Today, the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago announced dates and registration details for its three Youth in Mission programs, Serving Christ in the World, Beyond Belief, and Outdoor Ministry Ambassadors. Serving Christ in the World will be held at LSTC, in Texas, and in Mexico City June 14 - July 6, 2008. Current high school sophomores and juniors may apply for this three-week intensive exploration of living out one's faith in the world.
Beyond Belief, formerly a summer program, now offers year-round opportunities for high school youth groups to participate in service activities in Chicago.
To serve youth enrolled in outdoor ministry camps, in June, July and August 2008, Youth in Mission will send seminarians to ELCA Outdoor Ministry programs as ambassadors.
Heather Wallace, Program Coordinator of Youth in Mission ministry programs at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, encourages early application and registration for all programs. February 20, 2008 is the application deadline for Serving Christ in the World.
Serving Christ in the World is for youth seeking to learn about God, themselves and ways they can use their gifts in service to others. During the three-week program students spend over a week at LSTC's campus engaged in study, activities, dialogue, and reflection. New to the program in 2008 is a four-day borderland immersion in Texas, through the Lutheran Seminary Program of the Southwest.
The youth spend one week in Mexico City where they learn and share their faith in a global context. Rev. Joy McDonald Coltvet, pastor-in-residence for the program, said, "It was incredible to work with such gifted and diverse youth from throughout the country-and to hear how each one struggled and processed and grew during the three weeks. They had life-transforming experiences and they loved each other well. They are still inspiring me."
Beyond Belief is a week-long Chicago service opportunity available year round. Youth leaders and pastors are invited to create a week that fits the needs of their youth both spiritually and financially.
LSTC offers minimal-cost housing, service project contacts, and two opportunities for time with seminarians: a welcome meal and tour of LSTC, and another meal time to discuss vocation. These contacts also offer the youth chance to talk with the seminarians about life at LSTC. One 2007 participant from Wisconsin said, "I have met people I will always remember. My eyes haven been opened to the world."
Registration is required at least two months prior to arrival. Because space is limited, register early for a Beyond Belief week during the summer of 2008.
During June, July, and August 2008, the Outdoor Ministry Ambassadors will visit camps throughout Regions 4 and 5. This partnership began in 2007 when LSTC seminarians visited several outdoor ministry sites. They served as "camp chaplain"; shared conversations about God's call, vocation, and seminary life with camp staff; and led Bible studies and worship with the whole camp community. "Outdoor Ministry is important, and I think it is vital that our seminary participates and exposes people to camping and youth and family ministry," said Holly Phillips, current intern pastor in Alaska and a 2007 Outdoor Ministry Ambassador (OMA). Outdoor ministry programs interested in inviting a seminarian ambassador should contact the Youth in Mission office at 800-635-1116, ext. 725.
Information on Youth in Mission programs, including applications and registration forms, is available at yim.lstc.edu or by calling 800-635-1116 ext. 725. Youth in Mission is also on myspace at www.myspace.com/youth_in_mission.
Youth in Mission was originally funded by a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., for the purpose of encouraging young people to explore their gifts for ministry and to consider a profession of serving others through the church. Lilly continues to fund the YIM programs through a matching grant and LSTC seeks individuals or congregations who wish to support this ministry.
To invest in the future of Youth in Mission and its programs that help youth explore ways to live out their faith in the world, call Jessica Nipp, director for advancement, at 800-635-1116, ext. 690.
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The Lutheran School of Theology (LSTC) is dedicated to bearing witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. Based in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, it is the leading urban Lutheran seminary training students for purposeful vocations in the global community. Aligned with its Lutheran heritage and built on a foundation of intellectual rigor, LSTC’s innovative, nationally recognized curriculum gives students skills for visionary Christian leadership in the public sphere.