultation

"Anticipating the Kingdom: Engaging students in missional faith formation"

What do "mission" and "faith formation" have to do with one another? In this presentation, Todd explores how to cultivate an authentic faith in children and teens who are immersed in a culture of individualism, consumerism and self-absorption.

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