The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Me, a pastor?

"For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope" (Jeremiah 29:11).

How true these words from Jeremiah are. When I first attended an "Invitation to Service" event at California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, I was 16. I was filled with questions and doubts. This annual three-day event was an opportunity for people aged 15 to 25 to explore a variety of church vocations. My pastor had suggested that I go to seminary. I thought that was crazy. Me, a pastor? I barely paid attention in confirmation class. God didn't have any plans for me, I thought.

But I went to the event anyway, looking for answers to my questions. As it turned out, God did have plans for me. I listened to the music and the call stories. I talked to pastors and other youth. I made friends and reflected deeply on my questions. I wondered, "Am I really called to ministry?" While I was there, God shouted back, "Yes!" God had plans for me after all. I was filled with peace and certainty. I suddenly felt as if I'd found my place.

Last summer was my sixth year at Invitation to Service. Looking back on my first experiences, it seems silly that I ever doubted that God had a plan for me. After all, God created me, molded me in his image, and gave me everything I am and everything I have. Of course God had a plan for me! God always has.

I'm now a senior in college and am applying to seminary. Although I still have so much to learn, I rejoice to look at how much I've grown over the years. Through Invitation to Service, I've met wonderful role models and leaders in the church. I've had the honor of meeting other young people who are called to serve God in a variety of ways. I've learned about what it means to be faithful and what it means to follow a call from God. And in addition to these many blessings, I have complete certainty that the words of Jeremiah are true: God has plans for me and for every one of his children. God has given us a future with hope.

This week's front page features:

December coverThe December issue of The Lutheran magazine is now online. This week's featured stories are:

Be what God created you to be: Live divided no more.

Living a balanced life: What do we need to be healthier?

Second time around: Second-career pastors bring wisdom of past vocations.

Lutherans build 500 Habitat homes: In partnership with Thrivent.

Also: Augsburg Fortress: Board members vote to reinvest in infrastructure.

Also: Group begins work on sexuality social statement.

Also: ELCA college holds climate change conference.
Read these articles at our front page ...

This week on our blog:

Sonia C. SolomonsonAmber Leberman writes about the California wildfires.

Sonia Solomonson (right) shares more Thanksgiving thoughts.

Check out our blog ...

Tell us! Communion age

In the "old days" first communion was tied to the rite of confirmation. Then the age of instruction and first communion was lowered. Today in many of our churches young children - even babies and toddlers - are served communion. "The Use of the Means of Grace," the ELCA's statement on word and sacrament, states that all the baptized are welcome to receive communion. Yet a range of opinions on a proper age exists. Share yours.

Send your response to julie.sevig@thelutheran.org by Dec. 12.

Or respond online ...


Subscribe to The Little Lutheran:

The Little LutheranThe December issue of The Little Lutheran arrives this week.

Don't let the little ones in your life miss another issue! Start the new year off right — with a subscription in their name to The Little Lutheran.
The Little Lutheran helps children 6 and younger learn about God's love for them and the world in which they live. It teaches them about Jesus, their friend and savior.

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