Thursday, February 17, 2011

Where, O where, will we be next year?

It’s kinda crazy not knowing where in this grand country we’ll be next year. And we still have two months before we find out. Could be as close as Somonauk, IL (about 60 miles west of Hyde Park) or as far as Vancouver, WA (almost 2200 miles west of Hyde Park). Could be as cold as Seymour, WI (avg. January high of 24) or as warm as Bradenton, FL (avg. January high of 72). Oh the joy of internship interviews!

We’ll find out where we’re going on April 14, and then move there as early as five weeks later. Only to do it all over again a year later with [God willing] a first call. I know I’ve brought some of this on myself by my unorthodox timeline and the places I’ve chosen to go to school, but it gets me wondering…is there an easier—and by easier I mean more local—way to prepare pastors for our churches? I understand that the ELCA hopes to train leaders that will be well-prepared to serve the whole church, wherever that might be. But is this educational model sustainable long-term? Is sending seminarians (and often their families) all over the country the best use of our resources? Or would we do well to develop a more local solution when someone receives the call to ordained ministry? There are no easy answers to these questions, but I think we should be asking them.


  1. Trust me people are asking these questions. I did as I went through seminary married with an infant son. But most of the time I was told that we NEEDED to be open to God's call, and it seemed like if we were not open then we were not being faithful to God's call to me in ministry.

    Good luck and I hope you find a place that is not only fulfilling educationally but geographically as well.

  2. Those questions are also primary when discussing why the ELCA is predominantly white. This system is so counter cultural in the black community that they don't seek ELCA seminary education. One young man at my CPE site last year said, "Why leave this community I want to serve and go serve across the country to serve in another? I don't want to be gone for four years when the need is now."