This past week, it was my privilege to host admissions directors from all eight seminaries of the ELCA right here in Chicago. We meet together annually to plan how we can work collaboratively throughout the year because even though we each believe in the unique wonderfulness of the place where we are inviting people to come, our goal is the same... to be inviters of people into ministry, in all its forms, and especially to ordained ministry of word and sacrament.
One of the things we did together was to visit two college campuses. Together, we set up a table with materials from each of our seminaries. On top of a shared banner about God's bold call, we invited people to take something from the table - viewbooks, pens, brochures. Take something home, think and pray. Leave your name so the conversation can continue.
Another thing we did together was eat. We shared noodle dishes with students at Valparaiso University and a buffet with students, staff and faculty of Carthage College. We shared boxed lunches and beautiful buffets. Around these tables, we shared life questions, "What's next for you in life?" "Where have you come from and where are you going?" "What drew you to come tonight?"
Around these tables and many other tables, our bread-breaking Jesus is present. The table is set, the feast is ready to begin. Jesus invites, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." Come. Take. Believe.
And don't forget to leave your name so the conversation can continue.
Your conversation partner,