The LCM Men's Group is an opportunity for fun and fellowship. At the beginning of the semester, we try to do service-project-like activities. For example, earlier this semester we baked cookies with the LCM Women's Group for the Kairos Prison Ministry. Towards the end of the semester, we do more stress-relief-based things, like bowling or playing video games. We all have so much fun throughout the semester, and it's great that we have this opportunity to get to know each other better.
On April 13-14 the Clemson LCM leadership team met for a weekend planning retreat. The group gathered at the Rocky Bottom Camp for the Blind, a beautiful retreat center located 40 minutes north of Clemson. On Friday night, they gathered to share a devotion, followed by PC’s famous frito pie. Over the weekend, the leaders talked about upcoming events and plans for the fall semester. A big point of discussion was the upcoming semester and new student outreach. In addition to this, they talked over finding an invigorated focus on the ministry’s call to service. It was a wonderful time, and the team really enjoyed bonding.
LCM Women's group meets every Monday for fun and fellowship! We usually meet at Starbucks on campus, but we can sometimes be found at Spill the Beans enjoying some delicious ice cream. We talk about the "high" and "low" parts of our weeks, Paula usually leads a devotion, and we share a little about our faith as well. Our activities range from coloring to taco nights to baking apple pies. I enjoy women's group because it's an awesome way to take a break from studying, get to know friends, and have fun in an awesome community of faith!
LCM sent a group to Germany for spring break! The following are reflections on the trip.
In March a group of LCM students had the opportunity to spend their spring break in Germany touring locations important to the life of Martin Luther as well as to European history. Our itinerary included many destinations: Wittenberg, where Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses; Erfurt, where Luther was a monk; Eisenach, where Luther was hidden following his excommunication; Eisleben, Luther’s birthplace and deathplace; Mansfeld, Luther’s childhood town; and Leipzig, a population center in the eastern region of Germany. We spent at most two nights in any location, meaning we were constantly moving to see new sights and interact with unique historical landmarks. The entire 34-person group was experienced in travel by train at the end of the trip. I enjoyed being able to see a cross-section of the Thuringia region’s culture and history over the week, and would love to return one day. The multitude of churches and museums we toured in Germany have given me a better perspective on the role of the Reformation in both German and global history, and the time spent with new and old friends has given me a better perspective on how we continue to improve and carry forward the church in our lives today.
We spent our first few days in Germany in Wittenberg, perhaps the town most associated with Martin Luther. The Luther house museum had lots of models and artifacts related to Luther’s lifestyle in the 16th century. We took a tour of the town and saw the Castle Church where Luther nailed the 95 theses - it was so cold out I had to wear my scarf wrapped all around my head. Sunday morning, we attended a German-language worship service in the Town Church before we headed off to Erfurt.
For Spring Break I went with the LCM group to Germany for a Martin Luther tour. The whole trip was fun, even if it was a little cold and windy. I had several favorite parts to the trip, including all of the museums and tours around the towns. I think that my overall favorite part of the trip was the tour of the Wartburg Castle. We were able to go inside, and see the room where Martin Luther translated the Bible into German, which helped create the modern German language. Not only was this a historical Luther site, but it also had lots of other history as well. Another experience that stuck with me was attending the church on Sunday for a service in German where Luther preached while in Wittenberg.
On Wednesday, we made it to Weimar, touted as a “cultural capital” of Germany of sorts. We spent the afternoon at the nearby Buchenwald concentration camp, where more than 50,000 political prisoners, Jews, and others died leading up to and during World War II. Visiting was an emotional experience. It was astounding that such a pretty, historical, and cultural city could be so close to such a deadly place. Likewise, it was unsettling that Martin Luther’s teachings could be used to justify crimes against dissidents and Jews. After a time of reflection and decompression that evening, some of us made it into the city, saw the statue of Weimar resident poets Goethe and Schiller in the square, and met some friendly young expats who showed us around.
Our Annual LSM Spring Content Retreat in Columbia, SC was themed "Roles of Women in the Church." A decent-sized group of Clemson students joined with students representing Lutheran Campus Ministry groups from Virginia Tech, UNC, USC, Winthrop, and the Citadel. We had very meaningful and productive conversations about the developing roles of women in the church, and more specifically the ELCA. Additionally, we watched "The Red Tent," a miniseries about the twelve tribes of Israel narrated by Jacob's only daughter, Dinah. Of course we also shared in fellowship with the other campus ministry groups by playing games and making an afternoon trip to downtown Columbia. Overall, we had a fun, interesting, and fulfilling weekend with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
The first night on the ski trip we experienced the hospitality of two of our own LCM members. They allowed us to spend the weekend in their family homes. Despite being separated in two groups we were able to have a great time playing board games and cards. Saturday morning we all went to sugar mountain and skied until lunchtime when we all came back for lunch. Some of the better skiers went back out for the rest of the day, while the rest of us took a break and played more boards games and played in the snow. Sunday the two groups come together for a church service led by PC before the trip home.
In January the LCM Leadership team met to plan for the spring 2018 semester. During this meeting we had new leaders join us for the first time, taking over the positions. We met out at the Clemson University Outdoor labs and began the training, and planning for the spring. We also did an outdoor team building course. We did exercises on this course that developed communication, trust, and helpfulness. We had a great time, and set the foundation for a great semester.
On December 29, a group of students from SC met in Clemson to make the trek to Chicago, IL for the annual gathering of the Lutheran Student Movement. After two days of traveling, the group arrived at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, and were quickly greeted by groups from all over the country! The next few days were packed with fun activities, workshops, and worship. The focus of speakers and workshops ranged from topics such as racial injustice, to outdoor ministry. The theme of the gathering was our Dis/Comforting God. Students were exposed to the ways in which God comforts us as his children, but also the ways in which He pushes us to make an impact on the world. This was an excellent opportunity for personal and spiritual development, and we can't wait to go back 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.