First Third Conversations

Lent, Youth, and Opportunity

lentA blog post by Timothy Siburg

Image Credit: Lent by Stephen Cuyos on Flickr

Every day is a good day to think about and create opportunities for members of your congregation to lead. This is true for youth too, who are also members of your congregation and community.

The season of Lent provides a time for intention. Congregations approach this differently but with great ideas and meaningful opportunities. To consider some possibilities, I am going to reference three congregations by A, B, and C.

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Gratitude

By Dr. Terri Martinson Elton, Director of the Center for First Third Ministry at Luther Seminary

Yesterday was a cold brisk morning and I spent the day biking around Minneapolis and St. Paul. Why? Because I wanted to join thousands of family, friends and neighbors cheer on runners of the Twin Cities marathon. For 26.2 miles, runners young and old, with various approaches and attire, ran; some ran in groups, others ventured alone. And we, the spectators, did whatever we could to offer energy, encouragement

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Integration and Imagination

By Dr. Terri Martinson Elton, Director of the Center for First Third Ministry at Luther Seminary

What will future leadership in the church entail? That’s the question our faculty are asking as we think about redesigning theological education. With my colleagues this weekend, we had the chance to name moments where students were living into the kind of leadership we think the church needs in the future. It was a fun conversation and engaged us on several levels. As teachers seeking to prepare

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So What’s Wrong with Confirmation?

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

My second real youth ministry job was in Germany.  My husband and I had just moved there so he could serve as a pastor in a German congregation.  After we got settled in, I really wanted to do youth ministry in some way again….so I got a position as a Katechetin.  Yep.  I was hired just to do confirmation classes.  Which I did in hour-long class after class for 7 hours a

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A Faithful Future: A Conversation about the Missional Church and the First Third of Life

by Dr. Terri Elton, Associate Professor Children, Youth and Family Ministry and Director of the Center for First Third Ministry at Luther Seminary

Ministry with those in the First Third of Life and thinking about church missionally…two big, complex ideas which have captured the attention of many church leaders these days.  Two days in November gathered such leaders, initiated a particular conversation and revealed possibilities of what an extended dialogue might entail.

What surfaced?

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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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Reflections on "Anticipating the Kingdom: Engaging students in missional faith formation" with Todd Hobart

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

Todd Hobart does an amazing job of a missional reading of his church setting, St. Matthews Lutheran in Renton WA.  This essay is a draft that will be included in an upcoming book:

Missional_faith_formation.pdf

Reflecting on the “flat” cultural expectations in our world of user-generated content, one great take away Todd laid out is this table of what he calls “Open Source Leadership”

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Reflections on "Urban Ministry and the First Third of Life" with Brenda Olson

By Allison Tunseth, MA Children, Youth and Family student at Luther Seminary

Brenda Olson’s presentation and article on faith formation and the urban church, unpacks the theme of relationships by engaging the idea of ‘accompaniment’.

> See video of Brenda's summary here

Olson defines accompaniment in the urban church as, “a joint venture in which collaboration and community building serve the margins of our society to develop a new generation of leaders ready to

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Reflections on "Finding Ourselves in the Biblical Story" with David Lose

By Karen Gieseke, MA Children, Youth and Family student at Luther Seminary

Identity is at issue. The Missional Church Consultation explored identity as God’s child as something to be wrestled with, both in relationship to self and to other.

> Watch David Lose's summary of his presentation

The scientific understanding of identity begins at each individual’s beginning. More importantly, according to scripture which is God’s word to us, God creates and knows this unique identity

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Conversations around “Envisioning the Future of Faith Formation in the First Third of Life” with John Roberto

By Laurie Neill, MDIV Children, Youth and Family senior at Luther Seminary

The reality that John Roberto brought to light for me was that it is not only possible, but beneficial, for the church to provide faith formation for anyone, anytime, anywhere, 24x7x365. While I know that our youth (and adults) are connected to each other on many different levels, and to many different circles (often at the same time), I never really envisioned ministry as something that would be provided at that same level

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