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Reu Memorial Library 
Ministry Resources

This is the work of the IN 251 Technology in Ministry Seminar class.  These are sites which we think are helpful for those in ministry.  If you have any comments or suggestions, please contact Susan Ebertz. We cover the following categories:

Disclaimer: These sites are recommended solely by the students of the IN 251 class. Wartburg Theological Seminary does not officially endorse or recommend any of these sites.

Text Study Resources

http://www.crossmarks.com/brian/index.htm
Brian Stoffregen offers his exegetical notes on the Lectionary gospel texts, arranged both by the text or by the day of the church year. Stoffregen is an ELCA pastor and faculty at the Lutheran School of Theology at Gettysburg who does solid exegetical work from the original Greek text. This site comes highly recommended by the Spring 2007 IN 251 class!

www.lectionary.org
While the texts covered by this site are limited at this point (although it does cover both Old and New Testaments, unlike Brian Stoffregen's site that only covers the gospel texts), it does provide a plethora of information and helps for the texts it covers.  And the information is offered in English, Spanish, and Chinese! The author, Dick Donovan, who compiles the information, is an MDiv from Christian Theological Seminary, and he provides and extensive bibliography for all of his work. In Donovan's list of resources, he references solid and familiar resources, including authors such as Walter Brueggemann, Thomas Long, and Fred Craddock. www.lectionary.org provides limited free resources, but is also linked to www.sermonwriter.com, which is a more complete resource which can be accessed for a membership fee. The site is easy to navigate, and provides the following helps for each text:
sermon title,sermon in a sentence,scripture, exegesis,children's sermon, sermon, more sermons on this text, true stories, abit of humor, thought provokers, hymns, scriptures for upcoming weeks, and a bibliography.

www.textweek.com
This site has links to a multitude of different sites, offering
the lectionary texts themselves,images and movies connected with themes from the texts, commentary, exegesis & sermon preparation helps,online articles available through ATLA,lectionary reflections, discussions & weblogs, sermons, and  group studies & discussions/reflection questions.In addition to text study resources, they also have worship & liturgy resources, including prayers, graphics, children's bulletins, children's sermon helps, and hymn suggestions. The person responsible for this page offers a bit of information about each site for which they provide a link. This information almost always includes the name of the person responsible for the site, as well as their church and denomination. There is also a blog sponsored by textweek itself, which has links to several lectionary blogs. Textweek also provides links to podcasts, which include lectionary readings, liturgies, studies, and sermons & reflections. This site offers lots of options, but that also means that the user will need to use their discretion about what is most appropriate for their purposes and context.

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Small Group Ministry Resources

http://www.christianitytoday.com/smallgroups
This site actually has on-line small group ministry resources to use as well as books that you can buy.  It provides basics such as how to start and sustain small group ministries.  One caution is that it reflects an evangelical/fundamentalist/baptist theology.  You may want to review and edit materials before turning your small group leaders loose with them.

http://www.elca.org/Growing-In-Faith/Discipleship/Christian-Education.aspx 
These are good sites with Lutheran based Christian education materials that lend themselves well to small group settings.  They provide all the resources needed to organize, plan, promote, kickoff, train leaders, conduct the groups and evaluate the program.  This website recently announced that it will not produce a planner for the 2010-2011 year, but the archive is still available.

www.alphacourse.org
This site provides helpful information about a ten-week class for beginner Christians as well as Christians who want a refresher.

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Bible Study Resources  

http://www.crossmarks.com/
At this site, you can not only find the link to Brian Stoffregen's exegetical notes (listed in the "text study resources" category above), but there are also resources provided for Bible study. These resources are provided by Mark G. Vitalis Hoffman, a professor at the Lutheran School of Theology at Gettysburg. In their own words, this site "provides outstanding Bible Study materials and other Christian resources which are appropriate for small group or personal use."

http://archive.elca.org/init/safehaven/index.html
Linked to the ELCA's Safehaven for Children program, this site provides two Bible studies which "can provide a starting point for your congregation's biblical and theological study of God's call to us to help the children. There are separate questions for each Bible text for groups of adults and older youth to use, and for groups of younger children to use with youth and adult leaders." A great resource for an intergenerational study!

www.christianitytoday.com/biblestudies/
Sponsored by Christianity Today, this site offers several Bible studies to download, some for a fee and some for free. Choose from dozens of thought-provoking Bible studies on several different issues, or read online articles about Bible study and small group ministry. You can also sign up for the Christian Bible Studies newsletter and get updates on new resources.

http://bibleministries.org
Both leader and participant guides are available here for Bible studies based on the lectionary.

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Continuing Education

http://www.wartburgseminary.edu/template_Events.asp?id=160
Check out the great opportunities we have for continuing education right here at Wartburg Theological Seminary!

http://www.faithandwisdom.org/ 
This site provides a compilation of resources on lifelong learning opportunities provided by the churches that are in full communion with the ELCA.  The class found it easier to do a general search rather than a specific one, but there are lots of great opportunities listed.

http://www.elca.org/firstcall/
This is a plan for first call rostered leaders to stay connected to other first call people, to continue to reflect on ministry theologically, and to seek and offer support for collegues.

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Networking Support

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/Prayer-Center/Prayer-Network.aspx
"The ELCA prayer network is an intercessory prayer network of congregations and prayer groups (ELCA and others) across the United States and the Caribbean who have agreed to pray for those prayer requests collected on the ELCA Prayer web site." You can join in too! The website is very easily navigable. There is little to confuse. On the right are links to both an online sign up and even a snail mail sign up if one would rather be a part of the network through the mail.

http://groups.yahoo.com/
To network with other pastors or friends, all one has to do is create a Yahoo group page or join an existing one. Many sites already exist for Pastors including support groups and discussion groups around certain topics. This a good, potentially confidential, way to connect with others, share thoughts, and ask questions.

http://emergingleadersnetwork.org/globalvillage
This website connects leaders in the church with other leaders who wish to share their ideas, dreams, and prayers, especially in regard to other models of ministry as seen in the emerging church.

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National Social Services

http://www.lutheranservices.org/ 
This link connects to the Lutheran Social Services homepage.  It contains a description of who they are, what they do, and a search engine that helps a user locate services nearby.

http://www.nrscrisisline.org/helpful_links/helpful_links.html
This link connects to the National Runaway Switchboard.  The organization that operates this site is a federally-designated system designed to help youth and family members work through problems that can lead to a runaway situation and find help. The site makes it clear that they exist to help link people with resources and services in their area to help them cope and that they cannot find missing children/runaway children themselves.

http://www.eldercare.gov/Eldercare.NET/Public/Index.aspx
This link connects to The Eldercare Locator.  Maintained through the Department of Health and Human Services, it is intended to help the elderly and their caregivers find helpful information on senior services provided by state and local agencies.

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Counseling Resources

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/index.shtml
The National Institute of Mental Health is focused on reducing the burden of mental/behavioral health disorders, and this is achieved mainly through research.  If you click on “Health Information,” you will be guided to a page which includes a variety of information, resource links, current news and latest findings.  In addition, a list of disorders is provided, and a click will lead you to more info regarding specific disorders as well as additional help.  This site is highly recommended.

http://aapc.org
American Association of Pastoral Counselors is an interesting site, not affiliated with any one denomination, which welcomes ministers recognized by a community of faith.  On its resources page, it provides a lengthy list of mental health websites that seem to provide well-informed information. 

http://www.chadd.org/Content/CHADD/Support/FindOtherLocalSupportResources/default.htm
Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/hyperactivity Disorder is a professional site with pertinent info regarding AD/HD as well as links concerning other illnesses.  Although it is limited in scope, it is exhaustive regarding this illness and helpful in providing a short list of other professional links.  It is certainly worth your time and effort to browse and follow the additional links.

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ELCA Links  

http://www.elca.org/
This is the main site of the ELCA, with a fairly simple home page and links galore. The search function is probably the most helpful function on the website, as most people experience some difficulty in maneuvering this site. 

https://www.elcabop.org/Default.aspx
This is the home page for the Board of Pensions, which is the part of the ELCA church-wide structure that takes care of health insurance, retirement information, etc. This site could be helpful in looking up information when needed, particularly the page on first call!

http://www.elca.org/Growing-In-Faith/Ministry/Women-of-the-ELCA.aspx
This is the homepage for the Women of the ELCA site, and could be helpful for those who want to be involved in this part of the church structure, and for the everyone to find out more about what the Women of the ELCA are up to these days.

http://www.elcaymnet.org/
This is the homepage of the ELCA Youth Ministry Network, a network of youth ministry leaders.  There are many links that can be accessed but a few that can only be accessed through membership, which requires a membership fee.

http://www.sharingfaith.org/
This ELCA-affiliated site has faith-stories, daily Bible readings, and a whole lot of other links. It seems more directed to those who have fallen away from the church, but the inspirational-nature is good for all of us.

http://blogs.elca.org/
This is a list of blogs that are tagged "ELCA."  It includes blogs from pastors, seminary students, and lay members of our church.

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