“The Pursuit of Happiness” – A Homily by Juventino Meza ’11

juventinoJuventino Meza ’11, a Peace & Justice Studies graduate of Augsburg College who currently works for the Minneapolis Public Schools as a community relations facilitator, preached in daily chapel for our homecoming week series, “Journeys Home.”  Here, he shares his homily from October 8, 2015:

“The Pursuit of Happiness”

Thank you pastor Sonja for the invitation. I still can’t believe I’m giving a homily. It’s great to be back at Augsburg.

In the spirit of our journey home and Coming Out Day, this is my message today: finding home and being yourself truly is the pursuit of happiness. Continue reading ““The Pursuit of Happiness” – A Homily by Juventino Meza ’11″

“Where you go, I go” – A Homily by Rev. Peter Weston Miller ’10

Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 10.24.41 AMRev. Peter Weston Miller ’10, Pastor at Atonement Lutheran Church in New Brighton, preached in daily chapel for our homecoming week series, “Journeys Home.”  Here, he shares his homily from October 5, 2015:


You know it is such a sweet thing to be back at Augsburg and to kick off this 2015 Homecoming week. This chapel is where I preached my first sermon.  I get to preach almost every week now at Atonement(!) Through Augsburg Campus ministry, I got to fly in an airplane for the first time. Augsburg is where that “V” word (vocation) really started to find me and I learned this vocation vocabulary that so many Auggies share. Augsburg is where I met my partner.  We were both Campus Ministry commissioners. Augsburg was where I really learned to love the city and felt like I was a part of the community. Augsburg, also opened my eyes and my heart to cycles of oppression, white privilege, and where it really sunk it that no one should have to heat there home with a kitchen stove. And Augsburg is where I really where I felt like I found my heart and my home, like I found my people, and found not just the family that is your blood but that family that becomes your blood (line from Finding Forester). It was the family that I met here that allowed me to be real, honest, broken, hurt, critical. And yet also was gifted, unique, passionate, committed, and driven to discern what God and the world needed of me.   Continue reading ““Where you go, I go” – A Homily by Rev. Peter Weston Miller ’10″

Doing Theology with Girlfriends and John’s Gospel

The Augsburg bible study group, “Doing Theology with Girlfriends” and their leader, Babette Chatman ’05, recently worked on understanding the Gospel in a new way. According to Babette,

“We experimented with the many ways we identify or name God. One substitution that the ‘girlfriends’ drew strength and motivation from was replacing ‘he’ or ‘God’ with ‘The Word’.” The results of their work:  Continue reading “Doing Theology with Girlfriends and John’s Gospel”

Day of Discernment: A Message from Pastor Justin Lind-Ayres

cross-white-tree2On Monday, October 19, Lonna Field with the Christensen Center for Vocation and I will be taking a group of Auggies to Seminary & Divinity School Day at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. Close to 20 seminary and divinity school representatives will be present to converse with regarding the many various graduate school programs in theology, biblical studies, youth and family ministry, and professional ministry tracks.

It is a wonderful time to meet with other students from other schools and enter into conversations of vocational discernment. Are you unsure about your future? Or, feel sure yet maybe God is nudging you to consider other things? Do you want to learn about options for public Chrsitian leadership? Whatever the case, you are welcome to join us!    Continue reading “Day of Discernment: A Message from Pastor Justin Lind-Ayres”

Blessing of the Animals in Chapel

jennifer_troyChapel went to the dogs today, and the cats, and the hedgehogs… as we commemorated St. Francis of Assisi, Patron Saint of Animals, with our annual “Blessing of the Animals” in daily chapel.  Around 150 people gathered to hear Jennifer Troy, Director of Paws for Learning, speak about the importance of animals in our lives to help us de-stress and deal with life’s difficulties.  Each animal in attendance was brought forward by their person for a special blessing from Pastor Sonja Hagander and Pastor Justin Lind-Ayres. Especially memorable were the moments when Charlie, Jennifer’s 170-pound Great Dane, decided to give some special attention to folks in the front row!

New Life Band Welcomed to Chapel

New_Life_BandWe welcomed the New Life Band to daily chapel today, all the way from Tanzania!  Eight musicians shared their vocal and drumming gifts along with a narrative of their mission. For their last selection, they invited students up to join them in dancing to their lively drumming and vocals.

The New Life Band is an “inter-denominational ministry that serves as an instrument to transform the lives of youth and students within Tanzania through the Gospel of Jesus Christ by giving them hope and opportunity by knowing that they are loved.” They are currently working to raise funds for a women’s dormitory building at a Tanzanian school. For more info: www.newlifeband.net

Urban Plunge Program Kick-Off a Success!

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 5.06.59 PMThis last weekend the Urban Plunge program officially began again for the year! Urban Plunge is where middle school and high school youth groups from churches in the area come for an overnight retreat from Friday through Saturday. During this time they go out onto Light Rail and visit different parts of Minneapolis while engaging issues such as racism, homelessness and class issues. They talk about how we can work to break the cycles that contribute to these things and see how faith can speak to these issues. Last weekend a group from Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church in Plymouth came. 13 youth and adults came and had a great weekend learning and exploring.

Are you interested in getting involved with Urban Plunge? Would you like to schedule your own for your church youth group? Contact Jacie Richmond, Pastoral Intern, or Greg Lewis, Bonner Leader, at richmonj@augsburg.edu and lewisg@augsburg.edu

Updating Your Profile – a Message from Rev. Dr. Philip Quanbeck, II


quanbeck_webThe following homily was given in Augsburg College Daily Chapel on September 23, 2015, by Rev. Dr. Philip Quanbeck, II, Associate Professor, Religion Department (text: Genesis 1:26-28):

As Yogi Berra said: “Listen up! I’ve got nothing to say and I am only going to say it once.”

Grace and Peace:

This past June, My wife and I went to Sweden with a touch of Norway. Inspired by the example of former campus pastor Dave Wold we picked up a new Volvo in Gothenburg and set out on a quest. We saw the Kvammbekk place near Hjartdal in Telemark and feasted with the relatives. Touched on Oslo and then went to Sweden. And especially Stockholm. Ruth, a Swede by ancestry, wanted me, a Norwegian by ancestry, to see what real Scandinavian “class” looked like. Stockholm, after all, was for a time an imperial capital.  Continue reading “Updating Your Profile – a Message from Rev. Dr. Philip Quanbeck, II”

Alums Visit Campus Ministry

kelsey_emma_chapel_webTwo great alums stopped by early this semester to say “hi.”  Both Kelsey and Emma loved Augsburg and developed their callings while students here.  We miss them, but love to hear what they are up to today.
Kelsey Hlavac ’14: “I am Director of Christian Education and Youth at Grace Lutheran Church in Royersford, PA. I work with all ages from new-borns/infants through young adults and families. The church is welcoming and embraces my energy and passion for God and the youth.”
Emma Winegar ’14: “I work at Epic. Epic develops integrated electronic medical record software. I work in technical services, and I help customers troubleshoot issues, optimize their use of the software, and get updates. I work with the pharmacy application, Willow. I’ve learned a lot during my year at Epic, and I enjoy what I do! The campus is amazing. There are cows, dragons, a tree house, and more!”

Meet the Campus Ministry Deacons – A message from Pastor Justin Lind-Ayres

We are blessed this 2015-2016 Academic Year to have five very talented student-leaders shepherding the Campus Ministry Student Organization! But, what, pray tell, is a deacon? A fine question! In the New Testament, deacons were set apart by the church for word and service in God’s world (see Acts 6:1-7). The title has been used throughout the church to describe servants who minister to the community in teaching, works of love, dedication to justice, worship-leadership, and an enduring commitment to the gospel of Christ Jesus. The Campus Ministry Office has chosen to use “deacon” as the title for those students called to this work on the Augsburg campus in partnership with the Campus Ministry staff.

The deacons will work together to plan and execute events and activities that create opportunities for social connectedness, spiritual growth, and loving service. In addition, they empower and equip other student-leaders in the shared work of radical hospitality, creating space for the sacred, and shaping the community in positives ways with other student groups and leaders on campus.  Continue reading “Meet the Campus Ministry Deacons – A message from Pastor Justin Lind-Ayres”