Four new interns will be joined by two returners, who will gain a new perspective of ministry and the first-timers through an “ELI 2.0” experience.
Kari Louwagie is one of eight young adults participating in the ELI Project,a newly launched Minnesota Conference internship program for college students exploring a call to vocational ministry. Each intern is spending two months this summer within a host congregation, where he or she is engaging in various aspects of hands-on ministry. Louwagie is interning at Park Avenue United Methodist Church in Minneapolis.
The Exploring Leadership Internship program, or “The ELI Project” for short, is for students exploring a call to ordained ministry. Through it, up to 10 college students will be invited to participate in a learning experience during summer 2015.
When Rev. Judy Zabel was in high school, she was given the opportunity to work alongside an adult mentor and teach Sunday school classes at her church. Later, she became the pianist who accompanied the church choir. These experiences provided valuable leadership skills and ultimately helped her discover her passion for ministry.
That’s essentially the goal behind a formational retreat and summer internship that will be available to college students within the Minnesota Conference starting in 2015.
The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry recently approved a $60,000 grant for the Minnesota Conference through the global United Methodist Church’s Young Clergy Initiative fund. This $7 million fund, created by the 2012 General Conference, aims to “increase the number of young clergy among the jurisdictional conferences.”