The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Campus ministry: Finding a home

Finding a new church was one of the last things on my mind when I went to college. Going to a school like Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., there are certain expectations—from my parents, professors and myself. So my principal priority when I got here was to not let anybody down and concentrate on schoolwork.

I think at first I was mostly afraid that any church I attended would differ too much from my home congregation, Our Savior Lutheran, Jefferson City, Mo., and I wouldn’t like it. I kind of love being ELCA Lutheran. It was a matter of convincing myself that I did have the time to attend. After I found a church community that completely shared my beliefs at the university-sponsored ELCA church on campus, I wanted to be involved as much as possible.

It was so different at University Lutheran because it was the first time I was attending church on my own as an adult. That made the experience so much more exciting. That enthusiasm probably sparked my pastor to ask me to serve as a peer minister, coordinating events throughout the year in an effort to unify all members. I was more than happy to accept the position. Being part of a church here on campus gives me the feeling that this is where I belong.

Last year the other peer ministers and I at University Lutheran started an annual pumpkin-carving night. Who doesn’t like carving pumpkins? I challenged everyone in the church to come and try to out-carve my pumpkin, on which I had created the visage of Martin Luther.

Now I’m starting my third year of college, as well as my second year at the peer minister position. I sit in on church council meetings, sing in the choir and serve as an assistant minister. I don’t think I would have taken advantage of all those opportunities had it not been for Lutheran Campus Ministry. And now, even though I’m far from my home congregation, I’m proud to call University Lutheran my church home.

This week's front page features:

Bless all the animals: Caring for pets, we live out God's call. (Photo at right.)

Hopeful walkers: Parents organize juvenile diabetes support.

Evolutionary biology: Why is it 'such a menace'?

Focusing on what’s important: Pearls of great possibility can be a catalyst.

Also: Discuss the Farm Bill.

Also: Stem cells for Steve.

Also: Holy haunting.

Read these articles at our front page > > >

Discuss animals in the Bible and our lives:

Debra K. Farrington (right) is an author of eight books on Christian spirituality, most recently of All God's Creatures: The Blessing of Animal Companions (Paraclete Press, 2006).

She'll join readers to discuss the role of animals in the Bible and the spiritual benefits of caring for pets from today through Oct. 24.

Consider reading Farrington's article "Bless all the animals" before joining the discussion.

Join the discussion > > >

This week on our blog:

Andrea Pohlmann thinks pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Elizabeth Hunter blogs about ELCA and other groups' HIV and AIDS work.

Amber Leberman writes about her upcoming reporting trip to Cairo and Lebanon.

Kathleen Kastilahn (right) blogs about hiking in Colorado.

Sonia Solomonson blogs about being invited to a congregation's 100th anniversary celebration.

Check out our blog (and leave a comment) > > >

Share your evangelism tips:

Reader George C. Weirick challenged the staff of The Lutheran: "Tell us about programs that work, or unusual or new evangelism methods."

Send us your tips via e-mail, with a brief description (two or three paragraphs), along with contact information for those wanting more background.

The staff will review submissions and start publishing the best as a regular item on the “Currents” pages.

Or respond online > > >

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February issue


Embracing diversity