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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Students explore border issues

Through speakers, worship and small group discussions Dec. 28-Jan. 1, 360 students and Lutheran campus ministry staff learned about the boundaries drawn because of differences in culture, economics, gender and many other issues.

They met in San Antonio for the annual Lutheran Student Movement­ U.S.A.'s national gathering. Their theme was "A Line in the Sand: Borders, Boundaries and Belief."

For Ralston H. Deffenbaugh Jr., executive director for Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, New York, "borders and boundaries are necessary parts of human life.

"We like to have a sense of security and a sense of knowing that this is my place or this is my house. The question is not whether we have borders or boundaries but what kind. Are they flexible? Are they open or closed? Are they hostile or hospitable?"

Up close and personal

Students had the opportunity to experience boundary issues as they're played out in the four distinct cultural regions of San Antonio.

Sara Rasmussen, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, visited the west side of San Antonio. "We went to the 'barrios' to learn about gangs. We had so many kids come out into the street to look at us, I was scared. I felt I was prying into their life. What if a busload of people drove past my house?"

In its business meeting, the organization agreed to promote campus ministry in the Lutheran church and elected Matthew Mather, a junior at Iowa State University, Ames, as president for 1997.


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