Bing tracking

Rooted and Open

Grounding your community in core beliefs, branching out into the unknown

This post is intended to share resources with those who participated in our workshop on February 5, 2021 at the ELCA Youth Ministry Network’s Extravaganza. In this post you will find:

  1. Notes taken during our workshop on 02/05/2021
  2. The video played at the beginning of our workshop
  3. A lesson plan to use in your home congregation
  4. The videos containing our partner congregations’ stories

Black and white sketch of tree and tree roots

Workshop Description

Core theological convictions should not be walls that prevent engagement with our neighbors. Instead, they can provide a blueprint for change and engagement across differences. This workshop helps participants identify core theological convictions and imagine they can be held loosely to allow for creative change in a shifting context. Case studies from congregations involved in Augsburg University’s Riverside Innovation Hub will help us see how this can be done.

It is important to acknowledge the title of this workshop is inspired by a document that has become very important to our work. “Rooted and Open: The Common Calling of ELCA Colleges and Universities” lays out a vision for the ELCA colleges and universities as institutions rooted in the Lutheran tradition and boldly open to a changing world. We think it’s worth the read and can serve as another case study of how to hold tradition loosely in a way that generates innovation for the sake of the world.

Key Take-away

Clarity on what your core theological convictions are and ideas for how these convictions can help them think theologically about ministry and creative change in a shifting context.

Workshop Notes

These are the notes we generated together during our workshop on 02/05/2021.

Theological claims about who God is . . .

Where do we find these claims in scripture?

Love- John 1, John 3:16.    Creator-John 1, Genesis     Forgiveness-Romans 8.    Love – Love each other as I have loved you. – John.    God is love. – 1 John.    Forgiveness – “How many times?”     Creator – Genesis story.    Mother – Mother hen from Psalms.    Grace/Forgiveness – Prodigal Son.    Mother/Parent – Jesus’ birth.    Transformer – Water to wine.    Story of Exodus.    Creator with purpose!     Bigger than anything that comes across our way (Romans 8:31 for reference).    Purposeful, eternal withstanding time (psalms).    Creation story.    Pentecost.    John 3:16.    Ephesians 2:8.    Woman at the Well.    Forgiveness – Matthew 18:21.    Creation – Genesis.    God is love – love each other as I have loved you – John Chapter 1.  Creation.     Jonah.    Saul/Paul.    1 John.    Revelation.    New Heaven/New Earth

Theological claims about what God does . . .

Where do we find these claims in scripture?

Loves – God continues to pursue even when we screw up, and the whole story.     Forgives – Jesus.    Heals – Someone touches Jesus.    Relationship – Adam and eve as God’s beginning of relationship with humankind, and continues to pursue through the whole thing.    Pursue – Jonah, and the prophets.    Transforms – God transforms how God pursue us because we keep needing different ways to  be pursued.    Moves – The spirit moves over the water.    Heals – Simon’s mother in law, the blind man, Lazarus, the centurian, the woman touching the hem of Jesus’ cloak, Talitha come, baptism (healing of sins – birth of new life), even to the least of these.    feeding stories, creation, John 1, spirit stories,     God loves, sees, chooses unlikely people: sees tax collectors for worth apart from reputation, sees thief on the cross for worth apart from conviction, raises up Moses who is hesitant to lead, Jesus heals bent over woman.    Forgives – Woman to be Stoned for Adultery – John 8:1-11.    Helper – Moses Call Exodus 3 and Wilderness Wonderings.    Accompanies – Road to Emmaus – Luke 24: 13-35,     Partner – Covenant Language esp. with Abraham and Sarah.

Theological claims about the human’s role in creation . . .

Where do we find these claims in scripture?

Creation story.    God cares for the sparrows and the lilies (Matthew).    OT laws about how to structure farms to help others.    Any story where Jesu broke down walls that divide people (reaching out to women, children, lepers, Samaritans, outcasts, etc.).    Good Shepherd.    Isaiah 58 – feed the hungry.    Care/Stewardship – Genesis. (e.g. Gen. 2:15- “The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.”     Co-creators – Creation story, Adam naming animals.    Stories of mothers – Mary.    Neighbor – Good Sam. Story.    Steward – Genesis 1.    Messenger – “Go therefore and make disciples”.    care for creation in Garden of Eden, love one another, go forth and multiply, Paul plants and God waters.     Adam and eve story.    7-day creation.    Jesus Parables of the talents.    Good steward who does their job, bad stewards who kills and steals.    Foot washing story.    Love your neighbor command.    Good Samaritan.    Time with people who are outcasts stories.    Persistent widow.    Ruth and Naomi.    Woman with the anointing perfume.    Feeding of 5000.    Fish and nets.    Psalms.    Ethiopian Eunuch

Intro Video

This is the 10-minute video we used at the beginning of our workshop. It introduces the importance of thinking theologically about ministry. The ability to think theologically in your own location, in ways that are unique to that location and this time is an important and practical skill we must develop.

Lesson Plan

This lesson plan has more details and instructions than our workshop outline above. It is designed for you to print and use in your own site. You will want to read over it before leading it to make sure you gather all necessary supplies and understand the overall flow of the lesson.

PDF of Lesson Plan

Congregational Stories

These videos capture stories from some of our partner congregations. You will hear them sharing how they have learned to think theologically about ministry with and for their neighbors in their contexts.



Connect With Us

Please reach out if you would like more information about the work we are doing.

Kristina Frugé | Managing Director, Christensen Center for Vocation |

Jeremy Myers | Executive Director, Christensen Center for Vocation |