|Here is Webber, trained by an ELCA professor,|
publishing in Logia, the UOJ journal
financed by the frozen food adulterer, Marvin Schwan.
The Ukraine adventure was also financed by St. Marvin.
This article was taken from the fall edition of the Word at Work magazine, page 24
Kari Malinak is a great student. “I can pursue this graduate degree while living in Texas,” declares Kari. “I have been a student with the Institute of Lutheran Theology for about three years and am about one-third of the way to the Masters of Divinity degree. First of all, I want to say the teachers are incredible. Their amount of knowledge is crazy and they know how to teach. I’d like to go faster, but really like the scheduling flexibility, for I have even arranged to take an in-depth course, independently. And I did not have to uproot my family.”
While being a great student on the undergrad level, Kari earned her college degree in theater performance with cum laude accolades. In the graduate course work with the ILT, she has earned mostly A’s with the occasional B. Yet as she tells it, when she took her first class from the Institute of Lutheran Theology, the high level of discussion made her question herself. And the realization dawned upon her that great students like Lou Hesse, and great teachers like Dennis Bielfeldt and John Rasmussen, were not born with this phenomenal amount of knowledge. “They know a lot, but had to learn it (sometime) too. Their level of knowledge was incredible, and was so far over my head. But I got going, step by step, and I absorbed and learned a lot!” reflects Malinak.
Intern Kari Malinak works with Pastor Douglas Schoelles at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Haslet, TX which is near Ft. Worth. Her internship began in September 2013. “At Resurrection Lutheran Church, those who demonstrate leadership qualities are encouraged and given opportunities to exercise their leadership and grow in their abilities. Kari was already on that path before she became an official intern,” says Pastor Schoelles. “This summer she has been given a lot of pastoral ministry opportunities, seeing after my middle son and my wife as he had appendicitis and performing the funeral for the operator of the Farmers Market whose husband suddenly suffered a severe heart attack and died two weeks later. (I am out of state at this time trying to get to some writing.)”
He continues to describe some of the ministry work Kari has done. “She hosts a sermon text study at her house that I lead where she has invited a number of her friends who have attended. She has helped to organize our children’s chapel effort. She has actively participated in our relational evangelism effort at the farmers market. She is great at building relationships with people from scratch. At Worship, Kari was kind enough to become the worship coordinator. While I do most of the planning for the worship, she is the one who makes sure people are where they are supposed to be. She guides the worship assistants through the seasonal liturgical changes we make.”
Because Schoelles had been involved with the Institute of Lutheran Theology, Kari had discovered Resurrection Lutheran Church in her internet research. She sought out the church, which is a start-up church worshipping out of a school, her family in tow, and found a church home in the upstart.
“We became an intern site because Kari saw my name on a list of faculty and came to check out our church. After her family had been members of our church for over a year, she began her internship. As a congregation, we were glad to participate in that process with her,” declares Pastor Schoelles, who adds a comment about his relationship with the Institute. “I taught a continuing education course twice on “Equipping Parents to be the Spiritual Leaders”. From that I was asked to give a presentation in Canada. Dennis Biefeldt was there. We talked Post-modern philosophy and mission in a post-Christian context. We continued the conversation through a few emails. And that has led to my participation in the advisory team for the Doctor of Ministry program which has a Missiological focus on Apologetics, Evangelism, and Discipling.”
“I am excited about the Doctor of Ministry program we are designing. The shared urgency that our design team has for this project is infectious and is in response to a communicated need that pastors want to be empowered to be missional leaders in our post-Christian context. We are working on developing a course of study that includes hands-on, in the context learning opportunities that build on the intensive study. I hope to be able to teach a course or two in this program as well as developing these Missional learning opportunities.”
His eye to the pressing needs of the future, Schoelles adds, “The confessional Lutheran church urgently needs leaders to pave the way to impact our neo-pagan society, and ILT helping to fill that need with candidates like Kari and the Missiologically focused Doctor of Ministry program.”
Kari is married to Keith Malinak, who works and provides for his family, which includes their three children. Kari is the home school teacher for their children, and she finds herself doing ministry not only at her church, but also among other home schoolers.
“From the start, I downplayed myself. I felt I was a cheerleader for Christ and not a theologian. I joked around, and downplayed my role, but it is because I take the faith so seriously. I have a complete love for evangelism and for relationships. When a phone call comes to me seeking help, the goofiness that was upbeat is replaced by super-seriousness. People get to know me and see that depth of faith. I hand out water to people at the Farmers Market, because Jesus is about daily living in relation with Him and people,” declares Intern Malinak.
When you ask Kari about Jesus, she says, “He is so complete. Knowing Him completes who I am and who you are. Reading and studying his Word puts you in communication with Christ.”
Kari was a residential student in the House of Studies event held at Lutheran Church of the Master in Omaha June 2-5, 2014. Everyone in the classroom received a hug from her, even those who declared themselves to be ‘non-huggers.’ She did not apologize for her enthusiasm in Christ Jesus that overflows. Kari is a great student.
Written by Dale A. Swenson