Grace and peace to you!
Thank you for opening your congregation to serve in the role of an internship congregation. Throughout this coming year, I will have the chance to experience full-time, pastoral ministry in action as one of the requirements for ELCA seminary training. Over the course of the next year, you all will be instrumental in helping me transition from student to pastor. This is an opportunity for me to grow in my calling to be a pastor. I will have chances to preach and lead groups, as well as participate in the “behind the scenes” aspects of ordained ministry.
In agreeing to serve as an internship site this year, this congregation has taken part in the education of pastors for the larger Church. At the front of this educational role will be Pastor Connie and the internship committee. I will meet with Pastor Connie weekly to discuss the internship, and for Pastor Connie to provide feedback, support, and mentoring. In addition, an internship committee formed of lay members will meet with me monthly; these members will also be responsible for providing feedback and support, to share their faith, and to be partners in ministry. At three points, formal evaluations will be submitted to Luther Seminary. The first will be after three months. Both Pastor Connie and I will evaluate how I have acclimated and grown as an intern, and we will note areas for continued growth. At the six month and final evaluations, Pastor Connie, the internship committee, and I will all submit our evaluations. In the final evaluation, Pastor Connie and the internship committee’s evaluations will include recommendations for the next stages of my ministry journey.
Another part of the internship process is the internship project. As I get to know the congregation more, I will work with Pastor Connie and the internship committee to develop a project that will give me experience envisioning, developing, and leading a ministry opportunity. The goal of the project is to give interns an opportunity to explore their own leadership style, and to practice matching their calling and unique skills with the needs and opportunities of their particular internship site. It is at the heart of the contextual learning process.
Although Pastor Connie and the internship committee will have the most formal roles in this educational process, I also ask for your continued support and prayers through this next year. If you have any questions about the internship process, I would love to speak with you, or you can explore the Contextual Learning website from Luther Seminary. I look forward to getting to know this congregation better, and to have this opportunity to grow as a Christian public leader. Thank you for accompanying me on this journey.