First Third Conversations

The Spirit Creator: Sowing Seeds of Hope through Environmentally Focused Children, Youth and Family Ministry

By Keith Long, MDIV CYF graduate of Luther Seminary

Something is amiss in how we engage and educate young people in their lives of faith. It is disheartening to witness the disappearance of youth and families from the church. Decreased attendance leads to less risk-taking, which in my opinion, leads to apathy and boredom. As a result, I think we have lost a tremendous amount of passion in passing on the faith and what matters most in our lives as Jesus followers. Conviction and belief ought to be

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Mormons Do It Better

Interview of Paul Cannon, CYF MDIV graduate

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Interview with CYF Prize Winner on "A Future I Trust In"

Interview of Karen Gieseke, CYF MA graduate and CYF Prize Winner 2012

Read Karen's full paper:

  • See Karen's Blog Post Here
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Resource for uncovering your vocation as Parent-Leader

For more ways to expand your thinking about pushing forward Karen Gieseke's ideas about the vocation of parents as leaders in the faith of their children, be sure to order: 

It is filled with both helpful content/reading and also applicable praxis.

Picture Parents are the most important factor in the healthy development and faith formation of their children and adolescents. 
The Fall 2011 issue

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A Future I Trust in: Identity and Vocation as the Parent-Leader

 

Here’s the next installment in the FirstThird summer reading series.  Our second CYF Prize winning thesis for 2012 was written by Karen Gieseke.  Karen is currently serving as a Children Youth and Ministry Coordinator for the Southeast Minnesota Synod of the ELCA. 

We’ve all been in conversations about the power of parents in faith formation, but Karen pushes us further by introducing us to idea of the Christian Parent-Leader as VOCATION in her CYF award-winning

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Confirmation: What are we doing?

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

Let’s take one more stab at the question related to the confirmation process. 

Think about all the time and energy we spend in churches working to get the confirmation program just right.  And the results of all that work are in:  Over 80% of ELCA churches are losing 50-75% of their confirmands after the rite. 

But now think about how your own faith has been formed. 

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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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Formation Centered Confirmation

By Rev. Tim Coltvet,Coordinator of Contextual Learning and Coaching for the Children, Youth, and Family Ministry at Luther Seminary

As I step back for a moment, I have to say, “I love confirmation!”  And I’m really excited for the next First Third Dialogue: Monkey Business.   I, perhaps like you, have actually been the envy of many of my evangelical Christian friends as they’ve wondered how we get this captive audience of middle school students to come to

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Reflection on "Thinking Deeply about Relationship" with Terence Fretheim

by Jerod Petersen, MA Children, Youth, and Family senior at Luther Seminary

Relationships Matter

> See video of Terence Fretheim here

Fretheim stirs the conversation of the room by asking, “What if we didn’t always seek the answer in the prayer, but stopped and valued the communication that is going on with us and God.” Fretheim asks, “What would God’s love mean if he was never affected by the relationship? God is constant and changing in regards to all human

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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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