BRATISLAVA (SZS) — The Slovak Zion Synod, in close collaboration with the administration of the Evanjelická Bohoslovecká Fakulta, Univerzita Komenského (EBF UK) in Bratislava, Slovakia, has hosted a conference for alumni of the Student Immersion Program of the Synod. The program, which is a part of the Synod’s mission in Central & Eastern Europe, and organized by the Synod’s International Relations Committee, brings students of the Seminary for a summer internship in a United States congregation each year.
The conference, held July 5-6, 2013 here at EBF, gathered 35 of the +130 to-date exchanges (totaled over the +20 year history of the program from 1991 to present) for a collective reflection of their experiences in American churches. The plenary gatherings were full of discussion that was focused on how their internships had positively affected their ministry in Slovakia, as well as their lives.
This collective reflection was organized for the purpose of evaluating the effect that the program has had on its participants, as well as the ripple effect on the churches they now serve. This will in turn serve as an aid in discerning the form this program will take in the future, by discovering and examining statistical trends, and planning the program’s expected expansion over the coming years. The final results of this conference will be reported directly to the Synod Assembly, as well as published online for other ELCA congregations that may wish to participate in this program in the future.