We meet every day during finals week each semester to eat lunch together and play an extended game of Phase 10, a card game. We're thankful to supplement our lunch with fruit and goodies from members of the congregation! This year, Pastor Chris won Phase 10 for what he believes is the first time ever. Seeing our friends at church is a great way to take a break from studying for exams.
John 3:16, “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”
As a child, we have all been asked at one point or another, what do we want to be when we grow up? To no surprise some of our answers where fantasizing such to be a princess or pirate yet some had a more realistic touch such as wanting to be a doctor. The possibilities are endless for many us living the American dream. We have that opportunity to educate ourselves at the exceptional school, have food placed in our hands by the push of a button, and even have luxury of having our own modes of transportation. These are just a few examples of things we don't think about as we become so accustomed to them being in our daily routines. Sadly, people around the world don't get to have these luxuries. Growing up in a third world country, I have seen the harsh realities many face just to make a living. I’ve learned that what you wear, even where you went to school honestly did not matter. Reality was that for some, school wasn’t an option, clothing may be the same shirt you have worn all week and had to hand wash in the river to get clean. This I would have to say is where my calling began. After hearing about the Young Adult Global Mission program, I felt that this is where I will put my calling into action. I have been blessed with an education where I have developed skills and talent, and I think the best thing I can do with them, is to share them YAGM with others that can not acquire them themselves.
The weekend of April 13th, the leadership team went down to Camp Kinard in Batesburg Leesville. We planned out upcoming events for fall of 2019, talked about the upcoming transition with a new pastor, and reflected on the year talking about what we did well and what didn't do well. The weekend was very successful and we got to have some fellowship time with PC. We also got to eat at Shealy's BBQ, which if you haven't been there, you gotta go.
On March 30th, Unilu held Project Inasmuch. For those of you that don't know Project Inasmuch is a day were the congregation and members of LCM come together to do various service projects throughout the morning. This year, we made surgical caps for children, painted hope globes, cleaned up Abernathy park, and visited a habitat for humanity site.
The surgical caps are made for children at the Greenville Childeren's hospital. However, these caps are not your typical surgical cap. We use fabric that is colorful or that has Disney characters and other cartoon characters on them. This allows the children to pick out a cap that is interesting to them rather than a plain cap. The hope globes are made for the children at the hospital as well. A hope globe is created by painting something on a clear hollow globe then it is placed onto a flower pot and christmas lights are placed inside. These act as night lights for the children. Since Abernathy park is a beautiful place to visit we always try and get a group out there to pick up litter to keep it looking nice. There was a lot of interest in visiting a habitat site and we filled up all the spots we had available. The group went to a local site and helped clean up and paint.
It is amazing the things that we can do when we come together and donate our time towards something meaningful!
In March a small group of LCM students had the opportunity to spend their spring break in Jacksonville, Florida. We were hosted on Saturday night in St. John’s Lutheran Church and had a chance to relax and walk around the town. After Sunday morning worship with the congregation we headed to Atlantic Beach to work with Beaches Habitat for Humanity, spending five days on various projects to serve current and future homeowners in the local community. Some of us went to help with home renovations and repairs for families in the Habitat program, while others worked to construct the framing for a duplex to house families in need in the future. Typical Habitat houses, such as those we build in Pickens County near Clemson, are single-story homes; due to land prices in Jacksonville, however, the local Habitat chapter typically builds two-story homes to minimize individual home footprints. This was my first time working on a two-story build and I enjoyed learning about the construction planning while also being able to take part in the project. The Beaches Habitat crew ensured that we each had sufficient training to use power tools and understand our individual jobs on the project. Over the five days I worked with teams to lift trusses up to the second floor; to secure siding around the house; and to brace trusses once they were initially secured.
After building each day we had time to visit the beach and walk around Atlantic Beach, where we were staying just five minutes’ walk from the ocean. We also took a mid-week trip to tour St. Augustine and later to walk along the riverfront in Jacksonville. I enjoyed the break from classes as a chance to do hands-on work in building a house and to directly serve a community, as well as to spend time with Habitat volunteers from Clemson, Georgia Tech, and Jacksonville. It's easy to get wrapped up in one's studies during the semester, and for me the spring break trip was a perfect reminder of the real-life impact that my actions can have in the world.
On Super Bowl Sunday, a group of students gathered in the lounge to watch the exciting finale of football season. We enjoyed some fellowship and some snacks while watching the game, the ads, and the halftime show. Though some of us were more invested in the game than others, we all had a great time! We look forward to next season!
On January 18, a number of LCM members and friends journeyed to the T. Ed Garrison Arena for a evening full of cowboys, horses, bulls and riders. The Southeastern Championship Bull Riding was a two day event comprised of 35 riders from across the South Carolina and surrounding states, competing for the title and prizes. After watching a couple of riders tackle broncos (horses), the bull riding began which was complete with many close calls, a few eight second rides, and one broken leg all while being "entertained" by one very interesting clown. In addition to bull riding, a few individuals also competed in barrel racing in the cloverleaf pattern. The evening concluded with a intriguing event of cowboy pinball which was where people from the audience stand in small individual circles while a bull in let out among them. The last person who successfully stayed in his/her circle for the entire time is the winner of a cash prize. We had a great time spending time with friends and for many this was their first rodeo experience but not we can say next time, "This isn't my first rodeo!"
The LCM leadership team met from January 6th to 8th before the beginning of the semester this year. This is the first of our two retreats where we plan activities for the upcoming semester. We met out at an alumni’s house and started our meeting on Sunday after dinner. Monday we finished up the main section of our agenda, and watched Clemson win the National Championship! It was a good group, with 4 of the leaders serving on the leadership team for the first time. This retreat was especially important as we were planning for the last few months of PC’s time with us, and getting ready for welcoming the new campus pastor. Our next retreat is coming up fast on April 12th.
One of the events I look forward to most in the fall is the hayride at the Sanders’s farm. It is always fun to share food and fellowship with my friends and other members of the congregation. It’s nice to get away from Clemson and see the cows, chickens, and dogs at the farm. This year I enjoyed throwing the football around with my friends and the children that were there. What a great way to kick off autumn!
Hi, I’m Connor Lehmacher, a first year at Vanderbilt.
My orientation and the subsequent first weeks of classes were very rough. I was mostly stressed about social engagement. However now, I’m doing great. So, I’d like to reflect on how I made it though and give some advice on what could have been different. Throughout the first couple of weeks, relationships from home and student organizations were critical.
Friends and family: I suppose it’s cliche, but it mattered. Initially, I decided that I’d become fully independent without support. Then, I first called my mom and it was wonderful. That moment let me say, "I can do this." I think maintaining relationships matters critically in life and we should strive for it.
Clubs: I received the advice to attend every organization three times before deciding whether do stay or not. I think this works. Critically, my engagement in Nashville Canterbury Circle depended on several meetings. Because of all my stress, I couldn’t enjoy the first two meetings. It may have also been the organization. Whatever it was I’m glad that I stayed because the third meeting was wonderful and ever since I have enjoyed it plenty. Also, I felt much more justified quitting debate team after four meetings than if I had just left immediately.
New people: At Vanderbilt and maybe at all colleges, everyone is overly-extroverted the first days. I’m sure I answered where I’m from and which dorm was mine more than 30 times. And what does it matter? — Alas. But I asked these questions, too... I think to deal with this I could have known that this can be a coping mechanism when isolation if felt. Furthermore, one can be lonely in a crowd and one can be alone without being lonely. I had always equated the two and that meant that I pushed myself social to my detriment. Eating alone can be wonderful.
Connor Lehmacher is a member of the University Lutheran Church congregation and a native of Clemson, SC.