Alternative Spring Break in Albuquerque

Dear Students,

In keeping with our values of service, justice, curiosity, and integrity, LCM-TC is headed to Albuquerque, NM to serve and learn alongside the Pueblos of New Mexico, and the indigenous people who have lived there for millennia.  We hope to extend the learning of our student vision team about how spirituality, art and culture contribute to resilience in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.  

We understand this as an extension of who we are as a community of faith, and hope that if you decide to spend your spring break learning and serving with LCM, you’ll also engage with our racial justice work on campus, and that you’ll participate in learning about Native issues in the North both before and after our time together in Albuquerque (we’ll do this together, no worries!).

We’ll spend 5 nights in Albuquerque during spring break (March 11-16), and the total cost to you will be your plane ticket (right now they’re running $400-$550), and a $50 deposit.  The sign up deadline is January 30th, but there is a 15 person cap, and plane tickets are likely to go up quickly.

We’ll have a meeting on November 30th after pause to talk details!  Please simply show up there, RSVP via the Facebook Invite, or email Pastor Kate.  We’ll keep you posted on all of the happenings!

Peace to you today…
Pastor Kate  

Welcome to Lutheran Campus Ministry!

Dear UMN freshmen (and all other new students!),

Welcome to the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities! We are SO excited to have you here on campus with us this fall…

I know college might seem like a daunting new chapter in life. There are so many new experiences to dive in to! Roommates, dining hall food, new people, new clubs, new classes, new YOU. (But you’ve been hearing this already)

It may seem like you are all alone in this at times, but the good news is: that couldn’t be further from the truth!There is such a vast variety of communities here at the U of M that are overjoyed to embrace you with open minds and hearts. And now all you get to do is pick and choose, and try a few different student orgs and groups on, until you find the right fit!

Lutheran Campus Ministry (LCM) is one of the amazing communities on campus that is excited to get to know you, and I hope you consider a faith family as an opportunity to support you during this time of transition and growth.

I remember my freshman year feeling a bit overwhelmed with finding all of my classes, figuring out which groups to join, and ultimately how to function as an “adult” away from my parents and life back home. I had a whole other identity back in High School that I wasn’t sure how to carry into my new life at college.

Then, LCM came in. This community is a group of people that has shaped me into who I am today. I am proud of the person I am, partially because of the love, care, and values LCM has instilled in me.

“Pause” worship services every Wednesday night have kept me grounded in my values and faith, given me a moment to press “pause” on the chaos of daily student life, and connected me to some of the people who have grown to be the most important to me on this campus.

As an incoming senior, I am proud to say that I will continue to search for ways to, “Be curious. Be real. Be community.” (LCM’s motto!)

I invite YOU to join us for our first “pause” student worship service the first Wednesday of fall semester, Sept. 7th at 9 pm. “Pause” is held at Grace University Lutheran Church right across the street from superblock. I will be there and would love to welcome you to the University of Minnesota in person! See you at Grace!

Peace,

Claire Erickson(LCM Servant Leader)  

Hard Conversations Are the Most Important Ones

By Student Servant Leader, Libby Witte

Now that it is finally December, I look back on November with a heavy heart. In a month I normally associate with Thanksgiving and love, I was instead filled with remorse for the hatred and anger in the world. As Christians, we are called to confront injustice and acknowledge the hurt in order to improve the world. Right now, there seems to be so much injustice… how can we as Christians possibly confront all of it?

Back in November, we came together for a conversation about where our faith meets racial justice in this new age of racial tension. While we had had this event planned for months, it ended up being eerily timely with the many recent terrorist attacks, including Paris, and the death of Jamar Clark, right here, in Minneapolis.

This semester, the LCM leaders have been discussing how to tackle racial injustice. Now this may not come as a shock, but the leadership of the Lutheran Campus Ministry in Minnesota is primarily white. Being able to come out of our small group of white people and have an inter-racial conversation about race is something I find really important, and it doesn’t happen very often.

Why don’t these important conversations happen frequently? Well, maybe because it’s hard. It takes a lot of vulnerability to talk to somebody who had experienced life differently from you and be aware of any biases you may bring with you.

Initially, it was silly to hear myself and other white students try to avoid referring to people as “black” while black students tried to avoid referring to people as “white”. Here we were to talk about race… and we were too bashful to use race indicators in conversation! But once we got past the preliminary discomfort, we had built a level of trust necessary for being honest about how race affects our lives. My status as a white person gives me the ability to ignore race issues if I want to. As a white woman, I have the option to avoid these hard conversations entirely.  While people of color have to face racial injustice whether they like it or not, I don’t. I can choose to not care.

This is what privilege looks like.

Talking about race is tough. It involves active displays of vulnerability and honesty and humility and empathy. But is this not what God wants for us? Aren’t we called to meet our neighbor in their hurt, and walk alongside them? Aren’t we called to stand up against all kinds of oppression? How do we call ourselves Christians if we hear cries of injustice and ignore them, because it makes us uncomfortable? And how do we, as white Christians, expect to tackle racial injustice if we don’t talk about race with people of different colors and backgrounds?

Spending an evening engaging in these questions was spectacular. But that was November. Now it’s December, and the conversation isn’t over. If I took away anything from our discussion about race, it is that not only is racial injustice real, but it is constant. If we want to see an end to the division and discrimination, we need to continue to fight for it. We cannot let the hard conversations end while the injustice continues.

Beer & Hymns: a Night of Community & Spirit

By Student Servant Leader, Dana Rademacher

Two weeks ago, Lutheran Campus Ministry, along with the young adults from two local congregations (Grace & ULCH), met at Blarney’s Pub & Grill for a beautiful night of community, beer, and song.

Since I enjoy a good brew and folk music is not-so guilty pleasure of mine, I couldn’t have imagined a better way to spend my Thursday night. It was our first Beer & Hymns of the year, so it was a small group, no more than 25 I reckon. But we illuminated the basement of Blarney’s with such liveliness that it felt so much fuller than that.

With the intensity of the guitar, and our deep, spirit-filled singing & clapping, we were a loud, spirited bunch. I can’t help but smile when I imagine what the fellow bar patrons thought upstairs as we belted out “Praise the Lord, I saw the light” and many other hymns that night.

Yes, the irony did strike me…we are doing church…in a bar. Definitely not something you see everyday and I’m sure the people upstairs were confused. I actually spoke with a few people who practically did a double take when I used the words “beer” and “hymns” in the same sentence.

However, I also can’t recall a time (maybe aside from our student worship pause), where I felt so much energy, spirit and vulnerability from a group of people. Plus, it was in a fun environment and I got to meet lots of other young adults from around the area!

After going to my first Beer & Hymns, I know two things for certain:

1) I will most definitely be attending our next Beer & Hymns (Nov. 12th!)

-and-

2) I love this community, but I will sadly be graduating this spring. And when I do, and depart from the Twin Cities, I will for sure be searching for a church community that embraces its young adults with fun, community building events such as this!

While you may not hear about it everyday, yes, you can do church in a bar. And yes, God still shows up there, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” (Matthew 18:20).

And yes, it is awesome.

Midterms and Good Courage

It seems like just last week I was settling into the back row of my lecture hall ready to breeze through syllabus week, but joke’s on me because here we are at week EIGHT of the semester; holy cow did time fly! Between classes, work, study groups, PAUSE!, and late nights at the library, the semester has hit almost the halfway point and I feel as if I haven’t yet had a chance to take a breath. Everyone says that each year you’re at college, the time goes faster and faster, and I couldn’t agree more. Contributing to the chaos of this semester are the impending and exciting thoughts in the back of my mind about studying abroad this spring. In January I will be heading to Sydney, AUSTRALIA for the entire semester! I am beyond thrilled but also a bit nervous, and a lot sad to be leaving everyone on campus. Things for me this year have really clicked, and it’s hard to envision myself away from the wonderful community I am a part of at the U.

As I sat down at Pause last week, my head swimming with these thoughts and of things I needed to do; start to study for my midterm TOMORROW, finish my chemistry problem set, go to office hours, and most importantly call my mom, I found it a bit difficult to concentrate on nothing, as I like to do at Pause. I find it a great time to sit back, clear my head, listen to the music and the sermon, and just BE.

But this last week I had trouble even clearing my head for a minute. As I sat there stressing, thinking about everything I needed to get done and everything people were counting on me to do, I found myself feeling a bit hopeless and just plain exhausted.

My evening took a turn however when we gathered to sing the Prayer of Good Courage to Dana, a student leader leaving to study in Israel for the semester (how cool!). As we sang to Dana I was struck by the words of the prayer in a way I hadn’t been before. I found myself relating to the prayer quite well; feeling like everyone was singing to me, (even though I was obviously not the star of this show!)

I saved the sermon with the prayer on it, brought it home, and tacked it on my bulletin board, in the most visible place from my desk. I invite you to read it too:

O God, you have called us

To ventures where we cannot see the end

By paths never yet taken

Through perils unknown

Give us good courage

Not knowing where we go

To know that your hand is leading us

Wherever we might go

Amen.

Looking at this prayer daily, even if only for a quick glance, has renewed my energy and faith in myself and in my semester. It has made me realize that it’s not always the big things that we could pray for courage for. We could ask God for courage to face an impending exam, a troubled relationship, or a venture across the world, and He will listen- no matter what! In a time of stress and exhaustion, this prayer spoke to me and encourages me daily to put my faith in God, His timing, and his will to lead me and guide me to wherever it is I am supposed to be.

I hope it speaks to you! -Lauren Zima

Welcome Students!

Greetings!

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!

Kaitlin Mork

If you would like more information on how to get involved with Lutheran Campus Ministry – Twin Cities please contact pastorkate@umnlutheran.org

A Senior Sending

When my roommate and I stumbled across LCM at the end of our freshman year I didn’t realize how important this group would become to me. Since then I’ve become more and more invested in LCM and watched it grow from a community of fifteen to fifty. When I spent a semester abroad in Rome, every Wednesday night I would get a little down because I knew I was missing Pause. I missed the community and the friends I had found here. All of us who come to Lutheran Campus Ministries are in one way or another looking for an open and supporting faith community. What we’ve found and what makes LCM so special is that along with a faith community, it’s also a place where you can be unapologetically yourself. We hug each other in greeting, crack each other up at the most inopportune times, and clean up the dishes together while singing show tunes and Disney. We’re a bit of a motley bunch and that’s a part of what makes LCM, LCM. We come from a variety of backgrounds with different experiences and view points yet we find a way to come together, laughing and praying and loving and living. Though a handful of us are graduating and going off to explore our own paths, we will carry these memories, lessons, and friendships with us. Like LCMer’s before us we’ll never be too far from the home that LCM has given us.

 

-Alexa Iverson