2018 interns: (Left to right) Chelsea Schmeling, Luke Wodahl, Thanael Certa-Werner, Natasha Letcher, Synnova Geranen. Photo by jlynn studio.
“I have always known that a relationship with God is a powerful one, filled both with love and honesty, and I knew that I wanted that type of relationship. However, I did not always know what that relationship would look like.” These are the words of discernment from Allison Galbreath. Galbreath will explore her call to ministry as a 2019 Elisha intern at Sioux Falls First UMC.
The Elisha Project, now in its seventh 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. In the upcoming year, four Elisha interns and one Samuel intern will explore ministry. Three of the past Elisha interns are headed to seminary the Fall of 2019: Byrce Blank, Dylan Dethlefsen, and Thanael Certa-Werner. Lily Jones, also a past Elisha intern, is headed to Northern Ireland to serve as United Methodist Global mission fellow.
Allison hopes to experience what it is like to be in ministry full-time. She is a psychology major with a minor in Character of Leadership at University of Jamestown in North Dakota. “During my first year at university, I received a call to serve God in a bigger way, to become a pastor. To pursue this calling, I joined an on-campus ministry team and became a leader in the missional outreach and fellowship team."
Zach Gors will intern at DWU campus ministry and Mitchell Fusion starting in the fall. Photo by Dave Stucke.
She will spend the summer at Sioux Falls First UMC where she hopes to write sermons, lead Bible studies, prepare for weddings and funerals, learn about the management side of church—budget, coordinating volunteers, managing the building.
Zach Gors, a native of Tea, South Dakota, will work with Mitchell Fusion and Dakota Wesleyan Campus Ministry this fall. He hopes to grow in faith and understand his strengths in ministry.
“I hope to better understand my role within society, recognize strengths for ministry, and grasp a better depth of knowledge in my faith walk," says Gors.
Tanner Carlson, center, will intern this summer at Rapid City Canyon Lake UMC. File photo.
Tanner Carlson is finishing his second year of college at the University of Oklahoma. Tanner is hoping to head to seminary when he graduates. He hopes to further define his call to ministry at Rapid City Canyon Lake UMC. "I hope to use this ministry internship to better articulate my call to ministry and to learn what sort of growth I need to focus on in seminary. I have three particular areas in which I would like to grow and learn this summer. First, I hope to learn how to be collaborative in ministry. Second, I believe I would benefit at this stage in life especially from becoming more adept in cross-cultural ministry. Third, I would like to be exposed to the technologies church staff use."
Allison Jensen is headed to Spearfish for the summer. She is a senior at South Dakota State University in Brookings. She hopes pastoral ministry is the right fit for her. “My personal goal for this ministry intern position is to understand the daily tasks that pastors have within the church, because I am not sure whether I would like to attend seminary. I would like to understand what happens with the church communication and how things are put together to make the church well-functioning."
The 2019 interns will begin their journey by gathering at Annual Conference, June 6-8, 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 were invited to apply to participate in the Elisha Project. A task force of Board of Ordained Ministry members selected interns and matched them with host churches. Interns will receive a $4,000 stipend from the Dakotas Conference for the ten-week internship.
Pray for these interns and host churches:
Interning: Tanner Carlson, Rapid City Canyon Lake UMC
Mentor: Rev. Kevin Kloster
School: University of Oklahoma
Hometown: Bismarck, ND
Interning: Allison Galbreath, Sioux Falls First UMC
Mentor: Rev. Bob Ruedebusch
School: University of Jamestown
Hometown: Steele, ND
Interning: Zach Gors, Mitchell Fusion and DWU Campus Ministry
Mentor: Rev. Eric Van Meter and Rev. Steve Trefz
School: Dakota Wesleyan University
Hometown: Tea, SD
Interning: Allison Jensen, Spearfish UMC
Mentor: Rev. Scott McKirdy
School: South Dakota State University
Hometown: Beresford, SD
Also interning this summer through the Samuel Project, a high school internship experience.
Interning: Grady Maaland at Watertown First UMC
Mentor: Rev. Sara Nelson
School: Watertown High School
Hometown: Watertown, SD