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Walking Alongside

E. P. Martin was nurtured in faith in his home congregation, Joy Lutheran, Moore. Recognizing God was calling him to become a rostered minister. He would be quitting his job and was concerned about paying for his seminary education. His wife, Sandi, could stay employed if the family could remain geographically located in the upstate of South Carolina. He started out unsure, not knowing how it would all work out, entered seminary, and began the candidacy process. Relationships were established in the candidacy process. In particular, he received affirmation along the way from a rostered minister who was his contact person and from a member of the bishop’s staff who kept in touch with how things were going. Financial support was provided along the way.  “Each semester I received encouragement and affirmation through the financial support from the seminary and the South Carolina Synod”, he said. Along the way he took time for discernment between chaplaincy or parish ministry. In the candidacy process, E. P. said, “the obstacles that I worried about in the beginning were removed.”

E. P. will be graduating in May from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary and is currently in the call process. He is confident that he wants to serve as a minister of Word and Sacrament in a congregation and that is where he is called to be. E. P. stated, “I just can’t imagine doing anything else. This is what I need to be doing.” When asked, “What would you tell someone else considering entering the candidacy process?”, he replied, “You may not see how it’s going to come together in the beginning, but the Holy Spirit puts people and opportunities in our lives to walk along with us in the journey.” E. P. spoke with deep appreciation for the members of the candidacy committee who have accompanied him on this four-year journey, put in a lot of time, effort and diligence into this process and making it a labor of love.

The distinctive role of the South Carolina Synod Candidacy Committee is to work with the Churchwide Office, the seminaries and congregations to ensure that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America prepares gifted people who are called by God to serve as rostered ministers in this church. Through your generous Mission Support, a portion of the offerings received in your congregation, given to the synod and the wider church, the candidacy process is making a difference and seminarians receive financial support for their education. Thank you for your Mission Support!

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ELCA South Carolina Synod
1003 Richland Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Telephone 803-765-0590
Fax 803-252-5558

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