Pastor’s Report (December 2017)

There have been many good conversations about faith this semester. A lot of them have been connected to our study on different metaphors for God, which was based on Lauren Winner’s book Wearing God. Pondering our experience with things that are part of our everyday life, like clothing and smell, challenged us to see God anew and understand better how the Bible talks about God: after all, what does it mean to put on Christ? Understanding God more fully also allows us to be a better community, as it helps us to know God’s grace better and extend it to ourselves and others. This grace is especially needed when we encounter the challenges and inevitable failures that are part of graduate and professional school.

During the summer, Jess led a study on a book series called All of the Ideas Living in My Head by Don Everts. Some of the questions that this book study prompted our group to wrestle with were: Can there be true tolerance in a pluralistic society? Does the Bible communicate the same message to all people at all times? What is evil, and why does it exist in our world? In other words, how do we think about how can we better love God (and others) with all of our hearts, souls, and minds? The pub theology evenings focused on such topics as faith and media, sexuality/relationships, faith and metaphor, evangelism, and prayer. The pub theology environment has been particularly welcoming to those who have questions and desire honest, safe, and engaging dialogue.

Campus Edge has about 25 active participants and 20 people who are peripherally involved. The number of those involved in the ministry is down a bit, which is a trend that seems to hold for other campus ministries, both at MSU and further away.  Unfortunately, this is not because less people are struggling with faith and graduate school. So, if people are not coming to the campus ministries, how can we go out and minister to those who long for a welcoming community where they can ask difficult questions about God and faith? This is something we’d like to focus on in the coming season. We’d also love to have a second part-time staff person alongside of me, in the hopes that this would allow us to better reach more people and allow us to expand the work of Campus Edge to reach out to faculty and staff, as they, too, struggle with knowing how their faith and academic setting relate. Your prayers and support related to this – and to all the efforts of Campus Edge – are appreciated tremendously (and by extension, live out) faith in a world with few easy answers;

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