Vocations in Public Ministry Virtual Lunch
Sponsored by the Office of Vocational Networking in conjunction with the Master of Arts in Public Ministry program, the Vocations in Public Ministry Virtual Lunches are an opportunity for you to engage in conversation with practitioners following diverse calls to public forms of ministry in unexpected professions, fields, and ventures.
All are invited to bring their lunch (or snack and beverage of choice) and explore questions of vocational discernment, making a living, and connecting theological education to the needs of the world. You'll receive the Zoom link in your registration confirmation email.
October 27, 2020 | 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. (CDT)
Rev. Don Elmer
Don is a graduate of Evangelical Theological Seminary, Master of Divinity 1970. He was ordained that same year in the Dakotas Conference by Bishop James Armstrong. He was appointed each year to what is now known as extension ministries, to the ministry of community organizing until he retired. He was assigned to a community organization founded by Saul Alinsky & Monsignor Jack Egan, Northwest Community Organization in Chicago. He was trained by successors to Alinsky there and became the director in 1973. He helped form National Peoples Action and was director of their affiliate in Chicago (Metropolitan Area Housing Alliance). In 1977 he founded and directed Washington Innercity Self Help in a Black section of Washington, DC, which was a very low income tenant alliance. In 1981 he became the first director of a congregation based community organization in Denver (MOP). In 1987 he was hired by Center for Community Change based in Washington, DC. He consulted with organizing directors in the Northwest, put together a group of 25 directors around the country to transition to congregation based organizing in the late 80’s & early 90’s, did ongoing consulting to community organizations around the country, helped the Center to pull together organizers & leaders from the networks & independents to work on issues nationally, worked with national denominational leaders in seeing organizing as a ministry, and did 100 video interviews of community organizers around the country. He retired in 2015.
After a personal trauma of divorce he found a Buddhist form of meditation in 1990 which was both healing and transformative to him personally and to his work as a community organizer. He now participates with an interfaith group of folks who do spiritual work together similar to what some call spiritual direction.