From Discerning to Calling

Date posted: Thursday 27 December 2018

In 2018, the Saint Paul Area Synod released "Stories of the Synod," a 24-page stewardship booklet detailing the synod's work. The stories inside are just a glimpse of the work that Mission Support makes possible. One of those stories, below, is about the ELCA's Young Adults in Global Mission program.


Preparing for Ministry

One of the most important roles of the synod is accompanying people as they discern and prepare for a call to public ministry through the church. The Saint Paul Area Synod is currently supporting more than 40 people through this process, called candidacy.


“The synod accompanies people prior to entering seminary, through their formation process in seminary and until they receive their first call,” says Deacon Krista Lind, assistant to the bishop for vocational formation.


Katie Langston is one of the synod’s current candidates for word and sacrament ministry. “I grew up in a tradition – Mormonism – that does not ordain women, so when I began to feel that I might have a call to ministry, it was a little disorienting,” Katie says. Her conversations with the synod began as she was identifying the gifts that she would bring to ministry. Meanwhile, her home congregation, House of Mercy in St. Paul, gave her opportunities to serve and preach as she began seminary and grew in her leadership capacity for ordained ministry.


Getting the Support She Needs

“As an adult convert to Lutheranism, I didn’t really know what to expect going in,” she reveals. Now in her final year of coursework at Luther Seminary, Katie will complete an internship next year and then be ready for ordination. Along the way, Katie has been supported by the candidacy committee. Made up of rostered ministers and lay leaders, the committee meets with candidates three times during the candidate’s formation period. Through interviews, “the candidacy committee seeks to build relationships that challenge candidates to grow in their ministry leadership and imagine what God might be calling them to in and through the church,” says Deacon Krista.


Katie has been grateful for the affirming and adaptable candidacy process and is excited to begin her first call in a couple of years.


“I think what has stood out to me the most about the candidacy process is how many people are involved in supporting and praying for the candidates, from the congregational level to the synod to the seminary,” she says. “It’s been a great experience!”




Stories of the Synod

Churches are encouraged to share the content of these stories in their congregations. Any re-print should include: Saint Paul Area Synod, To request printed copies of the booklet, please call 651.224.4313. A PDF of the booklet is also available here.