In January, Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary holds Winterim, a two-week period that offers students and pastors the opportunity to take for-credit courses that are not normally part of the seminary curriculum. In addition to the courses, students may also participate in research projects or practical experiences.
This year, courses included topics such as Radical Reformation, 1 Peter, and Cultism in America. In addition to classroom learning, three students participated in a Spanish-immersion program in Mexico, 11 took part in an outreach effort in Texas, 11 traveled to Israel, and seven completed independent research.
Jacob Jenswold, Doug VanSice, and Ross Chartrand traveled to Falcon, Colo. (northeast Colorado Springs). There they served at Foundation Lutheran Church, a mission congregation led by Pastor Steve Prahl. Foundation has been worshiping weekly since early October 2016 in a rented school gymnasium. Besides experiencing how a new mission church worships, the students helped plan several four- to six-week themed worship series complete with graphics for worship folders, social media promotion, and music that fits Foundation’s worship philosophy and musicianship level.
Paul Bourman, Jordan Uhlhorn, and James Hemmelman traveled to Mexico for the annual SPICE trip. This Spanish Immersion Cultural Experience is designed to improve students’ Spanish language skills and to offer real-life experience with Mexican culture. This year, in addition to language classes at the Spanish Institute of Puebla, the students participated in a pastors’ conference with the Mexican church.
“The trip helped me learn about Mexican culture. There are many Mexican immigrants in the United States today, and to be able to serve them in our churches we need to understand their background—their beliefs, their concerns, their worldview. Going on this trip made me much more aware of these things,” says Hemmelman.
Asia Lutheran Seminary, Wisconsin Lutheran College, and Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary hosted a 10-day trip to Israel. Eleven seminary students joined two professors, Steve Geiger and Tom Kock, to see historical and biblical sites from the Sea of Galilee to Bethlehem, from Nazareth to Jerusalem, from Jericho to Capernaum.
“What an adventure it was to go to Israel, the place where salvation history unfolded! I took nearly a thousand photos a day,” says seminary student Sam Jeske. “On and around this massive lake—the Sea of Galilee—Jesus preached sermons, drove out demons, fished with his disciples, and displayed his mighty power over the wind and waves. Our God isn’t just mighty to save from the sea and storms, but from sin and death.”
Eleven students traveled to Texas and learned some of what WELS does when determining if areas are suitable to begin a home mission. The students learned about two suburbs on the east side of Austin that are growing rapidly. They interviewed community leaders, participated in a food drive, and talked to residents to see how a new church could meet their needs.
“We don’t know what God has in store for Elgin and Manor or for us in our future ministries, but we’re thankful for this trip because it has given us experience, taught us new ways to intentionalize our evangelism efforts, and encouraged all of us to seek the lost and share the good news of Christ,” says Nathanael Jensen. “Because no matter where we serve, whether in an established congregation or a new mission, whether here in Mequon or halfway across the world, we are called to go and make disciples.”
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Volume 104, Number 3
Issue: March 2017
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