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Four Bluffton University students are serving as pastoral interns this summer in churches from Florida to Idaho as part of Mennonite Church USA’s Ministry Inquiry Program.

Participating from Bluffton are juniors Chalsi Eastman from Norwalk, Ohio, at Bay Shore Mennonite Church in Sarasota, Fla.; Ethan Hershberger from Upper Sandusky, Ohio, at Upper Milford Mennonite Church in Zionsville, Pa.; and Megan Neal from Arlington, Ohio, at Oak Grove Mennonite Church in Smithville, Ohio, along with senior Matt Weaver from Millersburg, Ohio, at First Mennonite Church in Aberdeen, Idaho.

The program enables students from Mennonite colleges to test their calling and gifts for ministry. Supervised by host pastors, they take on various worship, pastoral care and administrative roles during the summer term, including preaching, leading worship, youth ministry and hospital and home visits.

Each student receives a $2,000 scholarship to be applied toward college tuition, along with a $500 stipend. In addition to the Mennonite colleges and Mennonite Church USA Denominational Ministry, funding sources include host churches and the students’ area Mennonite conferences and home churches.

Eastman’s home church is St. Paul Catholic Church in Norwalk, while Hershberger is from Kenton First United Methodist Church; Neal, from Good Hope Lutheran Church in Arlington; and Weaver, from Walnut Creek Mennonite Church.

Scott Borgelt, 7/19/10