Welcome Freshmen!

Dear Freshmen,

Despite this being my fourth and final year at the University of Minnesota I remember my first semester of college oh so vividly. I remember being thrown into harder classes, managing living away from home for the first time, forming new social groups, the whole nine yards. Most of all I remember it all feeling very, very complicated.

Deciding how and with whom I wanted to spend my limited free time, new relationships and new priorities, and deciding how I saw myself fitting into this bustling campus; all of it was complicated. I’m sure in the coming weeks and months some of you may feel similarly, but I have some good news for you. Finding a community, a foothold on campus, was very simple for me and it can be for you as well.

I am not exaggerating when I say that discovering Lutheran Campus Ministries felt like finding a second home. Not only did this organization welcome me my first year, it has stood by me as I continue to grow and change in my time in college.

While there is a lot of exciting information about LCM’s various programing available, if you take away one thing let it be this: Whoever you are, whatever place you’re in, you are welcome. From a deep faith background or not particularly religious, excited or reluctant, overwhelmed or eager, questioning or certain, you are all welcome. LCM acknowledges that each person contains multitudes, everyone is both sinner and saint. People are complicated. Finding good ones doesn’t have to be.

So amidst all of the complications, I invite you into a place of simplicity. Whether you join us for just one evening or like me you decide to stay for the duration of your time here at the U, I truly believe this community is changed for the better by you and your presence.

The table is set, the candles are lit, the door is open; all you have to do is come, and I am so excited to meet you.

See you all soon!



A Warm Welcome to Nate!

LCM Friends and Family,

We are beyond thrilled to announce that Nate Crary will be our new Outreach and Program Director!  Your monthly giving, congregational pledges, and general encouragement and support have made it possible for us to bring someone with his gifts and capacity on board.  THANK YOU!  Nate’s integrity, creativity, and genuine enthusiasm for connecting with students are a great match for our ministry at this time and place.

Nate has served the church in a variety of roles since graduating from Concordia College (Moorhead, MN) in 2007, including working as LCM’s musician in 2014-15. Nate has supervised work projects for summer youth mission trips in Juarez, Mexico, worked as a middle and high school outreach youth director with St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church (Mahtomedi, MN), directed summer camp programming with Green Lake Lutheran Ministries (Spicer, MN), and continues to serve as Director of Worship and Music with Christ the King Lutheran Church (New Brighton, MN).

Nate also spent a year with his wife, Chelsey, volunteering in global service with the ELCA’s Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) program just south of Bethlehem in Palestine. In these different roles, Nate’s passion for connecting with and working alongside young people in the church continues to thrive.

Please join me in welcoming him into this thriving community that Christ gathers at the U of M!

Pastor Kate

Finding Your “Holden Moment” : Spring Break Trip to Holden pt. 3

What a better  way to take a break from finals week than to read our blog series on the spring break experience to Holden Village! All jokes aside, many parts of Holden are infused into our communal life together, including regularly singing Holden Evening Prayer and Mountain Vespers in worship, and continually using The Prayer of Good Courage during our senior sending. Hear from students who went on the spring break trip and what their takeaways from this unique community are.

Read part 1 and part 2 here.

By Mara Bowman

As we’re in the midst of the chaos of finals, we can see the light and hope of summer in the distance…barely. For some of us it is right there, so close we can touch it. Maybe for you it seems more distant, where you have to squint really hard to believe it and see that it’s there.

Whichever one you’re experiencing, the end is there, I promise. I believe in you!

In college, we often surround ourselves with the narrative of being stressed and exhausted and we rarely experience any sense of rest or calm. This stress is real and it’s valid to feel that burden. It can also become overwhelming when this is the only story we tell ourselves. When this is the only narrative I surround myself with—that I am a stressed, overworked college student with constant responsibility—I lose sight that (as Pastor Kate says) that I am a human being, not a human doing. I then find it hard to feel peace in many capacities.

When I am incapable of sensing inner or external peace, I feel out of touch with God.

For those of you who either know me, or are a part of the LCM community, you’ve likely heard a lot about our trip to Holden. When LCM traveled to Holden Village over spring break, I reconnected with this feeling of extreme peace.

Traveling to Holden was an experience in and of itself. In a 36-hour time frame we jumped from train, to bus, to boat, to bus, before arriving at Holden. As the boat swept past the snow covered mountains, and as the bus climbed higher and higher through switchbacks, silence fell over our pretty chatty group. We were all grateful for the silence we experienced throughout the trip, especially with the lack of cell reception. The connection lost between us and the outside world created an inner sense of quiet.

One night while stargazing, a group of us were filled with a sense of terror-spiked awe at how all-encompassing the universe is. We so rarely take a step back to spend a moment in time outside of ourselves and our current struggles. Suddenly everything about my own existence seemed so insignificant compared to the intricate workings of the world around me. The infinite space beyond earth which I am incapable of comprehending was a reminder of how much more there is beyond my current reality. There is more to me than my stress as a college student or my grades. There is more to my existence than my accomplishments throughout my lifetime. This feeling of peace that washed over me I like to call, my “Holden moment.”

Although we got lost in our reflections and existentialist thoughts, it was incredibly grounding how God reminded me in that moment that the Holy Spirit’s encompassing presence is a transcendent embodiment of peace in our chaotic lives, in a turbulent world, and whatever else extends beyond that. What does it mean for us to find peace in daily life? We very rarely have the opportunity to escape from life’s hardships, or to run to the mountains and just ignore everything for a while.

When I was walking outside the other day, I looked up at the sky and saw an incredible sunset. Its cotton candy color reminded me instantly of the sunset we had seen at Holden, and its similar pink hues which had brushed the tops of the mountains.

It seemed so poetic to me that even though I was no longer in Holden, a place that was set apart from the cacophony of daily life, I still walk under the same sky. I still walk in a world where I can feel my own Holden moments on a daily basis, whether it is through laughter, talking with a friend, getting to watch students learn and grow in my practicum classroom, or simply experiencing moments of silence. I still walk in a world where I can experience peace amidst stress, exhaustion or hardship.

There is nowhere I can go where God will not also be.

Although I do not always feel the same serenity I experienced at Holden, God’s peace wraps around us even in the unsteadiness of daily life. Within our moments of hopelessness, loss, anxiety, depression, or anger, we must navigate how to discern God’s love and presence amidst hardship. God doesn’t leave when things get hard.

I am blessed to have been able to discern that peace in many aspects of my life, even when bombarded by deadlines, or if I’m feeling burned out. Holden helped to awaken that discernment within me, in ways I hadn’t thought of before.

Give Us Good Courage: Spring Break Trip to Holden pt. 2

What a better  way to take a break from finals week than to read our blog series on the spring break experience to Holden Village! All jokes aside, many parts of Holden are infused into our communal life together, including regularly singing Holden Evening Prayer and Mountain Vespers in worship, and continually using The Prayer of Good Courage during our senior sending. Hear from students who went on the spring break trip and what their takeaways from this unique community are.

Read part 1 and part 3 here.

By Amanda Charles

Few words can describe my experience from the LCM spring break trip to Holden Village. With astonishing views and wonderful community, our adventure took us through many firsts. It was the first time I had ever taken a train for 36 hours. It was the first time I had traveled a long distance without a relative. It was the first time I had ever jumped right into a week of unknowns. It was a week without the comfort of familiarity, a week in an environment I had never experienced and a week without connection to the world outside of that little village nestled in the mountains.

When I reflect on that week, the words of the Prayer of Good Courage resonate with me as images of evening vespers worship, sledding down the side of the mountain and hiking through the evergreens to watch the sun rise among the mountaintops play through my mind.

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

One of my favorite memories of Holden Village was star gazing in the middle of a snow-covered field between the mountains and the woods. We took a path to the field around 10pm that night, and on our walk, we were surrounded by pure darkness that extended into the dense woods around us. We could not see the end of the path, but in this pack of new friends bonded through the community of Holden, I knew that God’s love was all around us, leading us, just as it had been this entire week. I remember the feeling of the icy snow on my arms and back as I sat next to a few of my fellow LCMers. As we stared at the immense universe above us, we giggled about memories from the week and exchanged words of amazement of the beauty we were witnessing. I remember saying out loud that I had never felt so small before in my life. I had never seen so many stars, and as they danced through the sky and on the tips of the mountains, I was reminded in an epic way of God’s hand in this universe. I’ve been fortunate in my life to have seen God’s hand in creation around the world, but the night sky at Holden was something not even pictures can describe. The beauty God created both in the nature around us and the friendship among us deserves to be celebrated and praised.

Spring break was a series of unknowns for me. As the prayer says, God gave me good courage through the community brought together in LCM and Holden Village. God led us through countless paths, whether it be the (seemingly never-ending) train ride or that dark path to the star-gazing field, and I felt God’s hand with us through love and beauty. Holden serves as a reminder to me that life brings paths that are winding and unplanned, but God brings us community and love that leads through this beautiful adventure.

Finding Your Village: Spring Break Trip to Holden pt. 1

What a better  way to take a break from finals week than to read our blog series on the spring break experience to Holden Village! All jokes aside, many parts of Holden are infused into our communal life together, including regularly singing Holden Evening Prayer and Mountain Vespers in worship, and continually using The Prayer of Good Courage during our senior sending. Hear from students who went on the spring break trip and what their takeaways from this unique community are.

Read part 2 and part 3 here.

By Sarah Baker

Self-reliance is an important part of life. In college, we are taught how to be independent, how to take responsibility for our futures and how to count on ourselves in times of stress and struggle. However, being too self-reliant is something that can end up being more hindering than helpful. I am especially guilty of this—despite everything that I’ve gone through in my life, I still occasionally fail to see the value of interpersonal connection. Every once in a while, I get stuck in the mindset that I’m the only one I can truly count on and that I shouldn’t expect much from the people that I’m closest to.

When I heard that the spring break trip this year was to Holden Village, I didn’t think too much of it. I really only signed up because I wanted to spend a week in the mountains of Washington, a place I’d never been. I was expecting to love the area, but I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with the Village itself. One of the reasons I loved Holden so much was because of the incredible sense of community. In fact, Holden Village is probably the best example of community I’ve seen in my entire life.

After traversing several miles of icy switchbacks and one-lane dirt road, our bus pulled up into Holden. The sense of community in the Village was immediately obvious, as the entire population was lined up on the road, waving at us as we drove up. After getting off the bus, I felt so welcomed—every single person was smiling and looked genuinely happy that we were there. I have never felt like I belonged somewhere so quickly in my life.

This feeling of belonging lasted for the entirety of our stay in Holden. Our group was a little shy at first, but eventually we interacted more with the villagers and learned about each of their roles within the community. In addition, we were each given our own jobs for the next few days. My job, along with Ben, Sheldon, and Jonah, was to assist the head carpenter, Dana, with anything that he needed. While helping Dana, I noticed how much each villager valued the opinions of the others. When Dana wasn’t sure where we should stash our bags of “single trash gloves”, he knew exactly who to consult. Likewise, I saw how often Dana’s thoughts were considered for random issues. It seemed like each individual in the Holden community was aware of his own role, and at the same time mindful of the fact that he could count on another villager in times of questioning.

Another aspect of community that I was especially struck by was the genuine sense of caring every person in Holden exhibited for one another. This was especially evident on one of our last nights in the Village, when a woman named Donna shared a story about her life. Donna told us about her cancer diagnosis many years ago and how she had come to find hope and a home at Holden. After she was finished speaking, several villagers and even a couple from our group embraced her. In that moment, I felt so much love in the room—the authentic and sincere kind. Real love.

There were several other fantastic examples of community that I observed in Holden. From the mealtime announcements, to the comfort of Bible and Brew, to the efficiency of the fire response team, I could go on and on. Every single aspect of the Village was
flawless. After spending four days at Holden, I am 100% confident that not even an avalanche could shake the Village—that’s how solid the community is.

Witnessing such a real community over spring break definitely revitalized my perception of community in general. I began seeing Holden-like community everywhere in my life—in my family, in my roommates, and especially in LCM. The LCM community cares so deeply for each person that walks through the doors of Grace. Like Holden, each person in LCM contributes something unique to the group and well-being of the community depends on the connectedness of unique individuals.

The ability to be both independent and reliant on others is something that makes a perfect member of an indestructible community. While it’s tough to admit the necessity of interpersonal connections (especially as a college student), having a stable community is essential to living life to its full potential. Being independent is something that’s extremely important to growing up, but I would argue that finding “your village” is something even more valuable. I’m so grateful that I have my own version of Holden Village here in Minnesota, and I hope that everyone else within the LCM community feels the same.

Interfaith Work in LCM

Written by Mara Bowman

Although LCM really thrives in our work at Grace University Lutheran Church, we’ve also been engaging the campus community as a whole. Interfaith work has been a growing edge in the LCM community and this semester, LCM has specifically been working with Hillel, the Jewish student group on campus, and the Muslim Student Association (MSA), so here’s a little update on what we’ve been up to!

Most recently, in partnership with Grace, LCM & MSA co-hosted an interfaith dinner. We were happy to see more than 80 people come, where each table individually had their own faith conversations based on a series of prompts that were provided. Then just this last Sunday, MSA & LCM celebrated the end of our semester with an Earth Day event. In our shared mission of being caretakers of creation, our plan was to spend time together at Minnehaha Falls, cleaning up trash and just enjoying the outdoors with each other!

A couple weeks ago, LCM was invited to an Interfaith Shabbat hosted by Hillel. LCM students got to participate in a Shabbat service, as well as meet students from the nearly six other faith groups on campus that were represented at the event. Interfaith work also looks like taking a moment to sit and learn about a religious practice different from your own. Sometimes it looks like just showing up for other groups on campus when they host events.

So why do interfaith work? The concept of interfaith focuses on conversation and coming together amidst difference. But I think what we find amidst these conversations is that religions have a lot more in common than we realize. LCM is really grateful for the ways that other faith communities have engaged with us this school year and as we reach the end of the semester, it’s exciting to see the possibilities for interfaith work that are developing in the coming year.

Through these interfaith conversations, we’ve discerned that we, as faith communities, all feel called by God to seek peace in the world. When we unite amidst this common goal, we find that separate religions do not have to be a barrier, but a mechanism for change in the world. God can exist in many ways. By working with other religious groups, we can learn about the truths of other people, which don’t have to contradict or be in conflict with our own. Instead, we can be empowered together in that we each have found spiritual connection in our world, and we can use that common ground to create community.

Not Defined by our Demons.

Written by Julia Breidenbach

I went to my first church service at University Lutheran Church of Hope a couple Sundays ago; I was excited to hear Pastor Jen preach and I had heard a lot of good things about her from fellow students. When the sermon started, I was ready to sit back, relax and learn some new interesting points about faith.

That was not on Pastor Jen’s agenda.

She wanted us to interrupt her as she read the lesson with what we noticed or what we wondered about.

I was a little doubtful; didn’t she know most Minnesotan churchgoers grew up with a “keep to yourself and stay quiet” mantra?

image3However, her faith in her congregation was not misplaced. I went home with many insights from the sermon, and they were mostly points made by the congregation. The point I remember the most regarded Jesus’s interaction with the unclean spirit. They noticed that Jesus did not find fault in the man, but the unclean spirit inside of him.

We all have unclean, toxic parts of ourselves, and my personal demon, somewhat stereo-typically, came out in full force in middle school. For several reasons beyond my control, my steady friend group dissolved, leaving me very alone and very vulnerable.

image1I didn’t realize how important having these friends was in maintaining my positive self-esteem and identity. I began to believe that since I didn’t have friends, I was not worthy of friends. My whole life began to revolve around my insecurities, my shame and seemingly endless mistakes.

Depression quickly settled in and stuck, taking away the beauty in the world and replacing it with ingratitude, self-loathing and anger.

My relationship with God was pretty distant when I was depressed; I read comforting scripture most nights, but did not feel the warmth of God’s love. It wasn’t until I went to Pause student worship that I really began to understand what God’s love looks like.

God understands that it is not my fault for becoming depressed; my insecurity or the unclean spirit inside of me is the problem, not me.

This is so unbelievably freeing because it allows me to stop being guilty about being sad, chastising myself daily that I should be more grateful, more positive, more everything.
It means I’m lovable enough to talk to others about what’s bothering me and knowing that I’m not simply an annoying burden when I do so. I can take breaks when I need them because my worthiness does not hinge on what I do, but who I am.

Through therapy and the right medication, I am a lot better than I once was. However, I am still working on accepting my vulnerability to depression and taking steps every day to ensure I never feel that low again. The scripture today reminds me that I am not defined by my demons. With God’s love, I am so much more than that.

Making the Shift from Fear to Faith

Written by Sarah Baker

It took 21 years, but I can safely say that Fear is no longer running my life. And it took one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had for that to happen.

Let me set the scene for you.

There were several significant times in my life where Fear took the driver’s seat. Back in high school, I was offered a position on the best competitive volleyball team in Duluth for my age group. My parents let me know that the coach had contacted them, asking if I would be willing to take a leading role as a setter on the team. I was a shy, skinny little 10th grader at the time and the idea of playing on a Nationals team terrified me. I knew many of the girls on the team and I was convinced they were all much better than I could ever be. So I told my parents, “No, I don’t want to play,” even though volleyball was my favorite sport. Fear: 1. Sarah: 0.

Looking back, not joining the team is one of my biggest regrets; there’s no telling where I would be right now if I had joined the team and gotten infinitely better at volleyball.

Another major event in my life where Fear stole the wheel right out of hands occurred this past summer. At the beginning of the summer, I was set to go on a four-week study abroad program in Scotland. As the days to my flight out of Winnipeg drew nearer, I got increasingly more anxious. The anxiety was warranted—the last time I had gone on a vacation, I was overcome by a peculiar sickness while on the side of the mountain, basically all alone. (We later figured out I had a virus of some kind and my thyroid had gone berserk, making me feel constantly sick). I was terrified that I would end up in Scotland by myself and in a similar situation. About a week before the trip, I confessed my fears to my parents and we decided that it would be best for my mental health to remain in Duluth for the summer. Fear: 2. Sarah: Still 0.

Ever since I was old enough to make my own choices, countless decisions I made were driven by Fear. Hmm yeah I think you’d better not talk to that guy you like. Don’t apply to that research lab—you’re definitely not smart enough to join. Don’t join that club—you won’t fit in. Basically, the final score ended up being Fear: 1 million, Sarah: probably a solid 2. I’m sure most of you can relate.

Everything changed during the summer after my sophomore year of college. I had just decided to skip the Scotland trip and had fallen into a terrible state of anxiety-induced depression. I’ll put it bluntly—it really, really sucked. All the things I originally loved doing (fishing, playing with my dog, driving up the Shore, etc.) didn’t seem interesting anymore. My heart was racing all the time and my mind felt like it was constantly going a mile a minute. And let me tell you, when you’re in a bad mental state, your mind can put some pretty horrifying thoughts in your head. It got to the point where my faith in God seriously suffered. I’m a good person, I thought. Why would God be doing this to me? I surely don’t deserve this. Maybe GOD ISN’T REAL. Yeah, that’s gotta be it.

I’d like to say a switch flipped and everything went right back to normal. But that wasn’t the case. God doesn’t work like that and I now know that. Although my experience with depression and anxiety lasted less than a year, it felt like much longer. When you’re in the middle of that wilderness, it seems like you can never find the forest edge. It feels like you’re the only one stuck in there and the trees are so thick, that not even the light of the Son can find its way through. Here’s the thing though: as long as just a little bit of light breaks the treeline, you can find your way out of the wilderness. How? Through Faith. Faith that God is real and nothing can stop His plans for you. Faith that something good will come out of your experience. Faith that something is stirring inside of you, just waiting for the right moment to break through. And, as the great Elle Woods once said, “You must always have faith in yourself.”

For me, my experience changed my entire perspective on life. I no longer make decisions based on fear—now I choose my path based on Faith. I always hear athletes say “Trust the process.” By putting my faith in God, I surrender myself to trusting His process. I have faith that the good times and the bad times will bring about changes that I’m not always capable of fully understanding—sometimes God only knows. As my wise younger sister says, “I think that’s a huge part of faith—trusting God even in the midst of our lack of understanding. Sometimes, it’s only in retrospect that we see how He moves in our lives.”

Fear to Faith—I promise you, that simple shift will make all the difference.

“You beat fear when you stop running away from what scares you and instead run away from what makes you comfortable and into the very thing that makes you tremble. That’s when you see God’s power break in you and through you. That’s when everything changes.”
-Jordan Lee Dooley (#soulscripts)

Winter Leader Retreat: Finding Warmth and Light in the Darkness

Written by Mara Bowman

Winter and I are in an intense love/hate relationship. The first snow fall is so transcendentally beautiful and I love to stare up at the sky watching the intricate flakes fall down. For me, it’s magical in December along with the Christmas season. But once mid-January rolls around I’ve had about enough. I could say goodbye to snow and below zero temperatures that make your eyes water and your face hurt. I could do without the never-ending darkness that starts at 4:30pm. Any mention of weather, winter or venturing outdoors is accompanied with bitterness and a groan.

Over this past weekend 14 LCM servant leaders traveled to ARC retreat center—a tranquil cabin nestled in the woods—to recharge for the upcoming semester and engage in conversations about ways to shape our community. After driving through heavy snowfall, we were greeted by trees trimmed with the dusting of fresh snow, and I was filled with such a sense of comfort and peace as I sat with a warm cup of tea staring out the window.

A few brave LCMers decided to venture out into the freezing temps. It was still steadily snowing, and we wandered through the woods (Luckily for us the snowfall didn’t cover our tracks before we decided to turn around…). A winter hike reminded me of the ways I do appreciate this time of year and how thankful I am for a warm house to be cozy. It almost seemed that extremes—such as ridiculously low temperatures—enabled me to celebrate and relish in the warmth. At a time of year when Minnesotans bond over continuously complaining about the weather, it can help us remember that amidst cold temperatures and decreasing daylight, we experience the beauty of winter along with feeling gratitude for the warmth or comfort of being indoors with loved ones.

Even so, it can be hard to ignore the bite of a numbingly cold wind. It can be easy to allow the darkness to have the last word.

The summer after my junior year in high school I went spelunking, or trekking through a cave, on a camping trip. At one portion of the caves, the guide instructed everyone to turn off their flashlights. We were at a dark point where no light could enter, and the blackness seemed to swallow us up. At first, my eyes continued searching for light, as my pupils adjusted, it felt like my eyes were convulsing—not actually I’m just being a little bit dramatic. After a while in the blackened space, my eyes stopped adjusting. My eyes stopped seeking light to make sense of my surroundings.

Similarly, when we surround ourselves with narratives of darkness, or hopelessness, we eventually stop looking for the light. It’s as if we adjust to feeling weighed down by the destruction of a violent world, and we forget to be bearers of light. We learn to expect negativity, rather than hope, when we can in fact be people who bring hope!

In the book of Acts, people realize that even though Jesus has returned to heaven, the Holy Spirit continues to be God’s presence in the world working through all people; including me, and whoever happens to be reading this. One verse particularly filled me with a sense of peace: “Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices, and my body also will rest in hope…you will not abandon me…you have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence” (Acts 2:26-28).

The Holy Spirit works through each of us, as people who can bring hope and light to the communities we are in, on any scale big or small. When I scroll through my phone I see CNN headlines pop up, and they are 9 times out of 10, negative. I see negativity and destruction in our world. Hunger and violence. Despair and hopelessness. But yet, I must rejoice, trusting in God that our stories ultimately lead to light and justice. Even though we focus on darkness, remember that through the power of the Holy Spirit we are bearers of light: spreading love, joy and positivity throughout the world.

// “For the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” //

Peace and love to you as you bear witness to God’s incredible love—sharing hope and light with anyone you meet.


The Reforming Ministry of LCM

Written by Jordan Kleist

“The best preachers preach with a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other.” I’m not sure where I first heard that quote, but I’m inclined to agree, and I think Martin Luther was that preacher. Luther, like Jesus before him, could not turn a blind eye to the people around him. I think of Jesus overturning the tables of business people who were profiting from sales in the synagogue. I think of Jesus overturning ideas of a holiness by choosing to humble himself; he spends his time with lepers and tax collectors (people on the margins) and on Palm Sunday, he rides into Jerusalem on a donkey, not a war horse. In his death and resurrection, Jesus overturned death and re-formed the very relationship between God and humankind.

The church in Luther’s time serves as an important reminder that the reforming institutions of one generation sometimes become the rigid establishment of the next. Luther brought attention to the original message of Jesus: that we are to turn away from sin, toward God and love one another. Yes, I said turn. And turning implies movement. Institutions, like individuals, are in greatest need of reform when they sit with a closed mind and say “I’ve never done that. I’m not going to start now,” or “that’s just not what I do.” Luther’s reforming work had never been done before. He looked around himself and saw people who thought forgiveness was something you bought at church, and who could never read the Bible because it was written in a foreign language. So Luther sought ways to reform the world around him and renew God’s creation.

Today, LCM continues Luther’s work of reformation. LCM reforms me by making me examine my own life. What are the needs of the world around me? In what ways can I remind myself and others of Jesus’ reforming, resurrecting and redeeming grace.

Moreover, LCM reforms the world through the students it touches. Through LCM, I’ve been pushed to serve my neighbor in ways I wouldn’t have imagined myself doing. Students in LCM have engaged in multi-faith work, served refugees, learned about issues surrounding immigration and much more. By reforming the students it touches, LCM pushes for justice for the oppressed and marginalized. It teaches individuals about God’s redeeming love, and equips them to go out and reform the world. Thus, LCM helps us to be modern-day reformers. Let us be preachers with a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other, for these are the reformers that the world needs.