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I am a Puente

As Puentes (bridges) our calling with young adult leadership development and sustainability, we use a process of collective exercises as we reflect on self-awakening questions. We invite both the left and right brain strengths for processing vocational calling.

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By: Vanessa Martinez Soltero January 12, 2021


This is America

In 21st century America, we continue to operate under the disillusionment of the American myth—that we are the “United” States of America. Contrary to popular belief, since its founding by design, America has been a divided, not a united country.

Yesterday was a stark reminder of this fact.

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By: Stephen Lewis January 07, 2021


2020 Excellence in Mentoring Award Announced

Established by FTE in 2017, the Excellence in Mentoring Award recognizes mentors in FTE’s doctoral community who demonstrate a sustained commitment to the advancement of scholars of color through integrative mentorship practices.

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By: FTE Leaders December 15, 2020


Discerning Another Way Forward: Accompanying Young Adults in the time of Social Distance

FTE’s 2021 grant applications are currently open for organizations to accompanying pastoral interns, mentoring programs for discerning young adults, and creating vocational discernment resources authentic for their community’s context.

Because of the pandemic, FTE is encouraging congregations and faith-based organizations not to propose the same projects they might in a time without COVID. Instead, we are asking those proposal creators to lean into that uncertainty of discernment that they are already so familiar with in their accompaniment of young adults. Lean into that uneasy feeling of trying something new, do something different, and ultimately find what is authentic at this moment.

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By: Heather B.P. Wallace December 10, 2020


Wrestling with the Deep Questions of My Life

I don’t know about you, but when I have had times of wrestling with deep questions, I don’t sleep much. I end up watching the moon turn into the dawn breaking. During this time of dealing with the restrictions, limitations and isolation that Covid has brought into my life, compounded by the realities that black lives do not hold equal value as white people’s lives in our country, I have been wrestling with a lot of thoughts and questions over the past six to eight months.

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By: Andrea Sawyer-Kirskey December 08, 2020


Get to Know Joe Ella Darby

Meet Rev. Joe Ella Darby, an FTE Alum based in Nashville, Tennessee, where she serves as the vacation bible school coordinator for the Sunday School Publishing Board and the assistant to the pastor for discipleship at First Baptist Church, Capitol Hill. She is also currently participating in a Chaplain residency program serving the VA hospital. In her Q&A, Rev. Darby shares what excites her most about FTE’s work, how her ministry has changed during the pandemic, and advice to young adults discerning their call.

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By: Joe Ella Darby November 19, 2020


The Ugly Truth About Church

Let’s be honest. The church is often not a hospitable space. Faith communities have centered the privileged and pushed others to the margins. Religious groups have tried to snuff out those with a burning zeal for justice in order to maintain the status quo. Ministries have dismissed many who doubt and ask curious questions.

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By: Rich Havard October 20, 2020


Stories From the Field: Oregon Fellowship

The Oregon Fellowship is a collaboration between Together Lab and the Oregon Synod. Watch, listen or read the conversation between pastors Ron Werner, Jr. (Together Lab) and Melissa Reed (Oregon Synod) as they share their four markers to create hospitable space within the Oregon Fellowship.

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By: Christina Repoley September 24, 2020


Get to know FTE’s Resource Design Team

In January, I shared that FTE underwent a redesign last year in response to a new strategic direction, a changing landscape and new questions emerging. This seems so long ago given how the two pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism have disrupted life as we knew it and turned our world upside down during the past five months.

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By: Stephen Lewis July 28, 2020


25 Questions from a South Minneapolis Pastor During the George Floyd Uprising

The police murdered George Floyd in the same neighborhood as my church, New City Church. Many pastors have reached out to me asking how they can help, and lately my most common response has been: start having conversations with your own people, because if this hasn’t happened in your neighborhood already, it certainly can.

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By: Tyler Sit June 05, 2020


Dark Moments Call for Faithful Leaders

The events over the past several days following the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor are the result of anger, grief, and trauma from the injustices and violence Black people have endured for hundreds of years.

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By: Stephen Lewis June 02, 2020


Update on Summer/Fall 2020 Gatherings

Due to ongoing concerns about the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), FTE has decided to postpone all in-person gatherings scheduled for this summer and fall. This was not an easy decision to make, however, we are prioritizing the health and well-being of our event attendees, staff, and loved ones. We will continue to monitor and follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and other health experts when planning future events.

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By: Stephen Lewis June 01, 2020


Partners in Possiblity

Just days after our daily lives shifted dramatically with the COVID-19 crisis, FTE virtually convened the first Community of Practice Cohort. In light of the massive changes that had taken place over the course of the previous three days, I started the meeting asking two questions:

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By: Christina Repoley May 29, 2020


I See You

To those with chronic illnesses and disabilities—I see you. In the midst of this pandemic, I see you. With messages around us of whose lives are worth saving, of how maintaining productivity is critical, of how social distancing is the “worst” and must end soon…

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By: Zoie Sheets May 04, 2020


A Reason to Celebrate

Party favors, friends and family, cake and ice cream, cameras, and candles to make a wish are essential items for most birthday celebrations. What I loved most about birthdays growing up was the ritual of it all. And I looked forward to celebrating with friends and family one of the most important moments in their lives—the day they were born. Why? Because birthdays provide us an opportunity to remember and celebrate our gifts and purpose.

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By: Stephen Lewis April 27, 2020


Go offline on April 22, 2020

On April 22, 2020, Earth Day turns 50. During that first celebration in 1970, more than 20 million people, including many religious leaders and young adults, went outside to demand a better world. In that same year, the National Environment Protection Act went into effect establishing the Environmental Protection Agency.

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By: Patrick B. Reyes April 21, 2020


Thoughts In A Pandemic

how do we do social distancing in community

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By: Emilie Townes April 17, 2020


Walking Into the Future this Easter Season

Vocation rarely unfolds in the abstract. It is granular, day-by-day, often emerging out of life’s bone-crushing losses and the grace-filled ability to create ourselves anew. I thought about this when I read novelist Arundhati Roy’s haunting account of the massive trauma unfolding among migrant workers in her native India amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

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By: Dori Baker April 10, 2020


God has Left the Building

Recently a friend asked, “How’s the ‘God business’?” I wittily replied with a play on an Elvis catchphrase, “God has left the building.”

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By: Anton Flores-Maisonet March 30, 2020


Dancing in the Midst of Complexity

Last week I had the privilege to facilitate a cohort of amazing women for an Inaugural Thriving in Ministry retreat in Pine Mountain, GA. During this time, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global pandemic status for COVID-19.

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By: Darlene Hutto March 24, 2020

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