Photo of Mark Lindberg

In February of 2020, the FCC Board requested that the Central Pacific Conference (CPC) take Youth Minister Mark Lindberg under care as a “Member in Discernment”. The past year since then has been a busy time of writing, reflection, meetings, evaluations, interviews, psychological testing,
further study, networking, and most importantly…listening for God’s call.

Throughout this time, Mark has worked with the Rev. Dana McBrien, who is Mark’s Member in Discernment Advisor with the conference Committee on Ministry.

In November, the CPC Committee on Ministry formally approved Mark’s path to ordination. Part of that path includes Eden Seminary, to which Mark was admitted this month; he has registered for classes beginning on February 4th! Eden Seminary is located in St. Louis, Missouri and Mark will be completing his coursework online during this time through Zoom classes and the Brightspace
platform. He is planning to visit Eden Seminary during the years ahead, hoping to sit in on his classes in person, while also getting to visit with his family in St. Louis. Both of Mark’s parents completed their Masters degrees at Eden. His father, the late Rev. Dennis A. Lindberg, served the United Church of Christ in both parish and conference ministry settings for over 40 years. Mark’s mother, Jane Lindberg, served the church both as a Pastor’s Assistant and as a religious educator throughout her lifetime and continuing today. Mark also attended Eden Seminary in 1992-1993, and so there is a deep heart connection for him with the Eden community. This is an exciting time of discernment and
equipping with additional tools for ministry.

During this last year, The Center for Ministry in the West also completed their own, independent assessment, highly recommending Mark for the ministry. Our own FCC Local Church Discernment Committee (LCDC), will continue to work with Mark during this time and the days ahead, comparing his skill sets against the Marks of Faithful and Effective Authorized Ministers in the United Church of Christ – supporting him throughout the journey towards ordination. Mark’s LCDC includes: Brenda Kame’enui, Doug White, Suzanne Congdon, Todd Grigsby and Wayne Martin. Many other members and pastors are also supporting Mark on this journey, such that he is feeling very “well held” during
this time. He is deeply grateful for this love, care and support!

Mark now joins Averyn Payne and Emily Farthing – as our group of 3 FCC seminarians! We look forward to the journey ahead with Mark, Averyn and Emily…we are excited to see in what new ways they will be called to continue serving God’s people!
From the UCC Discernment Travelogue: “Discernment is how we live our lives, thoughtfully and faithfuly. It is the fundamental disposition of aligning ourselves with that sense and experience of God ’s Spirit moving in and empowering our lives. Discernment is also the Christian practice of seeking God’s call in the midst of the decisions that mark one’s life. Communal practice of discernment places group decisions within the context of God’s activity. It trusts that resolution based on something larger than self-interest or partisanship is possible…the goal of God’s activity being the New Creation. The practice of discernment makes intentional a process of reflection on and participation with God’s Spirit as the fundamental context in which we live and make choices. It’s important to realize: “Discernment doesn’t just happen. It must be intentionally nurtured within the
culture of the team. A team that is grounded in God’s spirit, and open to authentic discernment, will cultivate its presence, its process, and its practices.” – Susan Beaumont