The Aug. 7-10 retreat on the Concordia Seminary, St. Louis campus designed to inform and encourage high school youth with respect to church work careers is now filled to capacity. The retreat, called the Exploring Church Careers Event (ECCE) has a limit of 120 youth.
“Approximately 330 nominations and more than 120 registrations have been received,” indicated Rev. Glen Thomas, Vice President for Seminary Relations at Concordia. “I want to thank the pastors, parents and others in the church who submitted nominations of youth for this event. We have been overwhelmed with the response and we are starting a waiting list in the event that some who have registered are unable to attend.”
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.”
For more information, contact Admissions Office, Concordia Seminary, 801 DeMun Ave., St. Louis, MO 63105; or by e-mail (ECCEvent@aol.com); or by calling 314-505-7722.