The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Quiet volunteers

Programs produce leaders for the church and world

When some people face a major life change, they consider devoting themselves to long-term volunteer programs, said Michael E. Wilker, an ELCA pastor and executive director of Lutheran Volunteer Corps. Founded in 1979 and based in Washington, D.C., LVC is the largest mainline volunteer service program in the nation. In 2006, 91 volunteers served full time in 10 U.S. cities, he said.

Often people think of such service following college graduation, Wilker said. “When there’s another ‘cusp time’ such as a sabbatical, many professionals, including clergy, think about long-term service,” he added.

After a 2004 mission trip to Malawi, ELCA pastor Amy M. Oehlschlaeger, 36, took a sabbatical from parish ministry.

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