You Might Be a Lutheran If…

by Dr. Kelly Sherman-Conroy I recently opened up my email to see this subject title: “You Might Be A Lutheran If…”. I had to ask myself if this was an email worth opening or will it only bring me sadness, anger, and confusion. Before we get into this, let me introduce myself.  I became a spiritual person in terms of my vocation when I was … Continue reading You Might Be a Lutheran If…

Art as Faithful Vocation

Connect Journal reached out to Mary Button to learn more about her artistic work in and outside of the ELCA. Her responses below have been lightly edited for style. My name is Mary Button, and I’m a pastor and an artist! I grew up in Southeast Texas in beautiful Galveston County on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Growing up in such a beautiful … Continue reading Art as Faithful Vocation

Art, Humor and Style

We got in touch with David Hunstad of Old Lutheran to get an inside scoop on the business and its Lutheran identity. Old Lutheran has gone through a transformation in its understanding…and communication of Lutheran identity over the last few years. It is a transformation that happened because the larger community started asking questions about how we as Lutherans identify ourselves and the kind of … Continue reading Art, Humor and Style

How to Start a Church with Three Showers and a Trailer

Pastor Emily Norris had a vision for The Dwelling, a new church she was planting in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. A combined effort of the North Carolina Synod of the ELCA and the Southern Province of the Moravian Church, The Dwelling began its life on February 1, 2020, to minister to those experiencing homelessness in the city. Pastor Norris had a few years of funding secured … Continue reading How to Start a Church with Three Showers and a Trailer

Nine Lessons from a Church Planter Emerging from the Pandemic

by Rev. Michael Baughman Construct a generative culture: I’m convinced that church plants, despite being poorly funded and generally unstable, were better positioned to thrive in the pandemic than most congregations. Adaptive change is baked into the early DNA of any successful entrepreneurial venture—church or otherwise. Healthy church plants adapt as they learn more about their community, their mission and their own strengths. They constantly start … Continue reading Nine Lessons from a Church Planter Emerging from the Pandemic

Work to Do: Ministry to Littles During the Pandemic

by Dr. Dawn Rundman Since March of 2020, I have been listening to children, youth and family ministry leaders wrestle with the devastating effects of the pandemic in their congregations, communities and the broader world. I’ve also learned about the remarkable innovations leaders like you have demonstrated, showing your commitment to supporting kids and families in new and creative ways. Thank you for your faithfulness … Continue reading Work to Do: Ministry to Littles During the Pandemic

Exchanging Walls for Welcome; A Practical Examination of Relational Intersectionality in the Parish

by Jessica Davis This article was originally published in the Women’s Issue of the Connect Journal in 2018. We invite you to read it again and consider how your community could be more intersectional in its ministry.  “For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility.” (Ephesians 2:14) “There is … Continue reading Exchanging Walls for Welcome; A Practical Examination of Relational Intersectionality in the Parish

Reflections on Pandemic Ministry

by Rev. Marla Rotman One of the things a person has to do to become a pastor is get over their fear of public speaking. I remember back to when I first began—the knees shaking, the sweaty palms, the dry mouth. And, at the time, the best advice out there was, “Imagine everyone in their underwear.” I don’t know about you, but that didn’t cut … Continue reading Reflections on Pandemic Ministry

“What Will It Look Like?” A Ministry Q and A

Ariel Otterstad, Associate PastorLiving Word Lutheran ChurchKaty, Texas Please tell us about your ministry context. I serve a large (for our Synod) congregation in a western suburb of Houston. We have a staff of 15 and prior to COVID-19, worshipped around 500 people on a Sunday. Obviously now that looks very different. We worship between 100-150 in person and anywhere from 600-1200 online.  What have the … Continue reading “What Will It Look Like?” A Ministry Q and A

You Are Enough: Reentering Ministry After a Pandemic

by Elizabeth Hood It is difficult to even put into words the emotions and experiences of this past year, as we survived this pandemic and our rapidly changing world. As we emerge out of this time it is hard to even know what the long-term effects will be, but life certainly changed and gave us time to shift our perspective. I think this time has … Continue reading You Are Enough: Reentering Ministry After a Pandemic