Summer 2018 Ministry Immersion Position


I am pleased to share with you an 8-week summer ministry immersion position from June 25 to August 19, 2018.  Messiah Lutheran Church, ELCA / RIC, is located on the Iron Range of northeastern Minnesota, close to many beautiful lakes and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.  This summer ministry position would be ideal for a candidate awaiting first call or a seminarian who will be starting their internship in September or ending internship by late June.


This ministry position with an active-yet-smaller congregation will offer the experience of weekly preaching, pastoral care, and connection with the congregation’s ministry committees.  There will also be opportunity for direct engagement with the Common Ground Community Garden at Messiah, the summer youth work program (SWOP), Congregations Caring for the Earth, and the Iron Range Partnership for Sustainability.


Messiah has a rich history of working with seminarians.  For fifteen years, 1995 – 2010,  it served as a seminary internship site.  During this time it also developed and hosted a cross-cultural immersion program known as the Iron Range Immersion, which brought students from Luther Seminary to the Iron Range to experience and explore the culture of this rural industrial area, and to be trained in oral history and other listening techniques.  In 2010, it became the first non-metropolitan Reconciling in Christ congregation in the upper Midwest, and enabled the reinstatement of a partnered gay woman to the ELCA clergy roster by extending a call to her in 2012.  Messiah is the originator and host of the Summer Work Outreach Project (SWOP) for 11 to 14 year old youth, and hosts the Iron Range Earth Fest, a premier sustainability event in northeastern Minnesota.


Messiah has just entered a period of transition following the long-term pastoral ministry of Kristin Foster, (YDS 1977; adjunct faculty at Luther Seminary, 2000 – 2004).  Its interim pastor, Pastor Joyce Piper (former Assistant to Bishop Jon V. Anderson, Southwestern Minnesota Synod ELCA) will be away for this two month period, making it possible for a ministry candidate or seminary/divinity student to get broad, direct experience of leadership in a progressive small church.


There would also be opportunity to participate in Messiah’s exploration of one or more of four areas of emerging ministry:  cultivating common ground, communicating welcome, engaging and nurturing the children of the community and their parents, and forming future faith leaders.  Weekly group reflection sessions will take place with a vision team at Messiah.  At the end of the summer, a final group reflection session would take place.  The summer minister would have the opportunity to write a reflection paper to present in a class or to publish in the regional Hometown Focus.


Messiah is open to summer ministry candidates who are on the Proclaim roster, as well as seminarians who are Presbyterian, Episcopal, United Church of Christ, United Methodist, as well as ELCA.


Qualifications would include a minimum of 2 years of seminary, preferably completion of a preaching class and CPE.  Candidacy background check would be expected with Safe Sanctuary training on-site.


Stipend is at the internship level.  Supervision will be arranged.  Housing could be arranged in a variety of ways with consideration of the candidate’s needs.



Please contact Pastor Joyce Piper with candidate interest or any questions.

Mobile phone:  218.606.0238