by Jen Rude, program director of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries
We live in an in-between time: between God’s promises made and fulfilled, between the Christ who came as a baby and the Christ we wait for to come again. Once again our Advent themes speak truth to so many of our lives.
The in-between time is profoundly felt by many, including those in our Proclaim community who are waiting for their first call. Seminary is complete. Internship done. Candidacy papers and committees approved. Assigned to a synod, done. But still waiting for the call of a community to share their gifts of preaching, teaching, sharing the sacraments, pastoral care and more.
This past week Randy Nelson, our Candidacy Accompaniment convener, and I hosted a video chat gathering for those in our community who are in this in-between time. We gathered over computers and phone lines from California to Massachusetts. And I was once again amazed by the creativity, depth, and faithfulness of these gifted and called pastors of our church.
Perhaps your congregation could benefit from some of the extraordinary gifts of these or other Proclaim leaders. When you need pulpit supply, ask a local Proclaim seminarian or person awaiting call (look in the new year for an easy way to find out who’s available in your area via the ELM website!). As your community enters a call process for a new pastor, consider intentionally opening that process to a gifted LGBTQ candidate.
Thank you for your support of these leaders and others. One of the ways your gift to ELM helps is to provide scholarships for seminarians and those awaiting call to attend the annual Proclaim retreat, a time to refresh, renew, network and be sustained for ministry. Because while connecting over computer screens and telephones is valuable, sharing a meal together, worshiping together, or sitting by the lake and just talking, is priceless.