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2017 Elisha interns, host churches selected

What do, if anything, industrial engineering and ministry have in connection with each other?

That is one of the questions that Kara Togel hopes to explore as a 2017 Elisha intern.

Togel, an industrial engineering major, hopes to explore different areas of ministry this summer at Box Elder The Bridge, a new church start, with Rev. Kori Lehrkamp.  Togel will graduate in December from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

“I want to gain experience in different areas of ministry and see if it is something I want to pursue.  I think I need to experience the ministries to see what fits,” said Togel, a member of Watertown First UMC. 

The Elisha Project, now in its fifth year, aligns with the conference’s desire to create a culture of call that actively encourages young adults to explore how God is calling them to build the kingdom.  Last summer five interns explored ministry through the internship program.

The 2017 interns will begin their journey by gathering at Annual Conference, June 7-10 in Bismarck, North Dakota. Each intern will spend ten weeks at his or her host church and gain experience in a wide variety of ministerial contexts. All interns will have the opportunity to:
• Preach and/or lead a Bible study or devotional
• Plan worship
• Be involved in a social justice or outreach ministry
• Observe leadership governance at a host site
• Provide pastoral care
Earlier this spring, college students and local churches were invited to apply to participate in the Elisha Project for the summer. A team of clergy and laity selected interns and host churches from the pool of applicants. Interns will receive a $4,000 stipend from the Dakotas Conference.

Bryce Blank and Lillian Jones will work with Mitchell Fusion and Dakota Wesleyan Campus Ministry this fall.  The hope to understand the management and structure of that are unique to these two ministry settings.

“Fusion is a unique church that was recently planted,” said Jones.  “I am excited to work with a different structure that will team me lessons that I can use in the future.”

The Elisha Project is made possible for funding from the 2016 Miracle Offering and the Thrive capital campaign.

Interns and host churches

Interning:  Bryce Blank at Mitchell Fusion and DWU Campus Ministry

Mentor: Rev. Eric Van Meter

School: Dakota Wesleyan University

Hometown: Rapid City, SD


Interning: Dylan Deflethsen, Rapid City First UMC

Mentor:  Rev. Greg Kroger

School: Dakota Wesleyan University

Hometown: White Lake, SD


Interning: Lillian Jones at Mitchell Fusion and DWU Campus Ministry

Mentor: Rev. Eric Van Meter

School: Dakota Wesleyan University

Hometown: Omaha, NE


Interning: Tiffany Ortman at West Fargo Flame of Faith

Mentor: Rev. Sara McManus

School: University of South Dakota

Hometown: Canistota, SD


Interning: Kara Togel at Box Elder The Bridge

Mentor: Rev. Kori Lehrkamp

School: South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

Hometown: Watertown, SD


Interning: Cody Warns at Spearfish UMC

Mentor: Rev. Scott McKirdy

School: Dakota Wesleyan University

Hometown: Madison, SD

I am Elisha from Dakotas UMC on Vimeo.


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