First Third Conversations

Fostering Faith in a Digital Age - Wrap Up

social mediaA blog post by Terri Elton

Image Credit: Social Media Apps by Jason Howie on Flickr

As we come to the end of our month thinking about this command and wrestling with what this question means for our leadership and ministry, let me pause and reflect on seven learnings.

1. It’s ok to feel incompetent! We live in a time when we are moving off the map, away from the territory many of us knew and into uncharted waters. It’s ok to be disoriented. But it’s not ok to let that

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Weddings: Community, Faith, and Pastoral Ministry

Wedding Ceremony 9.18.10A blog post by Adam Butler

I love weddings. I’m partial to my own, but they can’t all be perfect, right? Weddings are awesome, though. You get to watch two people commit to life with one another in the midst of a group of people who love and care about those two lovebirds.

All in one spot, there are little kids running circles around grandpas and grandmas. You’ve got young couples, families, and folks who’ve been at this marriage game a while. Not to be forgotten are those

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Ordinations keep Seminary in Perspective

Adam Butler and Aaron Fuller

Saturday was a special day for one seminary grad and for the church. You see Saturday the ELCA hosted another ordination, publicly calling another M.Div. graduate into Word and sacrament ministry. He will serve a particular congregation, as he also serves the whole church.

For people who don’t hang out in seminaries, this seems like an odd thing to do on a nice summer Saturday afternoon. But for folks who spend days, weeks and years immersed in seminary life, this event is a reminder

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The Shift

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

Have you experienced it? There’s a shift underway.

There is a conversation growing in our midst. The conversation began wondering if (what we know as) Sunday School and confirmation ministries were working. This part of the conversation had many dimensions; some focused on curricular and programmatic choices, others centered on learning and teaching styles, and a few offered imaginative ideas for

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A Letter to the Church

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

Dear Church,

It’s here. The first day of school, a day that marks the beginning of a new season in my house – the school year. For the next 9 months our life will consist of navigating schedules, deadlines, and demands from outside our family. We will be thoughtful and intentional each day, each week, each month. And we will discover life in places not expected, and live with the consequences

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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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