Award-Winning Seminarian Essays

Two CSL students recently had essays recognized and published. The online journal Let’s Talk states their goal as follows:

The mission of this journal is to encourage theological reflection, writing and dialogue on issues vital to the life of the Church by publishing articles, essays, and responses authored by lay and professional members of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

This journal sponsored a contest for seminarians, with the following challenge:

Last year, we on the editorial board of Let’s Talk decided to ask Lutheran seminarians about the developments in the church for which they were preparing. What technological, cultural, and theological changes did they expect to shape their careers in ministry? These pages have documented many of the controversies that have absorbed generations of Lutherans. What, we wondered, are those who will enter the ranks of the clergy in the next few years expecting to struggle with?

Joseph Signore, a 2nd year student, won top honor with his essay on sexual purity, in which he deplores the lack of discussion and guidance within the church. He asks “So what is the Lutheran Church doing to protect its members from the horrific consequences of masturbation and pornography? What is the church currently doing to help heal those people whose lives have been devastated by these sexual sins?”

Joseph Seifert’s (a 4th year student) essay on the post-church trends in society was recognized as a “runner-up.” His essay encourages the church to focus on what it has been called to be, to “‘do church’ in a way that conforms to that which makes it so special — it is where God speaks” and to “be the church in our communities by listening to Jesus and serving one another.”

Congratulations to Joe and Joe on this recognition. As men who head off soon to vicarage and first calls (they are eagerly awaiting call day next week!), it is heartening to know that they are already engaging the world into which we are called with the Gospel of Christ.

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