By: Stephen Lewis
November 29, 2012
I wrote you earlier this fall regarding FTE’s strategic planning and one-year review of the Fellowships programs, with the exception of the Volunteers Exploring Vocation (VEV) Fellowship. As we prepare for the season of Advent, I am grateful for the great work FTE has done through 2012 with young leaders, and anticipate the next steps FTE will take in 2013 as we discern how the organization might best support and cultivate diverse young people to be faithful, wise and courageous leaders for the church and the academy.
This discernment period invites us to engage in conversations – lots of conversations. FTE will spend time next year talking to partners doing complementary work, faculty of theological institutions, church leaders and FTE Alumni, like you, and others. These conversations will help us understand the shifting picture of ministry and leadership in the church and academy, and how we might make the best strategic impact with the resources entrusted to FTE to cultivate the next generation of leaders for the church and the academy.
This period of discernment also invites us to prototype new and different ways of cultivating and supporting young leaders in the exploration of their call, passion and purpose; to continue to build ecuemenical relationships with a wide array of partners working with young adults and that reflect a diverse church across North America; and to work more intentionally within an ecology of institutions who have a stake in identifying and nurturing young Christian leaders. In 2013, FTE will begin hosting several events and consultations with existing and potential partners. We will convene diverse young people across the U.S. and Canada exploring Christian vocations. We will also begin to explore ways to work more intentionally with FTE Alumni to accompany young adults in their midst who are discerning their call, passion and a faithful life of service.
Toward that end, we began piloting a mentoring project (“Walk With Me”) in August that will run through December of 2013. Six FTE Alumni are serving as mentors to current participants in partner volunteer service programs in four regions in the U.S. This pilot engages mentors and mentees in vocational questions.
In the season of Advent, we look toward the future with hope and great anticipation of what God is already doing with us and through us to call young leaders, renew the church and change the world. Blessings!