The next Exploring Church Careers Event (ECCE), a retreat on the Concordia Seminary, St. Louis campus designed to inform and encourage high school youth with respect to church work careers, will take place Aug. 5-8, 2000.
The four-day ECCE includes 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 Rev. Glen Thomas, Vice President for Seminary Relations at Concordia Seminary. “We also want youth to hear of the inherent joys and challenges they will face as they serve in a church work career.”
A $40 registration fee is the only charge youth pay, in addition to travel costs, to attend the ECCE. All activities, meals during the event and on-campus lodging are provided at no cost to participants. Travel scholarships also exist to ensure that travel costs do not prevent youth from attending.
“We are very happy with the results of the 1999 ECCE that was held Aug. 7-10,” indicated Thomas. “Evaluation forms completed by the 117 youth who attended this year’s ECCE show that the event was successful and accomplished its purpose. Many youth indicated a greater desire to serve in a church career as they contrasted their thoughts prior to the ECCE with those they had after the event.”
One 1999 ECCE participant wrote, “It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot I never knew before. The staff that led the groups and Bible studies was very good. It was awesome!” Another participant commented, “It was a great experience to meet new people and better understand the careers. I really liked it and hope I can do something constructive with my future.” Still another participant stated, “I loved everything about this trip. I loved meeting new people. It was such a wonderful and uplifting experience!”
Publicity and registration forms for ECCE 2000 will be sent in January 2000. “Since our capacity is 120 high school youth, we are not going to pre-register anyone until the official forms are sent in the mail,” indicated Thomas. “Since we had a waiting list this year and had over 350 high school youth nominated to attend, we need to be fair to all who hope to participate. Unfortunately, we also are going to have to insist that those who attended the 1999 ECCE will not be eligible to attend ECCE 2000. We want to have the largest number of youth possible attend this event over the years, and this is the only way to ensure that 120 additional youth can attend each year.”
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.
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.