The great thing about being a campus ministry that is sponsored by a congregation like University Lutheran Church is that we have the opportunity to worship together on Sunday mornings. Usually during the year, students fill the front 2-3 rows of pews at the 11:00 a.m. service throughout the year. This Fall, though, the congregation is still only worshipping virtually.
We thought it would be important to provide a worship opportunity for the students. And we thought it would be fun to get creative with it. We have so many students who have been or are still involved in camp ministry and are used to a casual, outdoor worship experience.
So we've tried to form something like that with some guitar music, time for prayer, and a weekly reflection. We enjoyed meeting on Bowman Field on campus, and we'll likely try a few other outdoor spots within walking distance from church. It's been a refreshing way to connect with God and with each other!
There are simply no words to describe the feeling of seeing loved ones after being apart for so incredibly long. Although we're still missing a few friends who have not yet returned to campus, we are all overjoyed that LCM carries on through the unthinkable. We have been spending Wednesday evenings outdoors to better aid in social distancing, enjoying prepackaged meals, and wearing masks when within 6 feet of each other.
Despite the awkward rituals of the new normal, there is still joy to be had, good food to be eaten, and friends to love. With the increased chaos of an online semester, our Wednesday nights continue to provide a much-needed pause in the middle of these hectic weeks.
- Amanda Taylor
Because it is safer and more comfortable to meet outdoors, we've been brainstorming ways that we can plan some of our usual happenings in new, open-air settings. Hiking is always a big draw, and we've been on a few local hikes in recent weeks. We're also hoping to explore some of the beautiful SC State Parks that are within an hour's drive from campus. Waterfalls and sunsets galore!
We're also hoping that we can put some social and service activities on the calendar, too. We're easing into the semester, but we hope to be able to have an outdoor art night (painting and/or sidewalk chalk). And we're in touch with some members of the congregation who might appreciate some timely yardwork or power washing.
It is so good to be together! And it's not a bad thing to be encouraged to appreciate God's creation a little along the way, too!
- P Josh