First Third Conversations

Stewarding the Strengths of Children and Youth

A strengths-based journey focuses on fulfilling the calling for which you are uniquely equipped. In turn, that contributes to the fulfillment of God's calling for the church as a whole and for the sake of the other and the world.

Trinity Lutheran in Stillwater, Minn. has been discovering strengths with their children and youth as they seek to steward the gifts that God has given.

(This video was developed in collaboration with Luther Seminary's Center for Stewardship Leaders.)

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Stewards of God's Story

Our lives are filled with stories that compete for space, and sometimes clash dramatically.

In this video, Pastor Tim Coltvet talks about the economic story facing children and youth and the "God Story" that is an important foundation against which the economic story can be heard.

(This video was developed in collaboration with Luther Seminary's Center for Stewardship Leaders.)

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Living Your Strengths by Nancy Lee Gauche

"Everyone has a calling. Discovering it is what life is about and that calling does not come from God's voice thundering from above; but it more often comes from whispers deep within you, from the very essence of your being. God expects nothing more from you than to live that life for which you were created!" — (Living Your Strengths)

A strengths-based journey focuses on fulfilling the calling for which you are uniquely equipped. In turn, that contributes to the fulfillment of God's

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Raising Children: Fostering Faith in a Digital Age


Many parents feel overwhelmed and intimidated by the digital wizardry of their own children.  Kids as young as 8 and 9 can master an iPod and download apps that their parents haven’t even heard of, not to mention the popularity of the Wii, PS2, and various other gaming platforms. The almost immediate embrace of every new technology by children and youth leaves parents struggling to keep up.

The digital age raises particular challenges for parents, grandparents, pastors, youth workers,

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First Third Dialogues: Ministering to Children of Divorce

In September 2010, Luther Seminary's Center for First Third Ministry, hosted a First Third Dialogue on the topic of Children of Divorce.

This conference was for those on the front-lines of ministry with children and youth who know the realities of divorce. Participants shared their own powerful experiences of divorce and heard from experts in the field about the impact of divorce on youth and young adults particularly in regards to sociology and faith.

The goal was to provide space to share stories

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Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce


Elizabeth Marquardt invites us into the strange and complicated experience of traveling between two homes, two parents and two families as a result of divorce. Marquardt asserts that couples are responsible for navigating the differences of their worlds and the conflict that comes when the rough edges of those worlds begin to come up against one another. However, when parents are divorced, this navigation of these conflicts becomes the job of the children.This happens when each parent has different

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Children of Divorce: The Loss of Family as the Loss of Being



The Children of Divorce is Root's fourth and most recent publication. It is a book with great personal significance to Root and draws on his own experience of becoming a child of divorce in his early twenties. The book argues, in Root's own words, "that divorce leaves an indelible mark on children, and such a mark that it strikes those who experience it (myself included) at an ontological level, at the level of their being. This book forces us to wrestle with the deepest, rawest, most unsettling questions

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