Lenten Thoughts – Sophie Bauer ’16 Senior Chapel Homily

Sophie Bauer ’16 shares her Senior Chapel Homily, from March 10, 2016:

The light shines in the darkness…
Minnesota, we know the dark well in the shortest days of winter.
Fifteen hours of the day dedicated to darkness.
Seasonal affective disorder.
January blues.
Cold. Cold. Cold.
Then comes the thaw.
And the light shines.

Continue reading “Lenten Thoughts – Sophie Bauer ’16 Senior Chapel Homily”

Hygiene Kits for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness

health_commonsJoin Augsburg Central Health Commons and Campus Ministry as we gather personal hygiene items for kits to assist those experiencing homelessness this holiday season!

When: December 2 – 10, 2015

Drop off items at designated locations:
Einstein’s in Christensen Center · Enrollment Center  · Foss Center Lobby· Kennedy Center · Lindell Library street level · Oren Gateway Center Welcome Desk

Items needed:

  • Socks
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Soap
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Lotion
  • Razors
  • Washcloths
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Kleenex
  • Dental Floss

Please join us in assembling the kits in Daily Chapel on Friday 12/11: Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center, 10:40-11:00 AM

For more information contact Yasmin Abdulaya at (612) 330-1681 or abdulaya@augsburg.edu

Rethinking Children’s Sermons

by Pastor Justin Lind-Ayres

pastor_justin_installPastor Justin is the Associate College Pastor at Augsburg College and is an excellent mentor to our students preparing for ministry. He has been serving at Augsburg College since August of 2013. Justin received his Master of Divinity from Luther Seminary in St. Paul and his Doctor of Ministry from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. Justin is passionate about liturgical studies, preaching, social justice issues, and the power of biblical metaphors in the lives of the people of God. When not working with the wonderfully talented Campus Ministry staff at Augsburg, Justin can be found spending time with his family, cooking, reading, drinking coffee, watching sports and an occasional movie, and fly fishing for steelhead and trout.


I have to confess that I haven’t always been a fan of children’s sermons. I questioned their efficacy and wondered if they were more of a distraction from worship than a component of worship. It is a challenge to teach/preach to a cadre of kids in a few minutes without sinking into the mire of moralistic mantras. Or, on the other side of sermonic spectrum, fall into the trap of sharing a message every week with the children that inevitably ended with, “Jesus loves you!” Incidentally, the latter was often the case for me!

In addition to content liability, there is an unspoken pressure to be funny or cute with the children so as to keep the listening adults of the assembly entertained. I suppose this was the piece that bothered me most. I have said more than once, “We don’t call all the worshippers over 65 years forward, make them sit on the floor, ask them questions that test their bible acumen, and then laugh at them when they summon the courage to speak.” I’m not sure this was the best argument for dropping children’s messages from the liturgy, but I have seen many kids physically deflate when their earnest responses conjure the cackles of the congregation. Worship leaders, Sunday teachers, youth minsters, and pastors must be careful not to unintentionally and ever so publically shame our children. For many reasons, then, I have tried to worm my way out of delivering children’s sermons.

But then I had children of my own and I began to see worship through their eyes! My kids thoroughly enjoy the children’s messages at our congregation, and not just because their dad is NOT delivering them (but that may be part of it too!). One of the many joys of my call as the associate pastor at Augsburg College is the fact that Sunday mornings are without pastoral duties on campus. Thus, I am able to worship with my family as a parishioner in the pew at our home congregation. Children’s messages are no longer my responsibility. The pastors, diaconal minister, high school students, and other adults who give the children’s messages at my congregation do an outstanding job! They create a welcome environment, are sensitive to the needs of the children, teach on a plethora of topics (though, Jesus’ love for them is often emphasized as it should be!), and instill in the kids a sense of belonging in worship. My children enthusiastically scamper to the center of our worship space when beckoned to receive a word of God for them.

Over the past few years, my appreciation for children’s sermons has grown. My home congregation has one every single week, no matter what. It is one of the many ways that they communicate full welcome and participation of children throughout the entire service. And it speaks volumes to children about their own place in the midst of worshiping assembly. I fully realized this last month when my grandfather died.

Without question, our three children (ages 6, 4, and 1) were going to be in worship at my grandfather’s funeral in rural Minnesota. As a family and as people of faith, we needed to grieve and worship God together! Two days before the funeral, I was explaining the funeral worship service to my two older daughters. After hearing about the casket, how there would be singing, bible readings, and the fact that our whole family would be together at my grandfather’s church, my eldest daughter immediately asked, “Is there going to be a children’s sermon?” I was floored. I never thought about having a children’s sermon at a funeral before. Not once. And I think about funeral liturgies a lot! Her question serves as a testimony to me of the import of children’s messages in the lives of the young believers in our communities of faith.

There wasn’t a children’s sermon at my grandfather’s funeral. But maybe there should have been. I would have been happy to preach that one! I would have gathered all 35 great-grandchildren around my grandfather, asked them to place their hands on the casket, and had them repeat after me,

“Great-grandpa Melvin,” (repeat)

“Jesus loves you.” (repeat)

“Today, tomorrow, and forever.” (repeat)

Then I would have looked at them and said, “Dear ones, the Jesus who loves Great-grandpa Melvin, loves you too! Today, tomorrow, and forever. Amen.”

Urban Plunge Update – A Message from Jacie Richmond, Pastoral Intern

urban plungeCampus Ministry’s Urban Plunge program has finished off a successful first semester this year! We have been blessed with 5 Urban Plunges this semester! It is such an amazing thing to see youth from the suburbs coming to the city and getting a glimpse of all that there is here (some of them for the first time). You can see them grow and change throughout the weekend becoming stronger in their faith and having a new perspective about how they see people in the world. They truly come to understand that we are all children of God.

Urban Plunge is an overnight retreat program for church youth groups. These groups go around the city to various sites and engage in topics such as homelessness, poverty, race and class through the perspective of Christian faith. Urban Plunge is looking for Augsburg students to serve as group leaders and guides for the spring semester. If you are interested in this then contact Jacie Richmond in Campus Ministry at richmonj@augsburg.edu for more information and an application.

Parliament of The World’s Religions – A Message from Fardosa Hassan

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 5.12.58 PMThe Parliament of the World’s Religions conference was an extraordinary opportunity for me, to be among ten thousand people around the world who are passionate about interfaith work. The Parliament of the World’s Religions brought interfaith leaders from differing racial and cultural backgrounds together, breaking down stereotypes and addressing prejudice. The greatest impact was for me to see those who serve youth investing considerable time in working shoulder-to-shoulder with youth from other faith traditions and cultures. Our youth will be the leaders of tomorrow and taking the time to invest in them is very important, as well as seeking to demonstrate a model for positively engaging young people with the reality of growing religious and cultural diversity in our community, and empowering a new generation of peace-makers to both lead now and throughout their lives. – Fardosa Hassan ’12, Muslim Student Advisor, Campus Ministries.

“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″

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”

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”

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”

How do girlfriends “do” theology? A message from Babette Chatman

babetteWhat is theology?

How do girlfriends “do” theology?

Theology is addressing issues that we could simply classify as human issues. DTwG (our weekly bible study group) looks at issues from a girl’s perspective. We experience the questions together and together we explore answers!

Questions such as: Why is life the way it is?  What do we believe?  and Why?  Where is God in our suffering?  And many, many more questions.

Let’s gather every Monday: block out an hour of your time Girlfriends and let’s do theology starting Monday, September 14 @ 7:00pm in the Millie Nelson room!