In August we went to see the solar eclipse at the Sanders barn. There was food, fellowship, and festivities. Everyone had a great time. There was sun, and then there wasn't, and then there was sun again.
August 22nd kicked off the beginning of the school year with a reunion between the Uni-Lu congregation and the LCM Students. Following the 11:00am worship, everyone gathered for fellowship and food in the parish hall. A great time was had talking about summer experiences and plans for the new school year. Having exciting and welcoming conversations not only with peers but also with the congregation, was a reminder of just how much love and care LCM is blessed to receive. The luncheon was an immense success and definitely an amazing beginning to an awesome semester!
Before the fall semester showed too much fall weather, LCM enjoyed sunny skies at our lake outing. It was a chance for returning students to reconnect after a summer apart, and a chance for new students to make new friends. Many of us spent time in an intense game of team keepaway. Some of us made it out on the boat, either to tube or to catch the wind. Of course, we enjoyed a nice lunch together too.
I am reminded of one of my favorite songs, You Have Come Down to the Lakeshore, #817 in the red book:
"You have come down to the lakeshore / seeking neither the wise nor the wealthy
You only ask that / I would follow"
As we return to a pleasant day on the lakeshore, our little LCM community is defined not by our wits or our wealth but by shared mission and fellowship.
On one weekend in September, LCM students packed into the church van and headed to Camp Chatuga for a Fall Retreat. The weekend was a great time to relax and reflect on the start of the fall semester. The LCM Men’s and Women’s groups each led several activities during the retreat such as archery, apple picking, and reality campfire cooking, followed by a devotion each night. Meanwhile, we were glad to enjoy the comforts of warm food and Clemson football viewing in good company, as well as insightful discussions on our roles in the community. The retreat was a welcome opportunity to spend time with fellow LCM members, and I look forward to its return next year.
LCM went to the Region 9 LSM retreat in early November, along with Virginia Tech, USC, Winthrop, UNC, and Lenoir Rhyne at Luther Rock. We gathered Friday night for introduction and greetings. On Saturday we had team building exercises with people from different schools, and participated in two service projects around the camp. Some of our group worked indoors on painting, and the rest of the group went to work on maintaining one of the trails that is located in the camp. We spent the afternoon playing cards, going on hikes, and watching the Clemson and Virginia Tech games on TV. That night we broke into small groups and discussed the events of the day. The campus pastor from Virginia Tech led us in devotion that night and we wrote down what we thought of when we heard certain words such as God, Jesus, and Heaven. We talked and played games the rest of the night, and had a worship service Sunday morning before coming back to Clemson. It was a fun experience, meeting many people from a lot of schools around the southeast.
Homecoming weekend was one to celebrate with LCM as alumnus Rev. Frank Honeycutt joined us as our fall visiting theologian. His name is fairly recognizable as he has written several books and is regularly featured in "The Lutheran" magazine. It was quite the treat to have him give the sermon at both the 8 and 11am services. But the most intriguing conversation happened during Sunday school hour when he led a discussion titled: "Reading Jesus in America: Why biblical fluency matters." It was a great opportunity for all students to learn through a new perspective.
LCM students took their annual trip out to the Sanders' Abundant Blessings Farm on a chilly October afternoon, where we competed in cornhole matches, huddled around a bonfire, and roasted marshmallows for s'mores. At the Hayride I was again reminded of the LCM community that I cherish so much. Students, congregation members, and children all gathered around the fire to share stories and jokes. We were having so much fun that we even forgot to carve our pumpkins! The Sanders' Hayride has been one of my favorite LCM events, and it is a tradition that I will never forget.
Just because the students are back in school, doesn’t mean they can’t have a relaxing time going down a river in a tube. On a warm Sunday, September 3 exact, a few of our Clemson students and Pastor Chris took a relaxing trip to Helen, Georgia where they attended Cool River Tubing. Located in a Germany-themed town, the atmosphere was filled with excitement, the streets were busy, and the restaurants and stores were packed with something interesting. Most of the group of students have been on the trip before, but a for few it was their first time. Floating down a river on a warm autumn day was very relaxing. What a way for our Clemson students to start the semester.
Our campus ministry was blessed to have the Rev. John Hoffmeyer join us in March. He is currently a professor at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. He delivered a powerful sermon and delightful conversation between services. His message carried the theme of Consumerism in our day to day life while also tying that idea back into our vocations. During lunch students and young adults discussed with Rev. Hoffmeyer how sophomore angst can play a difficult role in our college life. Then on the Wednesday after the presentation students also engaged in further discussion on his visit led by PC. It is a great opportunity to have theologians like Rev. Hoffmeyer to come and join us!
Earlier this April the church leadership team met at the Clemson Outdoor Research Lab. While there we discussed our plans for the fall semester which include service projects, fellowship, and also faith formation events. Our retreat wasn't all business, however. We also did some team building exercises on a low ropes course, played a few board games, and walked down by the lake. Overall, we had a great trip and are really looking forward to the small semester.