High school youth may still register for the Aug. 17-19 retreat on the Concordia Seminary, St. Louis campus designed to inform and encourage them with respect to a church work career. The retreat, called the Exploring Church Careers Event (ECCE) has a limit of 120 youth.
“Approximately 300 nominations and 90 registrations have been received to date,” indicated Rev. Glen Thomas, Vice President for Seminary Relations at Concordia. “There is still time for youth to register, but they should not delay. We would like youth to be nominated by their pastor, parents or other members of their church to attend this event. After receiving a nomination, we forward the actual registration forms to the nominee.”
Registration cost is $40. Meals and lodging will be provided at no cost for ECCE participants and travel grants are available to assist youth who are coming from distances which might be prohibitive.
The four-day ECCE will include Bible study, presentations by recognized leaders in youth ministry, and on-site visitation opportunities featuring a wide variety of church career professionals. “We want youth who attend the ECCE to see the many ways God can use the gifts He has given them to serve Him in a church work career,” said Thomas. “We also want youth to hear of the inherent joys and challenges they will face as they serve in a church work career.”
Concordia Seminary has been working with Rev. Terry Dittmer, associate director of the Department of Youth Ministry (Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod) in designing the overall effort. Rev. Darrell Zimmerman, pastor of Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, Brentwood, Mo. and a recognized leader in youth ministry, is also involved in the program, as is Deaconess Natalie Watt of St. John Lutheran Church, Warrenton, Mo.
The ECCE is made possible by a $150,000 grant Concordia Seminary received to assist in the process of identifying, informing and encouraging high school youth toward service in church work careers. The grant is from Lilly Endowment Inc., headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind.
“This grant will allow us to address the declining numbers of students who are preparing to serve as pastors, teachers, directors of Christian education, and other church career positions,” said Thomas. “Everyone who has watched the shortages in these vocations increase over recent years is alarmed. We plan to hold an ECCE for at least the next three years to assist our Church in addressing this alarming trend.”
Nomination and registration forms are available by contacting Admissions Office, Concordia Seminary, 801 DeMun Ave., St. Louis, MO 63105; or by e-mail (ECCEvent@aol.com); or by calling 314-505-7722. Nomination forms may also be printed from the Concordia Seminary web site (www.csl.edu).