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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. 

I asked the deacons a few questions so that you might get to know them a bit more even as you discern how you might partner in this ministry we share! So, without further ado, meet our Campus Ministry deacons:

Hannah Thiryhannah_thiry

What is your hometown? What year are you and what are you studying here at Augsburg?

I’m a junior from Cambridge, MN; Biology major; Religion and Psychology minors

What is your favorite color? Food? Season of the year?

Color: Gray! (Yes, it’s a color, not a shade) Food: Cereal- all kinds! Must be soggy! Season: Fall -it’s all about the leaves:)

What do you love about Augsburg?

The philosophical discussions that randomly occur at the most inconvenient times, but end up being the best and most meaningful interactions within the Augsburg community.

What would you say was a moment of a spiritual high for you?

Singing ‘Grace Like Rain’ at my favorite outdoor worship area at my camp in the Rocky Mountains.

What are you looking forward to this year as you serve as a Campus Ministry Deacon?

Learning and engaging with people devoted to the service of the church, and seeing how my gifts fit best to facilitate an impactful and purposeful environment.

Favorite book or verse of the Bible, and why?

John 15:13  Greater love has no man than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends. – It’s the largest service one person can give to another. This portrays a selfless lifestyle; one devoted to bettering the lives of others, which serves as my inspiration.

 

Joe Kempf joe_kempf_sml

What is your hometown? What year are you and what are you studying here at Augsburg?

I’m a senior from Zumbrota, MN. Major: Chemistry.

What is your favorite color? Food? Season of the year?

Favorite Color: Orange Pollen; Food: Mac and Cheese has been my favorite for almost 20 years; Fall – the leaves are crisp and everything is colorful

What do you love about Augsburg?

I love that people are so involved at Augsburg, students seem ready to leave their comfortable dorm to engage the surrounding communities and truly meet Augsburg’s neighbors.

What would you say was a moment of a spiritual high for you?

The last time I had a spiritual high was when I was studying abroad in El Salvador in January. I was in the National Cathedral in San Salvador. As I walked inside the main sanctuary, the high ceilings and the echoes made me feel something. At the time I mistook it for a ‘God Moment’. The real ‘God Moment’ would come when I walked into the basement. While the upstairs sanctuary was loud and echoed of talking and maybe humming, the downstairs contained the tomb of Monsignor Oscar Romero. Oscar Romero was a genuine saint to Salvadoran people during their horrific civil war. He is currently being canonized to be a saint. He was assassinated while serving Communion. Recently, the Catholic Church exhumed his body from the main sanctuary and placed him in the basement, almost hiding him in the basement instead of disturbing the sanctuary. This downstairs worship area was hushed, not because it was empty, but because there was a tangible holiness to the area. Time stopped. I think about that moment a lot.

What are you looking forward to this year as you serve as a Campus Ministry Deacon?

I am looking forward to meeting new people and helping campus ministry become a larger community.

Favorite book or verse of the Bible, and why?

My favorite book of the Bible is Ecclesiastes. For me, this book is honest about the seasons of life and letting ‘the cards lay as they do’. It teaches to live in the moment, something I strive to do always.

 

Vision Bagonza vision

What is your hometown? What year are you and what are you studying here at Augsburg?

I am a junior from Karagwe, Kagera, Tanzania. A Biology major with a Chemistry minor.

What is your favorite color? Food? Season of the year?

NAVY BLUE and gold. I have many favorites foods, including naan bread and tikka masala. Definitely autumn!

What do you love about Augsburg?

I love that people are so involved at Augsburg, students seem ready to leave their comfortable dorm to engage the surrounding communities and truly meet Augsburg’s neighbors.

What would you say was a moment of a spiritual high for you?

I love how kind people are here, and how connected everyone is to everything, be it faith, current events, and their own passions. I also have come to really appreciate the opportunities I’ve gotten while here, in my field of science and in service learning. I also appreciate the kind of people that come to Augsburg. Very organic. Oh, and the location is golden, or Platinum (PT) for public transportation as my professor once put it.

What are you looking forward to this year as you serve as a Campus Ministry Deacon?

Hoping to help more people find Campus Ministry, and having collaborations with other student organizations to leave more footprints on campus.

Favorite book or verse of the Bible, and why?

Again, I have many favorites. But here’s one and here’s why:

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” Psalms 46:1

This verse is part of the Swahili liturgy for mass, and I always loved singing it. I think it beautifully describes why God is God, and why we need Him.

 

David Erickson david_erickson

What is your hometown? What year are you and what are you studying here at Augsburg?

I’m a sophomore from South St. Paul, MN. Major: Music Education with a choral emphasis.

What is your favorite color? Food? Season of the year?

Teal. Gluten free pizza. Fall.

What do you love about Augsburg?

How small it is, and how much everyone genuinely cares about the people in our community.

What would you say was a moment of a spiritual high for you?

Any time I’m at camp, or doing anything outside or with music.
What are you looking forward to this year as you serve as a Campus Ministry Deacon?

I’m really looking forward to getting to know everyone, and to share in community with them! I’m also looking forward to helping us grow, and welcome more people into worship and fellowship.

Favorite book or verse of the Bible, and why?

This is a tough one. Favorite verse: Micah 6:8, very good words to live by!

Favorite book: Psalms. As a music major, I find it fascinating to look at how the psalms were written, and how they’re set to music, and how the rhyme scheme words and everything.

 

Jon Batesjonathan_bates

What is your hometown? What year are you and what are you studying here at Augsburg?

I’m a fifth-year (graduate in December) from Shoreview, MN. Major: Youth and Family Ministry

What is your favorite color? Food? Season of the year?

Dark blue/gray. Large fry from Burger King. First two weeks of winter.

What do you love about Augsburg?

I love how Augsburg College lives up to it’s mission statement by the college educating their students in being informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. I’ve seen the statement lived out within the classroom setting, in conversation with professors, and through extracurricular opportunities.

What would you say was a moment of a spiritual high for you?

At Augsburg College: The Ash Wednesday Night Communion Service this previous year was a soul-stirring experience with the staff and friends in that holy space.
What are you looking forward to this year as you serve as a Campus Ministry Deacon?

I’m looking forward to continuing my service with the students until my college career comes to an end. It has been humbling to notice the way that life of the campus ministry at Augsburg College exists.

Favorite book or verse of the Bible, and why?

Genesis is my favorite book of the Bible, mainly focusing on the stories of creation. Every time I read them, I seem to notice something different or even recognize that a word has a different emphasis or flow in the text. And it is mainly through this book that I recognize how alive the words are.