First Third Conversations

Caught in the Current - by Terri Elton

Flowing river 3 by Ernst Vikne, on Flickr

I don't know about you, but as a family with children in school, this time of the year I get caught in the current.

Our family tries hard to be intentional about how we spend our time, who we spend our time with and what commitments we take on all year long, but this time of year it never works.

The annual transition from summer to fall feels like someone else takes over the reins at our house for about six weeks:

  • Those dinners we were going to have together were eaten on the run.
  • That weekly
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Timeonomics - Part 1: Quitting Church

Roland Martinson, academic dean of Luther Seminary and long-time expert in children, youth and family ministry, invites you into a story of encountering a man who has decided -- with his family -- to quit church!

Martinson helps to tease out valuable lessons about how the stewardship of time demands our greatest efforts as stewardship leaders in today's church.

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

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Thank you, Mrs. Jones: The Power of Words that Welcome

Sandy TroyanSandy Troyan, Luther Seminary student in Children, Youth and Family, weaves a powerful and timely story about the simplicity of connection for the development of faith.

"We really believe in the power of this message of welcome. We see the hope it creates. We see the transformative power it holds."

Download her article.

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Stewarding God's Gift of Time by Tim Coltvet

Probably one of the finest lessons taught to me about time came from a wise and learned friend from Tanzania.

Clock

As a part of our growing congregational partnership, we were able to spend time together as ordinary people learning from one another and listening deeply to what the other had to share.

"You see, Pastor Tim" he would say, "in America you have watches, but in Tanzania we have time!"

Implicit in his message was a critique of what he was seeing here in America -- busy people with

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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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Name It by Kristen Baltrum

When I first started in professional youth ministry, I simply wanted to create an environment of relationship and “church fun” that mirrored my own experience as a teen. While that worked on some levels, I was pretty sure something else was happening that I could not name -- I had no language for it. After a number of years in the field, I decided I needed “Language Lessons.”

After a few years studying youth and family ministry, continued reflection on the assets of

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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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