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2022 Vocation of a Lutheran Higher Education Conference Registration

The Vocation of Lutheran Higher Education Conference:

Why All This Talk about Understanding the Mission of NECU Member Institutions as a Vocation?

Augsburg University, Minneapolis, Minnesota

July 18 – 20, 2022


The 2022 Vocation of Lutheran Higher Education Conference for the Network of ELCA Colleges and Universities will convene at Augsburg University, Minneapolis, Minnesota from July 18-20, 2022.

Each year, members of Lutheran colleges gather to explore the distinctive roles we play in higher education.The theme of the 2022 conference is “Why All This Talk about Understanding the Mission of NECU Member Institutions as a Vocation?” 

The conference is open to all persons from ELCA colleges and universities, but persons should attend who have a campus responsibility for or interest in the mission of their institution and its place within the Lutheran intellectual tradition in higher education. Each college or university is urged to send a campus delegation, composed of a mix of administrators and faculty. 

A more detailed schedule and information about presenters is now available.. Contact Melinda Valverde at for more information about the conference or if your college or university has questions. Registration is now closed for the conference.


Register for the 2022 VOLHE Conference


ELCA colleges and universities are invited to send delegations of up to five persons at a subsidized rate of $150 per person. Please register by June 20, 2022.

Note: Those who need any disability-related accommodation to fully participate in this event are encouraged to contact University Events at or 612-330-1104. Remember to have the name, date, and time of the event with you when contacting their office. Please allow for sufficient time to arrange the accommodation.

Contact Janice Dames at for more information about registration.

The Vocation of a Lutheran Higher Education Conference is supported by the Network of ELCA Colleges and Universities.

Baccalaureate and Interfaith Sending Service

At the end of the school year, Campus Ministry holds two special services for graduating seniors. 

  • The Baccalaureate Service is a Christian service of celebration with music and word, held for the graduating class and their families, celebrating the completion of your studies at Augsburg. This year the service will be Sunday, April 24, @ 11am in Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center. Graduating students should wear their cap and gown and may sit with their family or guests in any available seats. This year President Paul Pribbenow will give the homily and we will join with the Trinity Lutheran Congregation. At the Baccalaureate service, graduates will receive a blessing blanket.
  • Interfaith Sending: Thursday, April 21 at 6:30 pm. This short service will be a special time of reflection and blessing. Graduating students of all religious and non-religious identities are invited to this interfaith service in Hoversten Chapel. This 45-minute service will be a special time of reflection and blessing. This service is led by the Interfaith Scholar Cohort. Blessing blankets will also be given at the Interfaith Sending. (One blanket per graduate, please).

A Prayer for Justice

On April 11, 2021, Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man,was fatally shot in the chest by police officer Kimberly Potter during a traffic stop. Authorities said that Potter meant to use her taser, but accidentally used her gun instead.

Two days later, Potter and Brooklyn Center police chief Tim Gannon resigned from their positions. Potter was convicted of first-degree and second degree manslaughter on December 23, 2021, at a jury trial of her peers.  On February 18, 2022, she was sentenced to two years in prison, with credit for time served. Directed to serve two-thirds time in prison and one-third on house arrest. Once again, justice for a family was denied. The system fails our community again.  

Today, we witnessed once again a broken Justice System fail to provide justice for its citizens, namely Daunte Wright and his family. Without justice there can be no peace.

To our Augsburg Community, today we name the sadness and trauma of the sentencing. We name Daunte Wright. Amir Locke who was also recently killed by the police. Use what strength you have to take care of yourself, family and friends. Pay attention to your bodies for the trauma the verdict releases.Anger, frustration and disappointment are natural reactions to such a disservice to a community. Know that it is alright to not be alright. We are a people who deeply care, acknowledging this is who you are. Sometimes I can’t find the words. Today I offer this prayer for our beloved Augsburg University community from @blackliturgies

Tender God,

Some days our sadness feels too much to hold. It shackles us to our bed. It colonizes even our deepest joys. Would you hold it with us? Would you let our beds be our restoration and not our guilt? Keep us from speaking those secret words of self-hatred that demand that we carry our pain in some other way, that tells us to conquer sadness instead of feeling it. Help us to be weak. That holy weakness that doesn’t sneer at itself, but allows us to see that we are no less dignified because of our tears. Help us to be tender with ourselves, patient with those wounds which we can’t seem to put words to. Guide us toward communities that don’t force us to explain with sadness or coerce us into expressing it in any particular way on any particular timeline. And as we do our best to live, grant us the resolve to care for our bodies. To use what strength we have to make small steps toward loving our bodies and minds best we can.

Pastor Babette Chatman

University Pastor and Director of Campus Ministry

Advent Vespers 2021 Devotional

As part of the Advent Vespers experience, Campus Ministry offers Advent Devotional booklet with daily devotions written by religion department faculty, campus pastors, alumni, President Pribbenow, and other members of the Augsburg community. The Advent Devotional Booklet is available online.

You can also read each devotion daily:

Friday, December 3: Luke 1:26-33 – Babette Chatman 

Saturday, December 4: The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came (stanzas 1 & 2) – Kristina Frugé 

Sunday, December 5: Luke 1:46-55  – Tori Remer

Monday, December 6: Matthew 24:30-35 – Jeni Grangaard 

Tuesday, December 7: Psalm 121 – Ross Murray 

Wednesday, December 8: Psalm 91:9-16 – Jeremy Myers 

Thursday, December 9: Isaiah 52:7-10 – Russell Kleckley 


Friday, December 10: Revelation 5:11-13 – Dana Nissen

Saturday, December 11: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (stanza 1) – Adrienne Eldridge 

Sunday, December 12: Psalm 148:1-2, 13 – Amanda Vetsch

Monday, December 13: All My Heart Again Rejoices (stanza 1) – Justin Lind-Ayres

Tuesday, December 14: All My Heart Again Rejoices (stanza 2) – Mark Sedio 

Wednesday, December 15: All My Heart Again Rejoices (stanza 3)Phil Quanbeck 

Thursday, December 16: Philippians 4:4-7 –  Marty Wyatt 


Friday, December 17: Love Has Come (stanza 1) – Andrea Sorum 

Saturday, December 18: Angels, From the Realms of Glory (stanzas 1 & 4) – Destyn Land 

Sunday, December 19: From Heaven Above (stanzas 1, 2, 14) – Lori Brandt Hale 

Monday, December 20: Psalm 96:1-9  – Janice Dames

Tuesday, December 21: Angels We Have Heard on High (stanzas 1 & 2) – Mark Hanson

Wednesday, December 22: Isaiah 9:6-7 – Mark Tranvik 

Thursday, December 23: Silent Night (stanzas 1 & 2) – John Rohde Schwehn 

Friday, December 24: Luke 2:8-14 –  Matt Maruggi 


Saturday, December 25: Colossians 3:12-17  – Paul Pribbenow 


The 2021 Advent Vespers Service “Angel Voices, Again Now Sing” is now available for viewing on the Augsburg Music Department YouTube Channel.

Campus Ministry Student Leaders

Introducing our Campus Ministry Student Leaders – Augsburg University Student Ministry Deacons, Minnesota Hillel- Augsburg, and Muslim Student Association


Augsburg University Student Ministry Deacons


Hi! My name is Renee Christensen. I use she/her pronouns. I’m a third year majoring in Clinical Psychology and Theology and Public Leadership, which is a long way of saying that I want to work with mental health and religion! This year, I have the honor to work as the co-president with our Student Deacons! Outside of Augsburg, I love reading books and being outside with my cats! I am super excited to be back on campus and can’t wait to see you all at our events! Let me know if you want to get coffee and chat!


Hi, my name is Bethany Dart. I use she/her pronouns and am a sophomore at Augsburg.  I am majoring in women’s gender studies. In my free time I like to read, write, cook, and be outside by the Mpls lakes. I decided to become a deacon because I care about faith and Leadership. I hope I can be someone the Augsburg community can trust and go to for support and questions. 


My name Is Nadine Miller (she/hers) and I am a junior double majoring in communications and political science. I am from Hancock, Minnesota and I love dogs. I also like playing video games, hanging out with friends, and dancing.


My name is Grace Porter (she/her) and I am a senior! I am majoring in Theology and Public Leadership with a concentration in youth studies and a minor in music. This is my third year as a co-president of Student Ministries because I love the community here! I also love traveling, working with kids and young people, and the magic of a good book. Let me know if you want to get a coffee and chat!


My name is Toby Reinsma, I am a 3rd year here at Augsburg University studying elementary education. I play on the Men’s Soccer team here, I am from Grand Rapids, Michigan and I love the color blue. 


I’m Emma Scherrer (she/her/hers). I am a third year majoring in Music Therapy.  I love music a lot- listening to it, singing, dancing, and playing instruments, especially piano. I love to spend time outside and explore my surroundings. My other interests include chess, drawing, poetry, cats, and anime. I’m very empathetic, a good listener, and love to give hugs. 


My name is Carson Vincent (they/them/theirs). I am a second-year majoring in biochemistry and minoring in math. This year I am the treasurer for student ministries. I am also a RA in Urness this year. If you see me around campus feel free to stop and say “Hi.”


Minnesota Hillel – Augsburg leaders


My name is Rivka Buchbinder, I am a senior, my major is elementary education, my minors are film and religion. I love photography and film and love taking pictures/videos of the world around me. I love spending time with friends and family. I love meeting new people and learning about what they are passionate about. 

I am also a part of Hillel and have really enjoyed paring Jewish life to campus.


Hi everyone, I am Hannah Gold and I am from Wisconsin. I am on the Women’s Hockey team here at Augsburg. When I am not playing hockey I am outside or making art. I joined Hillel because I wanted to be closer to my culture and heritage. I am a senior majoring in marketing with a minor in graphic design.


Muslim Student Association Executive Board


Name: Sharmarke Omar

Position: President 

Grade: Junior 

Major: Finance & Management 

Hobbies: Traveling, learning new things, reading and spending quality time with family & friends!

My hope for MSA this year is: To provide a platform through which Muslim students on campus can practice their faith and help fellow students become familiar with resources at their disposal in the broader Augsburg community.


Name : Yahye Farah

Position: Vice President

Grade: Senior

Major: MIS

Hobbies: I like to go out with my friends, and watch a lot of shows

My hope for MSA this year is: My goal for MSA this year  is to be there for the muslim students here at Augsburg. Hear the voices of the student body we’re representing and make this a welcoming place that everyone is included.


Name: Fathumo Mohamed 

Position: Secretary

Grade: Junior 

Major: Biology 

Hobbies: I like to read comics, I like to try variety of different food every time (halal)

My hope for MSA this year is: To unify all Muslim students from different backgrounds and culture to feel safe and be welcomed at MSA. Also to be a resource organization for Muslim student that need help on campus whether is to get them connected to someone or just to seek an advice. 


Name: Hafsa Abdi

Position: Public Relations

Grade: Second Year

Major: Biochemistry

Hobbies: Going on adventures, exploring new cultures, traveling, getting boba & hanging out with friends!

My hope for MSA this year is: My hope for MSA this year is to advocate and be available for the muslim students on campus; and to create an open and welcoming space where students can come and enjoy what we have to offer. Inshallah you can join us! 


Name: Anzal Sahal

Position: Co-Event Planner

Grade: Second Year

Major: Biochemistry

Hobbies: Watching movies/shows, reading, and trying new things!

My hope for MSA this year is: To create a space for all students to deepen their knowledge of Islam, while also establishing friendly connections with like-minded individuals! 


Name:Salma Aden

Position: Co-event Planner

Grade: Second year

Major: Biochemistry

Hobbies: cooking, traveling and exploring new places (mainly restaurants) and binge watching shows.

My hope for MSA this year is: I hope that MSA will be able to be there for our fellow students and to guide them through when they need us and just become the muslim community they wish/hope for InshaAllah.


Name: Hamza Hassan

Position: Treasurer

Grade: Second Year

Major: Management Info Systems

Hobbies: Traveling, basketball, soccer

My hope for MSA this year is: To create a welcoming environment for Muslim students on campus, and to help students develop their spirituality and growth as Muslims.

A Prayer for the People of Haiti and Afghanistan

In this hour, prayers are needed. Though separated by region, circumstance, and cause, the people of Afghanistan and Haiti share in the commonality of deep and painful suffering. As our news feeds are filled with images and statistics from these countries depicting the heartache and turmoil felt by our global siblings, we are called to prayer: for mercy among those grieving the loss of loved ones, for safety amid war and chaos, for the healing of those injured in body or soul, for peace, and for the restoration of all God’s beloved. Thousands of miles away yet yoked in our common humanity, we lift our prayers for the Haitian and the Afghani peoples.  

For the people most affected by the crisis created by the US withdrawing military troops from Afghanistan:

And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46

We pray to you Merciful God, in this time of great sorrow, pain, and confusion. You are our refuge and our strength, a very present help in times of trouble. Reveal your presence in the midst of the people of Afghanistan. Protect them, so that the feelings of forsakenness and desperation will not overtake them. Hold them amid their fear and pain. Give them liberty and freedom. Come quickly to their aid that they may know, peace and joy again.

And for those affected by natural disasters from the recent earthquake impacting Haiti and the surrounding areas as well as the tropical storms affecting the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, U.S minor outlying Islands and Cuba. We pray for all the lives lost, being mindful of the 1,941 (and rising) Haitian people killed and over 6,000 injured leaving some 30,000 plus homeless.

We offer prayers:

O holy God, whose name is above all names. We share in Jesus’ cry from the cross amid loss and the feeling of abandonment. As creation groans, the earth rumbles and the skies darken. Hear our cries and hold your peoples caught in the throes of creation’s turmoil. Do not forsake your peoples in Haiti and the surrounding areas. Surround them in mercy and strengthen them in love. Stir people, agencies, governments, and ourselves to give gifts of support to heal and rebuild. Empower the global community to stand in solidarity and seek a way forward and a path that leads to abundant life. This we pray with Jesus’ words on our lips and hope in our hearts. Amen.    

Babette Chatman & Justin Lind-Ayres

Co-University Pastors 

Reflection on Junteenth


Psalm 78:1-8 (Inclusive Translation, adapted)

My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth! I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden from of old-the things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us. We won’t hide them from our children, we will tell the next generation. We’ll tell them of your praiseworthy deeds, YHWH, your power, and the wonders you have performed. You set up statutes for our forebears, and established the Law in Israel, which you commanded our ancestors to teach their children so the next generation would know them-children yet to be born-and as they come up, they would tell their own children. Then they would put their trust in you and not forget your deeds, but keep your commandments—unlike their ancestors. 


Juneteenth (short for June nineteenth) recognizes the declaration that all enslaved shall be set free.  It has been called the “longest running African-American holiday” or “America’s second Independence Day.” While emancipation from a life of slavery is most certainly cause for celebration, the narrative that follows the formerly enslaved and the next generations is not a continuation of the joyful festivities. Rather, it marks the beginning of a system of oppression of Black (and other People of Color) in this country that continues today. 

While the 13th Amendment no longer forced the African Diaspora into lives of slavery, they were not and are not granted the freedom and opportunity the Constitution gives to people of European decent (White men). Immediately, efforts began to disenfranchise those newly declared citizens, efforts that are literally being played out across America, right now. The controversy surrounding what has been and is taught in American schools around history and race are boiling over. Almost 200 years later, this country is still finding new ways to deny the agency of BIPoC communities. 

The psalmist laments this very thing. America has not told the truth about the history of this country, we have hidden it from the next generation. We have not listened to what our ancestors of Color have tried to tell us. We have not listened to all of God’s people and heard the teachings. We have not followed God’s Law.  We have not told the whole story throughout the generations. How then, can the generations to come learn to keep the commandments and not make the same mistakes our ancestors made? First, we must all acknowledge the truth of race in American and commit to stop hiding it from our children. It is only then we can all live fully in the freedom granted in the Constitution and more importantly, in God’s Law. 


As we mark this day, we are grateful for the liberation you have already given. We thank you for the freedom given through the gift of grace. We pray for confidence in your forgiveness, that our hearts may be opened to acknowledge and reconcile the truth of racism. 

We pray for change. Change the easy peace we make with ourselves into discontent because of the oppression of others. Change our tendency to defend ourselves into the freedom that comes from being forgiven and empowered through your love. Change our need for disguises, excuses, and images into the ability to be honest with ourselves and open with one another. Change our inclination to judge others into a desire to serve and uplift others. And most of all, change our routine faith into genuine encounters with you and our better selves so that our lives will be changed for the good of all, letting us give ourselves to one another in a joyful, liberated community of justice and peace.

May it be so.

Jenn Luong

Pastoral Intern

A Prayer for the Commemoration of the Emanuel Nine

On Wednesday evening June 17, 2015, a young white man who was raised in/associated with the Lutheran church (ELCA) sat for a hour-long Bible study at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Charleston, South Carolina. After receiving hospitality from this group of faithful followers to whom he was a stranger and after sharing in the group’s study and prayer, the white man shot and slain nine people as an act of racist violence and terror. Six years later, words fall woefully short in the face of such evil actions perpetuated by false narratives of white body supremacy wedged within the institutions of our American society, including the Lutheran church of which Augsburg University is affiliated. Sorrow and rage, heartache and grief, anguish and death: the evils of racism, white nationalism, and systemic oppression have yielded these foul fruits. White America and the predominantly white church of the ELCA (of which I am a part) are the “what” that fomented that young white’s man act. We are complicit. 

But God. God calls us to confess, repent, and repudiate our (white-bodied peoples) role in the systems of discrimination and oppression calculatingly designed to marginalize Black, Indigenous, People of Color. God is always calling us – individually and communally – to life and companionship within the beautiful beloved community. But this can only happen by way of truth-telling. So, we commemorate the Emanuel Nine and name the truths of who we are and who God is calling us to be. We speak truth, we confess, we seek forgiveness, we lament, we listen, and we act for the sake of reconciliation and reparations…we act ever-so-imperfectly in order that all may live. May we the privileged be purged of our false narratives of supremacy as we recommit ourselves to God’s vision of abundant life for all humanity, and indeed, all of creation. 

The truth calls us to remember and honor the Emanuel Nine, so we name these saints of God here and now:

Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton

Cynthia Maire Graham Hurd

Susie Jackson

Ethel Lee Lance

Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor

Tywanza Kibwe Diop Sanders

Rev. Daniel Lee Simmons

Rev. Myra Singleton Quarles Thompson

Rev. Clementa Pinckney


From the prophet Amos, the fifth chapter:

“Seek good and not evil,
    that you may live;
and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you,
    just as you have said.
 Hate evil and love good,
    and establish justice in the gate…

…let justice roll down like waters, 

and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” 

(Amos 5:14-15, 24)

We pray: 

God of justice, God of righteousness:

Hold all who grieve and weep at the atrocities committed on June 17, 2015 at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. For racism, yet again, violated the sanctity and sanctuary of your church, and the study of your word of life was cut short by violence and death. We name the evil that besets our land and the norms of our nation and churches rooted in white supremacy and systems of racial injustice. We repent of our own complicity in these systems that marginalize Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. And we pray for your ever-flowing stream of mercy to sweep us along into a new day full of actions working to dismantle the white-bodied supremacy within and around. On this day, we honor and remember the Emanuel Nine, whose lives were cut short by a terrorist act of hatred. God of healing, continue to comfort the family and friends of the Emanuel Nine even as we trust you hold your dear saints in eternal light and love. Establish justice at the gates and justice in our hearts as we learn together to walk your way of goodness and truth. This we pray, in lamentation, amid suffering, and through the hope that is in you, Christ Jesus, the embodiment of reconciliation and love. Amen. 

[The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has created prayers, litanies, and laments for the commemoration of the Emanuel Nine produced; these resources can be found here: ]

By Rev. Justin Lind-Ayres 

University Pastor

A Prayer for Trinity Ottoson-Smith, age 8

Trinity Ottoson-Smith, age 8, is the second young child to fall victim to senseless gun violence in Minneapolis. She lost her fight after 12 days Thursday evening.  Her father Raishawn Smith, “God got her now.” wrote on his social media. May her light shine on in eternity.  Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:14) That her suffering in this life would cease. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish. (Matthew 18:14)

This Memorial Day weekend families will gather, participate in parades, visit cemeteries and memorials, using this time of honoring men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military, rightfully so. The Civil War may have ended in the spring of 1865, but there is another war that needs immediate attention, the War against Guns and Street Violence.  Unfortunately, Trinity’s parents and loved ones will gather to plan the funeral service to honor her young life cut short way too soon. 

With tender hearts, we offer this scripture and prayer:

For the Lord will not reject forever. Although he causes grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love. (Lamentations 3:31-32)

Dear Mothering Father God, we bring every grieving parent, relative, and friend of Trinity’s into your throne of grace, that they might receive mercy. Lord, they are going through a lot of pain and heart ache as a result of her death. It is not an easy thing for a parent to bury their child. God of compassion comforts them. Fill them with a deep sense of peace and grace. Move the community around them to help and support them to gain justice. Help them to continue being faithful to you even through the pain. Surround them with your love and fill the void left in their hearts with hope. Asking, oh God, that each day they will grow stronger, your light shine in their moments of darkness, and that the joyful memories of Trinity sustain them.

In the spirit and powerful name of Jesus, we believe and pray. Amen.

Rev. Babette Chatman

University Pastor

A Reflection in honor of George Perry Floyd on the one year anniversary of his deat

When Mary (Bridget) came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. 34 (Jesus) said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus began to weep.38 Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”  John 11:32-39


Most of us didn’t know you, and yet we all wept at your senseless death. Your words now echo in eternity “I can’t breathe”. Your name added to the list of victims of the system of Policing.

Mr. Floyd, I go back often to the image and sound of your voice calling out for your “Momma”. Helplessly begging for relief from under the pressure of former officer Chauvin’s knee on your neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. Your humanity ignored and violated by persons covenant to protect and serve, they failed you. They failed us all. But you were not alone in your suffering, your community was there pleading on your behalf. 

And every “Momma” responded to the cries of your voice, as did every father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, friend and activist. 

George, God wept at your death, and I trust that Mothering God was there, when you took your last breath. She did not leave nor forsake you. And your cries, your death inspired and unleashed a movement of protest uprising around the WORLD!

Malcolm X said “That’s not a chip on my shoulder, but your foot on my neck.”, today 365 days after your death, Chauvin’s knee on your neck, visible to the world, the Community has a chip on it’s shoulder. 

A chip that says Policing must be reformed. 

A chip that says you can’t destroy George Floyd’s character to justify his death. 

A chip resulted in the bill for George Floyd Justice in Policing act.

I believe Jesus was disturbed at the violence of your public lynching.

I believe, when you called, God sent angels to minister to you. And I believe, we are all called to “take away the stone.”

The stone of systemic Racism

The stone of the Empire

The stone of Hererosexism

The stone of Ableism

The stone of Classism

The stone of Ageism

The stone of Cissexism

The stone of Gun violence 

Take away the stone of violence within our communities, now!

Mr George Floyd, today we are all invited to self-reflect,  sit in reflective silence, to gather in community  to “Rise and Remember” and tomorrow with chips on our shoulders, get to moving The Stone.

Ase and Amen!


Rev. Babette Chatman