Because of our location a mere 20 miles away from the PCUSA seminary at the University of Dubuque, this congregation has had a long and treasured tradition of working with a succession of students from the seminary. These students typically work here 10 hours a week, providing assistance in worship and with our Christian Education activities, preaching occasionally, visiting congregational members, helping with shut-in communion and performing a variety of assigned ministry tasks as the needs arise. The students are also free to create or join ministry programs that appeal to them. In return for their ministry to this church, the pastor formally meets with the student at least once a week to discuss their work and their progress toward their self-determined learning goals. The student also meets formally with a committee of members of the congregation once a month to get the lay perspective on their work. But that's just the formal side of things. In fact, we work hard to incorporate each student into our church family and to be sure that we minister to them as much as they minister to us. Then, when the students move on to minister elsewhere, we feel that we are simply expanding our family into places we might not otherwise go. And we thank God for the joy of serving with each and every one of these people. Here is a gallery of some of our S.P.M. students.