Dear Friends in Christ –
Among Lutheran CORE’s greatest concerns have been the following –
How can we help raise up a whole new generation of Lutheran pastors who will be Biblical and confessional in their theology and who will be committed to fulfill the Great Commission to make disciples for Jesus Christ?
What can we do to reach young people for Jesus? How can we present the Gospel of Jesus to them in a clear, compelling, and engaging way? How can we help them feel and be connected to the church?
Because of these concerns, we are very grateful for the opportunity to sponsor a week of NEXUS for high schoolers at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa.
Originally funded by a substantial Lilly Endowment Grant, NEXUS is designed to give high school students a chance to engage in the study of the Bible and Lutheran theology, be involved in service, and discern whether God has gifted them and is calling them to full-time Christian ministry and/or leadership in the church. In the past three years, over one hundred high schoolers have gone through NEXUS. Grand View has found that after a week of NEXUS, students grow significantly in their understanding of Scripture, Lutheran theology, faith practices, and the doctrine of vocation. In addition, many college-aged mentors who have participated in the program have gone on to seminary and/or full-time church work.
There is no charge for high schoolers to attend NEXUS, and Grand View wants to keep it that way. The original grant from Lilly Endowment will have been spent by the end of this coming summer, so Grand View has approached Lutheran CORE and other ministries about sponsoring a week of NEXUS. The board of Lutheran CORE has long recognized that many of the Lutheran ministries that used to engage young people with a high view of the authority of the Bible and the challenge to consider a career in Christian ministry no longer exist or no longer function in that way, so the board immediately responded positively to the invitation and request.
The cost to host one week of NEXUS for twenty-four high school students, which includes college-aged mentors, teachers, activities, room and board, and materials, is $30,000. Lutheran CORE has committed half of the amount for one week – $15,000. The funds from Lutheran CORE will be matched by Lilly Endowment to cover a full week’s cost of $30,000.
Because the original grant from Lilly Endowment will cover the costs for the two weeks of NEXUS during the summer of 2020, the funds from Lutheran CORE will be used for a week during the summer of 2021. However, we do not want to wait until next year to be involved. My plan is to attend at least a significant part of the week of NEXUS this year that will be sponsored by the NALC (North American Lutheran Church) – July 12-17 – to further observe the program and to get to know, listen to, learn from, and share with the young people who are there about such things as these –
What are they thinking about, running into, and dealing with in their lives?
What are the questions that they are asking and facing?
What hopes do they have for the church and for their own lives?
What is stirring them?
Sharing in that interaction and experiencing a week of NEXUS will help us know how best to put a “Lutheran CORE imprint” upon a week of NEXUS in 2021.
My purpose for writing is to let you know about this additional ministry that we are pursuing. In his first letter to his young friend Timothy, the apostle Paul wrote, “The Spirit expressly says that in later times some will renounce the faith.” (1 Timothy 4: 1) Part of our work as Lutheran CORE is to alert people to ways in which the orthodox Christian faith is being renounced by many – unfortunately even in the church. We also want to be there for people and congregations when they do become aware of this great tragedy. In his second letter Paul wrote, “What you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well.” (2 Timothy 2: 2) It is absolutely imperative that the Christian faith be passed on from one generation to the next. We do not want to be the generation that drops the ball.
Please consider giving a gift to Lutheran CORE – over and above your current giving – to help fund the commitment that we have made to provide $15,000 for one week of high school NEXUS. You may donate online or use the response form that you will find below and/or you may designate NEXUS on the memo line on your check. We are very grateful for the faithful generosity of our friends, which will enable us to help support this fine ministry, in addition to all of the other ways in which we seek to be a Voice for Biblical Truth and a Network for Confessing Lutherans.
Blessings in Christ,
Dennis D. Nelson
Executive Director of Lutheran CORE
Visit our website www.lutherancore.org
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For easy access, the Response Form also appears below:
A Voice and Network for Confessing Lutherans
A week for high schoolers
of study in the Scriptures and Lutheran theology, involvement in ministry,
and discernment of call to full-time Christian service
Please find enclosed my gift (make check payable to “Lutheran CORE” and designate “NEXUS” on the memo line)
Please use my gift to help fund one week of NEXUS for high school students
Phone number _______________________________________
Email address ________________________________________
Prayer request ________________________________________
If you prefer, you can give online by going to the Give page on our website – https://www.lutherancore.website/give/
2 Timothy 2: 2 – “What you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well.”
1 Timothy 4: 12 – “Let no one think less of you because you are young; rather set the believers an example.”