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“Shining In, Shining Out” – Project Connect Hosts Discernment Retreat for Young Adults

A group of fifty 18-30 year olds and leaders met January 8-11, 2015, in New York City for the Epiphany-themed “Shining in, Shining out.” The weekend included service projects, vocational discernment conversations, and post-dinner community reflection time.

“Our goal  was to provide this group of young adults with an opportunity for theologically-grounded vocational discernment” noted LTSP’s Matt O’Rear, who coordinated the retreat and program. “Attendees had an experience of exploring their call by virtue of baptism, and we lifting up for them the possibility that this call might include a call to public ministry.”

A highlight of the weekend was a conversation with 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Leymah Gbowee. A member of the Lutheran church in Liberia, Gbowee is a peace activist who brought together Christian and Muslim women in a nonviolent movement that ended Liberia’s civil war in 2003. Gbowee addressed the participants about how her vocation and work for peace in the world is rooted in her baptism. Her powerful story can be found in her memoir, Mighty Be Our Powers, and the award-winning documentary “Pray the Devil Back to Hell.”

The retreat was presented by Project Connect, an initiative of the Eastern Cluster of Lutheran Seminaries – The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, and the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary of Lenoir-Rhyne University – funded by a generous grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc.

Shining in, Shining out

In the photos: upper left – LTSP students and staff, part of the retreat’s leadership team, with 2011 Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee; upper right – LTSP’s Matt O’Rear and Leymah Gbowee; bottom – Retreat attendees gathered for a group photo

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