TORRINGTON, CONN (SZS) — Have you been following Seminarian Sentiments and reading the posts of our summer interns from Central and Eastern Europe? Our Synod, in close collaboration with the leadership of the Lutheran Seminary in Bratislava (Evanjelická Bohoslovecká Fakulta, Univerzita Komenského), is hosting five seminary students this year as participants of our Student Immersion Program. Each student is being hosted by an ELCA congregation in our Synod or beyond, and every week each student has been writing about their experiences of Lutheran church life in America!
Here’s just a small sampling of some of the things they’ve been sharing:
Pavel shares: “When I was a kid, my mom said to me, that when I can see the church tower, I am home. And after that any time I was traveling some places, on the road back when I could see my church tower, I knew I was home.” What a way to say that no matter where in the world you find yourself, as long as you are near the Church, and close to God, you are home! Pavel also shares with us some of his writings from the sermon he delivered at his host congregation, Dr. Martin Luther Lutheran Church in Muskegon, MI: “In the sermon we explored how God is a God full of grace who is always sowing seeds: ‘It is flying all over the place. The birds are going to eat a bunch of it. The sun is going to kill a lot of it. The thorn bushes will choke a bunch more. But He keeps throwing it out there. A lot of what we do will not work. Many of our ministry ideas and efforts will fail. But if we keep throwing God’s good seed out there, some of it will find soil ready to receive it. If God can use a shepherd boy to bring down the giant Goliath, he can use us. If God can take eleven scared disciples and build a church that covers the Earth, he can use us.The good news is this: Jesus will keep throwing seed our way until we are ready and able to receive it.’”
Eva shares some of her experiences with American Lutheran ways in Evansville, WI: “Maybe you will be surprised but quilting in St. Johns church in Evansville is a favorite activity. Every Tuesday the ladies meet and quilt in the basement of the church.These ladies use easy technique, so everyone can help, also the beginners. After quilting you can eat some snacks. I ♥ to write this part because they quilt blankets for homeless people, isn’t it heart touching? God’s hands are everywhere.”
Ana writes about the thing she loves most about this program: “The advantage of this internship program is also about mobility. I am not sitting in one place in the office, but I am everywhere. One week I was in the camp in Stony Lake. The weekend after that I was on a pastoral visit with our Pastor Doug in Muskegon or in the White Lake area Pastors meeting in Montague the very next day, and in the meantime, I participated in the preparation of the Swedish Smorgasbord in Lebanon Lutheran Church or at a wedding…This is also a good opportunity for meeting people from different professional fields and to make conections for the future. I am happy that my summer practice started just recently. I have plenty of time to use for all the good things which God has prepared for me.”
You may not be hosting an intern in your congregation this year, but you can follow their experiences on our website by clicking here.
If you think this would be a great experience to have in your congregation too, contact the Slovak Zion Synod International Relations Committee for more information, or learn more and apply by clicking here.