Lois Hofstad Esselstrom Ph.D. ’58 Publishes “An Intimate Journey with Our Father: Walking and Talking with God”

Book cover for An Intimate Journey with Our FatherAlumna Lois Hofstad Esselstrom, Ph.D., has recently published “An Intimate Journey with Our Father: Walking and Talking with God,” available on Amazon for purchase. Before earning her bachelor of arts from Augsburg in 1958, Lois grew up in the home of a pastor and educator and says her family walked and talked with God through Bible reading and prayer. She went on to earn both an M.A. and Ph.D. from Western Reserve University. She has been a church parish worker, a publish school teacher and a professor of English at Indiana University South Bend. She and her husband Michael Esselstrom have two children and are now retired in Florida.

About this Book (from the author)

To walk life’s road with the Almighty God, engaged in intimate conversation with Him? Can it be? As astonishing, indeed shocking, as this concept is, it is simple enough for a child to experience. I know because I was that child. When I was very small, Mother found me on a chair talking to Someone she could not see. “Who are you talking to?” she asked. “I’m talking to Jesus. You said He was here.” Ever since that day decades ago I have known that I may talk to Jesus, or more precisely, with Jesus, with God. God chooses to engage with children, men, and women in intimate dialogue. Sometimes He initiates the conversation through words of the Bible as we read or remember them. Sometimes words from morning devotional reading steady me all through the day. Our answer is amazement and gratitude. Or we speak to Him first, through conscious prayer or through longings which He hears in our hearts. He answers according to what is best for His child. Jesus was very specific about God’s intentions. He said that He and His Father would “come and make our home” with those who love Him. It occurred to me that God, Who is Love, may enjoy being welcomed to be at home in our personal lives even more than we limited mortals can rise to being glad He has come. Thus, as the almighty God lives in our lives, we, together with believers of all ages, bear witness to the reality of An Intimate Journey with Our Father: Walking and Talking with God.

Professor Jeremy Myers Publishes First Book on Liberating Youth Through Theological Reflection on Vocation

 

book cover of Liberating Youth“I often say I love kids more than I love Jesus. I think Jesus is okay with this sentiment. In fact, I think Jesus prefers it this way. He can handle it. Jesus knows our young people are caged birds like the ones in Maya Angelou’s poem. I write this book to change the way we think about our young people so that we might love them as they are, not as we think they should be.”

This is how Dr. Jeremy Myers, associate professor of religion at Augsburg, begins his first book, “Liberating Youth from Adolescence.” The book is scheduled to be released in paperback and ebook format on Oct. 1 by Fortress Press.

Myers says he has been teaching this material in the Youth and Family degree program at Augsburg for the past decade and it was an honor and privilege for him to finally put it down on paper for a larger audience.

“The writing process was both exhausting and exhilarating,” Myers said. “I struggled to find the words to best communicate thoughts and convictions that are so important to me. There were many times I considered throwing in the towel. But the urgency and importance of the topic kept me motivated. I am so excited to have these ideas out there in the larger conversation and can not wait to hear what people think about it.”

Professor Jeremy Myers About the Author

Jeremy Myers has been teaching at Augsburg University since 2006. His approach to instruction includes a faithful, honest, and critical look at people’s lived realities while simultaneously attempting to seek and proclaim meaning, truth, and hope within the context of that reality. This is also how he approaches his discipline of Theology & Public Leadership. Therefore, he often incorporates insights from sociology, psychology, cultural studies, and ritual studies into the class’s theological process.

In addition to teaching, his work at Augsburg University includes directing the Theology & Public Leadership major, the Youth Studies minor, the Augsburg Youth Theology Institute, and the Riverside Innovation Hub. Jeremy’s areas of research include youths’ experiences of God’s presence and activity, how young people construct theology, contemplative youth ministry practices, interfaith youth work, a vocational understanding of young people, and a public understanding of church.

 

Collaborate with Artists on Hagfors Center Artwork

The Augsburg Religion Department and Institutional Advancement are now seeking student and alumni input for artwork to be installed in the new Hagfors Center. The artists Greta McLain and Stanton Sears and Andrea Myklebust are seeking your best ideas on text passages that could accompany three artworks designed for the new building. Selections of text may come from any literary work or religious text of any faith tradition, as long as they are inspiring and fitting with the spirit of the artwork. For students, display boards depicting the artwork designs will be posted around campus, where anyone may fill out a slip and drop it in the submission box. Or check out the link to see more information about the artists and submit your ideas by April 6!

Submit your ideas!

 

 

Auggie Alumni in the Classroom: Bill Koschak ’91

Bill Koschak Auggies are everywhere, including back in the classroom!  Last week, Bill Koschak ’91 came back to speak to the seniors in the Business and Religion Keystone class led by Lori Lohman & Josh Miller. His topic? To speak about his vocational journey, his career path, and advice he would give students today.

Koschak had much to share about his journey from entry level job to partner at KPMG, to vice president of finance at General Mills, and now chief financial officer at YA Engage (formerly known as Young America). He noted he was especially thankful for his adviser, business professor Stu Stoller who first encouraged him to look into public accounting. Koschak made sure Stoller would be in attendance so that he could personally thank him.

Additionally, Koschak shared that he has had three strong mentors in his career who were instrumental to his career growth. These mentors were workplace leaders he admired for their management style, ethical behavior, and focus on work-life balance. He made a point to engage with these leaders and check in with them regularly. What started as occasional meetings turned into mentoring relationships that opened up many doors. He challenged the students to seek similar relationships as they start their careers.

Koschak is one of many alumni who have been invited to share their experiences with current students. If you are interested in speaking in classrooms or sharing your stories, contact Volunteer & Alumni Engagement Manager Katie Radford ’12 at radford@augsburg.edu.