Uncovering Vocation is a partnership between Campus Ministry and the Christensen Center for Vocation at Augsburg University. Every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month, a member of the Augsburg community is invited to share a component of their vocation story. It has become a way of building community, becoming reacquainted with one another, and celebrating the diversity of people and vocations that make Augsburg University the beautiful place it is.
One morning about a month ago, as I was running around the house, getting everyone ready for school, when my 3.5 year old son drew an almost perfect circle on a leather stool with a bright red, permanent marker. When I came in the room he pointed to it with the marker and said, “I did not do this.” I frantically told him: We only draw on paper. And asked him repeatedly, “why did you do that?” He responded with tears, apologies, and a smirky 3 year old smile that told me he was both sorry and not sorry. I don’t think I will ever know “why” he did it but I imagine he got the idea and he couldn’t NOT draw the bright red circle while no one was looking. It was a little bit brave and I think he knew it. He definitely took a risk with his selection of media. But he went for it.
After scrubbing the chair with nail polish remover, I crouched down next to him and said, “That was a very beautiful circle. Next time, please draw it on paper”.
I tell this story because I believe in the idea that everyone and everything is a teacher. The story of the red circle is funny and playful (in hindsight of course) and it is also a statement about how I try to understand what each moment is teaching me. And what I am teaching others through my life and work. Continue reading “Give Your Gifts Freely by Dr. Jennifer Diaz (Education)”→
I just about thought that I knew all that I needed to know about the term vocation as I began my role as the V-Portfolio Coordinator with the Christensen Center for Vocation. Turns out, the more I’ve worked on the V-Portfolio, the more I have realized how helpful being precise about what vocation is, intentional of discerning one’s own vocation, and being honest with yourself is for me and for students of Augsburg University.
Within the updated V-Portfolio website students are introduced or reintroduced to the term vocation, as it is defined as, “the way you are equipped, empowered, called, and driven to make our world a better place for all living things.” Colloquially vocation has been coined as a term that means the type of career or lifestyle one aspires to have. Vocation is something that happens in the future and begins with the individual. The V-Portfolio offers a different definition of vocation. As through the V-Portfolio, vocation is framed to focus on the present and is in response to the world, the neighbor. This is important work as our vocation is compelled to move because of the neighbor and that we get to decide how to respond using our own gifts, knowledge, and talents.
Jon joined the Christensen Center for Vocation team at the beginning of 2022 as the V-Portfolio Coordinator. In this role he will be coordinating the creation of the V-Portfolio which is a tool that will allow students to capture, reflect, and gain insight from their learning experiences and vocation throughout their time at Augsburg.
With excitement, Jon makes a return to Augsburg University as he graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Youth and Family Ministry Degree in 2015. Since graduation Jon worked in children, youth, and family ministry in faith communities within the Twin Cities and also Billings, Montana. He also spent time working in the digital department at Star Tribune from 2017-2019. Through his eclectic career, Jon has admired his time building relationships amongst his teams, creating projects for people of all ages, and the time spent organizing information, art supplies, and bundt pans.
Currently, Jon is also a nursing student at Minneapolis Community & Technical College. He finds joy in coffee, reading, time with his loved ones, and time napping. Jon is eager to strengthen his skills in project management, work with the CCV Team and other departments on campus, and create the V-Portfolio for the students of Augsburg.
The Till & Keep journal was published by Exploring Our Gifts at Augsburg University, a program for the theological exploration of vocation that operated from 2002-2010 and was funded by the Lilly Endowment, Inc. The journal was created by and for members of Augsburg and the greater academic community to encourage reflection and dialogue about vocation and the interplay between faith and learning.
Movie and Book Recommendations from the CCV Advisory Board
At our recent winter meeting we solicited names of movies and books that come highly recommended by the members of the Board. Here is the list:
Melissa Pohlman: Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces That Keep Us Apart by Christena Cleveland
John Snider: Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi by Richard Rohr
Mark Hanson: Never Wholly Other: A Muslima Theology of Religious Pluralism by Jerusha Tanner-Lamptey A Strange Glory: The Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Charles Marsh
Marty Stortz: David Foster Wallace’s commencement address (2005) at Kenyon College
Christoph Schwoebel’s article “Talking Over the Fence. From Toleration to Dialogue” (for John Clayton on his 60th Birthday), in: NZSTh 45 (2003), 115-130.
Sonja Hagander: The Round House by Louise Erdrich
The film “Sweet Land”— suggested given disagreements about immigration.
Jack Fortin: Christianity for the Rest of Us by Diana Butler Bass
Martha E. Stortz (Bernhard M. Christensen Professor of Religion and Vocation) and Jack Fortin (CCV Senior Fellow) work with the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research on special vocation-related programs.
The Collegeville Institute has created a helpful video resource for personal and/or small group reflections. “Vocation is the story of our lives: how God calls and how we respond. Lives Explored is a video narrative project started in 2012 to capture stories of vocation from participants in the Called to Life and Called to Workprograms.”
BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT CHRISTENSEN SYMPOSIUM
The annual Christensen Symposium-first held in 1990-is made possible through the Christensen Endowment, which was established by alumni and friends of Augsburg to honor Bernhard M. Christensen. As the president of Augsburg College and Seminary from 1938 to 1962, Christensen was a central figure in drawing Augsburg fully into the study of the liberal arts.
The Symposium is designed to reflect and reinforce the principles to which Christensen showed such deep commitment: academic integrity, the Christian Gospel, and a mutually supportive relationship with the church. In addition, it serves as a vehicle for the Augsburg community to explore and apply the five lessons that are Christensen’s legacy: