Project Connect is
a groundbreaking effort by the
Eastern Cluster of Lutheran Seminaries
Southern) to involve young adults in discerning
a call to public ministry in the church. Thanks to a $3 million grant
Lily Endowment, the project will run for several years and reach
out in all sorts of ways.
Project Connect makes
connections between young adults and a network of partners — seminaries,
colleges, camps, campus ministries, church leaders, social ministry organizations,
and volunteer organizations.
The purpose is to engage this network in mentoring and providing theologically
sound vocational discernment programs for college-age adults.
This endeavor will be
accomplished by identifying young adults who are active in church life;
nurturing relationships with those who
to a process that extends, deepens, and provides focus for vocational
discernment; and sustaining these relationships by providing profound
experiences in congregational ministry.
The project website
provides an overview of the project as well as information for students
a listing of upcoming events, stories from young adults about their
call to ministry in the church, links to other partners, and grant information.
Upcoming events include
seminary days at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia November
12-14, "Connect the Dots: Calling Young
Adult Leaders for a Changing World," a retreat for young
adults ages 18-30 January 2-5, 2007, and "Hearing God's
Call," a discernment
retreat. Two of the latter events are scheduled in early 2007:
January 5-7 in Highland Lake, NY, and January 7-9 in Jefferson,
Project Director Don
Johnson is excited about the prospect of being
in touch with potential candidates
as well as
church leaders who can help identify such candidates. There's
even a secure
online database where pastors and rostered leaders can enter
contact information for young people from their churches who
might be interested.
Pastor Fred Opalinski,
Trinity Lutheran Church, Reading, is our synod discernment advocate for
2006-2007. As such, he
of youth and young adults who have expressed interest in
ministry in the church and make presentations at various events
Connect. You may contact Pastor Opalinski at email@example.com or
(Ed. Note: In addition to the Project Connect website, Linda
Lovell's blog for on the Delaware-Maryland Synod website
provided some of this information. Linda also wrote an
article about Project Connect for the November 2006 issue of The Lutheran.
Click here to read the article.)