There is a new webinar that has been added to the catalog of webinars that are a part of the “Practice Discipleship Project” done
cooperatively by the Network and the ELCA Youth Gathering.
I’m really excited about the webinar. It is titled “Compassionate Justice and Service Learning.”
I’d like to give you the description, and then tell you the ‘backstory’ behind it:
This webinar will explore the concept of compassionate justice as part of “Practicing Justice,” one of the ELCA Youth Gathering’s central themes. The language of compassion, justice, and accompaniment will be introduced, along with a biblical overview of justice and what it means to serve in Christ’s name. In addition, leaders will learn a practical, four-step service learning model that can be used in preparing their groups for service and mission experiences, including how to adequately prepare a group, guide meaningful reflection, and share stories and experiences with others. We will end this session with an important conversation about what comes next – the Gathering is not a destination event, it is a preparation for ministry in your own neighborhood and the world around us!
The webinar will be led by Dr. Dave Ellingson and Mark Jackson, both of Trinity Lutheran College, and Peggy Hahn of the Texas Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod.
So here’s the deal: As a church, Christ calls us to serve. We all know this. Often, however (and I have been guilty of this…I think all of us have at some point) those with whom we serve become objects of service instead of subjects.
Don’t get me wrong…I love short-term mission trips. I love taking the young people in our congregation into different geographic and cultural settings, embedding ourselves in a community for 10 or 12 days, and getting deep into a service project. There is, however, a risk involved in this: without intention, the focus of what we’re doing can shift and we can start to serve not because of the needs of those in the community in which we work, but because of our need to serve…our need to feel good about ourselves…our need to swing a hammer/build a house/feed a homeless person/feel good about our faith…
To be really honest, sometimes these experiences can even reinforce a class system that we all talk about wanting to break down. We can approach service like an us/them, with “us” being the benevolent ones.
When we approach service this way, even unintentionally, real relationships of integrity do not form. The relationships are unequal.
I heard many, many great stories of powerful, relational service and accompaniment in New Orleans after the 2009 event. I also heard a few stories of folks who were upset because their kids were assigned to service that was more about listening or learning than it was about building/cleaning/working/etc… “So our kids didn’t get to serve!” they cried.
Sure, that’s true…if you have a narrow vision of service. But the service Christ calls us to is one that draws us into relationships of integrity. It calls us to listen first and to act later. It calls us to do whatever needs to be done, whether that’s swinging a hammer or sitting on a porch listening to a story.
It’s shouldn’t be about our need to serve. It shouldn’t be about us.
Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. John 12: 23-25.
I think we need to be willing to take the expectations and hopes of what we think service is going to be this summer, and let it fall and die, and open ourselves up to how God’s Holy Spirit might just work in the lives of both the people we encounter in New Orleans, and into the lives of the young people that we will shepherd there. We all need to remember, it’s not about us. It’s about this new community that the Holy Spirit is going to create this summer of us and them…together.
Our challenge is going to be teaching this understanding of service and service learning to the young people we bring, so that they can come with open minds and open hearts. That is what the webinar will tend to. I strongly recommend that you watch and participate in it. It’s going to be really good, and really helpful!
If they are open to the work of the Spirit, I believe it will produce many, many good seeds.
I hear it actually all of the time. Somebody will send me a question about a ministry topic, or perhaps about a resource, and I’ll drop back a quick note to them and say “you should check out _______________’s talk from the Extravaganza a couple of years ago…there was some stuff said there that I think would really be helpful.” I’d send them the weblink, and then go on to something else. But a day or two later, I almost always get an e-mail back. “Wow…I had no idea that all of that stuff was on there!”
We forget the resources that are available to us all of the time.
The Network web site has a ton of video resources that are available to Network members to access and use. There’s some great stuff here! I think we often just straignt-up forget what’s available to us. So I thought it might be helpful to get a reminder.
(Note: To access the video resources, go to the video home page. To access the webinars, go to the Practice Discipleship Home Page. For 3rdTuesday Conversation (3TC) recordings and webinars, go to the 3TC home page.)
Here are Some of the titles we’ve got online:
- Dr. Terri Elton; Opportunity or Despair – The Landscape of Youth Ministry
- Shivon Miller; Events as Ministry Part 1
- Heather Hansen; Events as Ministry Part 2
- Dr. Jeremy Myers; Lutheran Theology – How God Works in the World
- The Network: Come and See
- The Network: Vision
- Video Essay: “Are You Indespensible?”
- State of the Network 2009
- State of the Network 2010
- State of the Network 2011
- Rev. Dave Daubert; Extravaganza Keynote 2005
- Doug Fields; Extravaganza Keynote 2005
- Rev. Kirk Jones; Extravaganza Keynote 2005
- Kusuma Paul; Extravaganza Keynote 2005
- Dr. Kenda Creasy Dean; Extravaganza Keynote 2006
- Dr. Rollie Martinson; Extravaganza Keynote 2006
- Dr. Rollie Martinson; Preaching 2006
- Dr. Rodger Nishioka; Extravaganza Keynote 2006
- Michael Pritchard; Extravaganza Keynote 2006
- Dr. Leonard Sweet; Extravaganza Keynote 2006
- Dr. Reggie Blount; Extravaganza Keynote 2007
- Rev. Michael Breen; Extravaganza Keynote 2007
- Bishop Mark hanson; Preaching 2007
- Rev. Carol Scott; Extravaganza Keynote 2007
- Rev. Karen Ward; Extravaganza Keynote 2007
- Rev. Tania Haber; Extravaganza Keynote 2008
- Dr. Patrick Kiefert; Extravaganza Keynote 2008
- Rev. James Lobdell; Extravaganza Keynote 2008
- Rev. Jose Valenzuela; Extravaganza Keynote 2008
- Jason Wilkinson; Interview 2009
- Rev. Kelly Fryer; Extravaganza Keynote 2009
- Leslie Hunter; Extravaganza Keynote 2009
- Dr. Adina Nack; Extravaganza Keynote 2009
- John “Nelllie” Nelson; Extravaganza Keynote 2009
- Dr. Mindy Pupolo; Extravaganza Keynote 2009
- Dr. Christian Scharen; Extravaganza Keynote 2009
- Rev. Ann Svennungsen; Preaching 2009
- Rev. Bill Bixby; Preaching 2009
- Rev. Patrick Keen; Preaching 2009
- Dave “Agape” Scherer; Interview 2009
- Father Greg Boyle; Extravaganza Keynote 2010
- Rev. Becca Stevens; Extravaganza Keynote 2010
- Rev. Julio Cruz; Preaching 2010
- Rev. Kelly Chatman; Preaching 2010
- Rev. Dr. Dick Hardel; Interview 2010
- Tic Long; Extravaganza Keynote 2011
- Mark Yaconelli; Extravaganza Keynote Part 1 2011
- Mark Yaconelli Extravagnaza Keynote Part 2 2011
- Nancy Feniuk Nelson; Extravaganza Keynote 2011
- Enuma Okoro; Extravaganza Keynote 2011
- Bishop Paul Blom; Interview 2011
- Recorded Webinar; Dr. Jeremy Myers – “Lutheran Theology; How God Works in the World”
- Recorded Webinar; Dr. Jeremy Myers – “Lutheran Theology; How Lutherans Read the Scriptures”
- Recorded Webinar; Dr. Terri Elton – “Your Role as a Leader”
- Recorded Webinar; Dennis “Tiger” McLuen – “Strategic Planning”
- Recorded Webinar; Dennis “Tiger” McLuen – “Leading a Small Group”
- Recorded Webinar; Dennis “Tiger” McLuen – “Faith Conversations”
- Recorded Webinar; Dennis “Tiger” McLuen – “Preparing for the Unexpected” (being released this coming Sunday)
- 3TC: Dr. Andy Root – “The Promise of Despair” (Audio Only)
- 3TC: Dr. David Anderson – “The Role of the Family” (Audio Only)
- 3TC: Dr. Terri Elton – “Rethinking Mission Trips” (Audio Only)
- 3TC: Dr. Elizabeth Marquart – “Working with Children of Divorce” (Audio Only)
- 3TC: Dr. Kenda Creasy Dean – “Almost Christian” (Audio Only)
- 3TC: The Extravaganza Team “Prepping for Extravaganza 2011”
- 3TC: Enuma Okoro – “The Reluctant Pilgrim”
- 3TC: Dr. Rollie Martinson – “New from the Exemplar Youth Ministry Study”
- 3TC: Celia Whitler – “Ministry with Young Women”
- 3TC: Mark Matlock – “Working with Parents”
- 3TC: Dr. Dave Ellingson and Mark Jackson – “Framing Mission Experiences”
- 3TC: Heidi Hagstrom – “The ELCA Youth Gathering: What You Need to Know”
- 3TC: Rev. Karen Stevenson – “Talking with Young People about Sexuality”
- 3TC: Bishop Mark Hanson – “Young People and the State of the Church”
- 3TC: Health, Wellness and Ministry
- 3TC: Michael Sladek; “How to Make Your Stuff Look Good”