On Wednesday, March 1, 2000 the nomination process was opened for the next Exploring Church Careers Event (ECCE), a retreat designed to identify, inform and encourage high school youth with respect to a church career. The ECCE will take place Aug. 5-8, 2000 on the Concordia Seminary, St. Louis campus and will emphasize not only the pastoral ministry, but virtually all church careers.
“We have received a lot of calls and inquiries this year asking when we will begin accepting nominations and registrations,” commented Rev. Glen Thomas, vice president for seminary relations at Concordia Seminary. “We are anticipating that the limit of 120 youth will be reached in a relatively short time.”
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 vocation,” said Thomas. “We also want youth to hear of the inherent joys and challenges they will face as they serve in a church vocation.”
A mailing containing a nomination form has been sent to all Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod pastors, directors of Christian education, youth group leaders, high school teachers, principals, and guidance counselors. In addition, the March issue of “Lutheran Witness” contains a full-page ad for the ECCE which includes a nomination form. The Seminary’s Web site (csl-edu-staging.mrhxrwi0-liquidwebsites.com) also contains a nomination form which can be printed and submitted.
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.
Evaluation forms completed by the 117 youth who attended last year’s ECCE indicate 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 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!”
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.