The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Project Connect

Effort links young adults to ministry opportunities, pastors and each other

On the East Coast, many ELCA-related institutions—seminaries, colleges, camps, campus ministries, Lutheran Volunteer Corps, Lutheran Student Movement, social ministry organizations and congregations—are working to double the enrollment of young adults attending Lutheran seminaries by 2010.

Charles Newman, pastor of St. Paul
Charles Newman, pastor of St. Paul Lutheran, Decatur, Ga., talks with Krystle Davis, a student at Spelman College, Atlanta, about her summer immersion experience in the congregation. The immersion was made possible by Project Connect.
Through an effort called “Project Connect: Calling Leaders for a Changing World,” they help people aged 18 to 30 discern a call to ministry. Thanks to a $3 million grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc., an Indianapolis-based philanthropic foundation, the effort will run at least five years.

Haley Vay Poynter, 20, a junior at Roanoke College, Salem, Va., learned about Project Connect while working at Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp and Retreat Center, Fort Valley, Va. She attended a 2005 discernment retreat, then served as a 2006 Project Connect intern at Christ Lutheran Church, Gettysburg, Pa.

For 10 weeks she worked alongside Stephen R. Herr, pastor of Christ, immersed in worship leadership, congregational council meetings, youth ministry, Christian education, pastoral visitation, parish administration, and work in the wider church. Now she plans to attend seminary after college graduation.

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February issue


Embracing diversity