By Student Servant Leader, Emily Mentz
This past Sunday the Christian church celebrated All Saints Day. It is the time of year when many cultures celebrate those that have passed away before them; perhaps it is something about the fall that inspires this in so many.
All Saints Day is a day of remembrance, as we share stories of those who have impacted us and think about the connection we share with the generations that came before, and those that will follow us.
When I was seven, my grandmother passed away from esophageal cancer, and the memories I have of Grandma Joyce are few, but they are rich. She was a short woman with a smile like home-baked cookies and an embrace that made you feel like you were home and warm and safe. She could often be found sitting on the floor, covered in her grandbabies, bringing an element of calm to the chaos. She had the most grateful heart, as you could give her a plane ticket to Acapulco or a rock you found in the front yard and her reaction to it would be the same. As her cancer progressed and she got her wig, she allowed my cousins and I to touch it, to touch her, to ask questions.
My memories of my Grandma are not clouded by her illness, for her beauty shone through it all. I now see pieces of the memories of my grandma in my mom; in her laugh and the way she answers the phone. As the holidays approach, I don’t think that the loss of my Grandma is one my family will ever cease to feel. However, we have not lost our connection to her, and I know she is among the saints that we will meet again in Heaven.
By Student Servant Leader, Corey Bergman
This year the leadership team of LCM has decided to really focus on reaching out to other communities. We did a river clean up with the Muslim Student Association. We are trying to get in contact with the Black Student Union to plan an event, or even just attend an event of theirs. Other leaders have attended events for the Wesley group, and the Interfaith Council who we collaborated with on the paint the bridge project.
All of this is really cool stuff, but some of you might be asking the question: “Wait if they do not believe what we believe should we be helping them?” or “Don’t we disagree with those groups on some pretty fundamental God stuff?” These questions are totally legitimate because as far as we have been told by history, the media, and other social sources if you disagree with someone you cannot possibly get along. I have spent quite some time spacing out about these questions, and I would like to share with you my answer to these questions.
The way I see it life is kind of like climbing a mountain (Yes I know semi- cheesy metaphor) there is more than one way to the top which is supposed to be the perfect world with everyone peaceful, and happy etc. This being said there is more than one way up the mountain. We as Lutherans are taking one route, but that does not mean it is the best route, it is just the route that is best for us. Who are we to judge the route that other people are taking? Maybe they need more structured rules, or they need more concrete answers than our route provides. The way I see it because we cannot say that our route is the best for everybody, all we can do, as long as they are promoting love in the world, is encourage them, and work with them to make sure everyone gets to the top. It is to this end that I find it important, and cool that we work with other groups on campus to make it a better place to live, and study.
By Student Servant Leader, Lauren Zima
This past Wednesday, I slept right through my alarm, twice. I was late for a meeting where I was a speaker, my car wouldn’t start, I had to stay late at work, and I unknowingly tried to submit an assignment that was due the night before. And by the time I finally flopped down on the couch at 10pm, a little frazzled and a lot exhausted, I realized I’d forgotten to Pause. Yes pause, literally, I’d been on my feet the entire day, but also the LCM Wednesday night service. The one point in my week where I feel confident to drop everything, clear my mind, and spend an hour just being instead of thinking and worrying about everything else on my plate.
This past Wednesday was an exceptionally bad and poorly timed day, but remembering to pause even if it’s not for Pause (haha), is a skill we, as college kids, need to make a top priority. Remembering to pause is both literally and figuratively, the best way to regroup after a long day, catch up with old friends, or take a moment for just yourself to be present and aware of what’s happening around you.
For me, the chance to pause is the chance to step out of the bubble of college and the mass chaos that it can be. After the first psych out of a week that is syllabus week; a cruel concept that tricks you into thinking you will have enough time on your hands to watch an entire Netflix series a week, see your friends every day, and spend hours at the gym, you quickly realize that college is A LOT. It’s a lot of class time, studying, stress, and exhaustion. But after syllabus week is done and you’re settling into your routine of how you personally do college, it’s critical to take time to pause. Whether it be taking the time to watch a Netflix episode (yes episode, singular), go for a bike ride down the gorgeous Riverside trail, or come, literally, to Pause, finding out the best way for you pause and regroup is perhaps one of the best skills you won’t learn in school.
So this month I urge you, regardless of the dozens of to do’s on your list, or items on your plate; to figure out how you pause, and take the time once a week to do it. It’ll be the best thing you do all week. (Unless of course there’s gopher game day!!)
It has been a wonderful experience being involved in Lutheran Campus Ministry since I started as a freshman. For those of you who don’t know, I have had the pleasure of being a part of this group for 8 and a half semesters (4 ½ years). In my time here, I have really been able to build a lot of relationships that have been really positive in my life. I met some awesome Muslim students that I was able to learn from and serve with in New York. I’ve met some great friends that deeply care about me and check up on me. I’ve met some really cool guys that study scripture together at Men’s group. It was also through LCM that I met my Fiancée, Meghan Lane.
In the passage in Luke, Chapter 24, the disciples were “talking with each other and discussing everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.” This passage is really profound for me, because I often wonder how the disciples could not recognize Jesus, the man that they had spent nearly three to three and a half years with together. That is just about the same amount of time the average student in LCM spends with another student in the same graduating class, except that Jesus and his friends were with each other almost 24/7 during that stretch of time. I usually only see Jeremy on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays while classes are in session, but I still can’t even imagine walking down scholars walk and not being able to recognize him if he came up to me.
To me, I think that Jesus was disguising himself as someone different, kind of like the show Joan of Arcadia that used to air on CBS. For those of you unfamiliar with the show, the premise was that God appeared to a teenage girl named Joan in the form of a different person every time she encountered God. God appeared to Joan as anyone ranging from a plumber to a librarian, an elder or a small child. I think the biggest thing that I took away from this show and this scripture is that God is present in each and every one of us and can show up in the places we may least expect.
In my journey through college, I have met some really incredible people, with really incredible stories to share. People come from a lot of different situations in life, but despite our differences, we can learn from each other and build relationships that bring us together. Lutheran Campus Ministry has been a great place for me to grow within this large campus, because I have learned what it means to see God in your neighbor. I have met a lot of great people along the way, and I hope to continue to grow in my relationships with those I’ve met, and those I have yet to meet later on in my life. – Joe
Welcome back to all of our current students and a special welcome to our incoming freshmen! It’s hard to believe that the start of another great school year is just around the corner. I hope you’ve had an enjoyable and restful summer and are ready to start off the 2014-2015 school year!
Freshmen, you are just days away from the start of the next chapter of your life. Some of you may be traveling from miles and miles away, while others of you will only be a few minutes from home. Before you know it you will be moving into your dorms, meeting your roommate and the others on your floor, getting acquainted with campus, and starting your first college classes. Whether this anticipation brings you a sense of excitement, nervousness, or a bit of both, we are excited to welcome you all to campus, and hope that you all find Lutheran Campus Ministry to be the welcoming community that we all have experienced.
As a freshman last year, I found my first few weeks on campus to be more of a change than I had expected. I was living away from home for the first time, meeting more people than I could keep track of, trying to figure out what all I was going to be involved in, and figuring out how to keep all of my class syllabi straight. After a busy welcome week and first couple days of classes, I was so relieved to attend the Wednesday night Pause service at Grace Lutheran Church. I immediately found myself surrounded by several very friendly and welcoming college students and it already felt as if I were right at home.
Lutheran Campus Ministry is a community of hospitality. We are excited to welcome in new faces, get to know people individually, be curious, ask questions, discuss openly, and grow both individually and as a community. We worship together at Pause almost every Wednesday night at 9 pm at Grace Lutheran Church, beginning the first week of school. I would love to see you all there!
Good luck with the start of your freshman year and know that you’re always welcome at Lutheran Campus Ministry. I look forward to meeting you all this coming year!
If you would like more information on how to get involved with Lutheran Campus Ministry – Twin Cities please contact email@example.com
Pastor Kate Reuer Welton recently attended the Lutheran Campus Ministry National Staff Gathering in Nebraska held by Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. It was a wonderful event to celebrate our ministry and connect with fellow students, faculty and staff on college and university campuses across the country.
At the closing banquet, Pastor Kate Reuer Welton was named the recipient of the 2014 Philip N. Knutson Award. This award recognizes those who have demonstrated special creativity and/or risk-taking in their campus ministry work.
Pastor Kate was recognized by her colleagues and the people she serves as a gifted, passionate, and vibrant campus ministry professional. An excerpt from her nomination provides a glimpse of her creative and risk-taking approach to ministry:
“When Kate started at the University of Minnesota four years ago, she did so with just a handful of students. Working together with them to dream about a church that they would want to be part of, the ministry grew quickly, in both depth of formation and outreach to students. Kate has challenged and nurtured students into deeper faith and a more open understanding of God’s work in the world. She has also led them in creative justice and immersion work, for example, taking a trip to Chiapas (a state in southern Mexico) to learn and serve with the community there, and to New York City on an interfaith service trip with students from Al Madinah, the Muslim group on campus. Because of her willingness to be a gracious and loving presence in the face of hatred, her creative immersion and interfaith work, and her deep and easy love of students, I am honored to nominate Kate Reuer Welton for the 2014 Philip N. Knutson award.”