On Sept. 18-19, mentors serving in the Pastor Partners Mentoring Initiative gathered on campus for training. These annual sessions allow mentors to get support in their role and offer time for discussion to allow mentors to learn and grow together. This year, 70% of the 68 active mentors participated.
Presenters this year included Professor Rich Gurgel from WLS; Pastor Jeremiah Gumm from Cross of Christ, Liverpool, NY; retired seminary Professor Forrest Bivens; Pastor David Barkow, from Christ the Lord, Cottage Grove, Minn.; Pastor Stephen Schmiel from Faith, Prior Lake, Minn., and Scott Miller from Immanuel, South Lyon, Mich.
In cooperation with the synod’s Conference of Presidents, Pastor Partners provides trained and experienced pastoral mentors for Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary graduates for the first three years of their ministry. One of the key goals of the mentoring initiative is to help that young pastor build and strengthen ties both to his circuit pastor and other ministry peers as well as building and strengthening ties with his congregations’ lay leaders.