New Beginnings, oh my!

Hello!

We haven’t updated this site in awhile, so here we go!

First, the most important introduction –

Our Peer Ministers for 2017-2018 are:
Kheira Bach
Kevin Torres
Kim Snow
Sarah Hindle

This group of young people are full of ideas, diverse spiritual backgrounds, and creativity to boot!

Pastor Shelley Bryan Wee has moved to a new position with Northwest Washington Synod as the Assistant to the Bishop, and I have come on board to fill in the time between now and the calling of a new Pastor at Emmanuel Lutheran Church.
For the next introduction –
My name is Keyla Christenson, and I previously served as Pastor Shelley’s intern for the 2016-2017 school year. I have since graduated Luther Seminary with my Masters of Divinity with concentration in Systematic Theology. I am beyond excited for this opportunity to work with Campus Ministries, even if only for a short while.

We Campus Ministers are so excited that you are on this journey with us at ELM (Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist) Campus Ministry at Eastern Washington University!

Thanks so much,
Keyla Christenson, Interim Lutheran Campus Pastor

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Summer Musings

Labradoodle

Just had to post … We have two labradoodles and my parents have a dachshund. So funny!

GoFundMe
We would love to have your financial support as we continue our vital ministry with the students of Eastern Washington University. Please help us in our GoFundMe campaign.

Fall Picnic
Come join us at Manito Park on Sunday, October 4 for a back to school picnic and opportunity to pledge your support for Lutheran Campus Ministry! Go to the Upcoming Fundraisers tab above and follow instructions.

Happy Summer!

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New Beginnings …

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My friend told me about a game that she played in 6th grade. The game worked like this: A group of girls said that they were pretending to make a movie. This “movie” consisted of ganging up on one girl, pushing her down a hill and then kicking her and beating her. This part of the “movie” happened over and over. And my friend  was usually the girl who was kicked and beaten. No teacher ever intervened in this “movie-making.” And this practice went on most recesses all year long.

When my friend told me this story, I was appalled. I asked why did she allow this to happen. I wondered why she didn’t find kinder people to hang out with at recess. She said that she wanted to be friends with these girls and it was the only way that they would allow her to be with them.

My friend is a smart, creative, fun, spiritual person. She brings insight and wisdom to all things. And she allowed herself to be used (and abused) by people she thought of as friends.

In college there are also times when people can use (or abuse) you. The person who encourages you to drink one more shot. The boyfriend who thinks no means maybe. The professor who seems to be a little too interested in you. Remember that you are a strong, courageous person. You are a beloved child of God You are so much more than a side note in someone else’s story. Your story is your story. Write your story, live your story, as you want it to be.

We are so excited for this new school year to start at Lutheran Campus Ministry at EWU (LCM-EWU). We are a welcoming Christian community, a place for people of any gender, race, national origin and sexual orientation. We are a SAFE place. We are a place to come if you have felt bullied or left out or discriminated against. We gather to grow together in faith and celebrate God’s love through Jesus.

 we meet Monday nights at 5 pm at Emmanuel Lutheran Church (by Rockwood Clinic). We have retreats, service projects, fun events and more. Come check us out. We would love to see you!

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Grace

gracemainpic[1] Grace_Kelly_-_High_Society[1] Grace_Hopper[1] It is interesting what you find when you do a Google image search with the word “grace.”The above pictures are some of the results of this search (Grace Jones, Grace Kelly and Commodore Grace Hopper).

Now, depending on your perspective, this Google image search might make all the sense in the world. Of course three women whose names are Grace would show up. And I also know that if I had typed “God’s grace” into the search bar (which is really what I was thinking about), I would have gotten completely different images.

So what? Well … the word “grace” gets thrown around a lot in religious circles. One might say, “Let’s say grace” before a meal. Another might say, “God is full of grace.” Another might say, “Grace and peace to you.” (And, I must say, the word “grace” gets thrown around in non-religious circles such as,  “That ballerina sure is graceful.”)

So what does it mean to talk about “God’s grace?” What do those words mean? What images come to our minds when those words are spoken?

First, I think we all would agree that we like grace … at least when it comes to us. Second, we all could probably admit that we don’t necessarily like it when it goes to others. For instance, several years ago I was pulled over for speeding. When the officer saw that I was several months pregnant, he said, “Are you on your way to the hospital?” I said, “No.” He paused and stood there for a few minutes. Then he said, “You need to drive a little more slowly.” And I drove off (more slowly … without a ticket). I love grace like this. However, the other day someone sped by me while texting, and I was really hoping that person would get pulled over AND get a ticket. I admit, I had no desire for them to receive grace. I wanted and desired justice. I would have been ecstatic if they had been pulled over.

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It reminds me of what Sally Brown (Charlie Brown’s sister) says in the Peanuts Christmas special. You may recall that at one point Sally is writing a letter to Santa Claus with a huge list of toys that she wants. At the end of the letter she writes, “But if that is too much to carry, just send cash.” When Charlie Brown sees this and suggests that she is being greedy, Sally responds by saying, “All I want is my fair share. All  I want is what I have coming to me.”

And that is what we all want … until we are at the end of our rope or the world is horrible or we have messed up and hurt ourselves or someone else, then, suddenly, grace matters. The thing is … grace is for people who are not ok. Grace is for people who are not perfect. Grace is for people who don’t have their lives together. And when we are in this position, suddenly we understand what grace is (and as much as Grace Jones brought about a new techno sound, Grace Kelly became a princess and Commodore Grace Hopper was a pioneer in computer programming), I’m so glad that God’s grace is provided daily, hourly, for me, for you.

As Jesus says, “‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.’

As you prepare for your finals and head out on spring break, remember grace … God’s grace … for you.

Blessings,

Pastor Shelley

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Top Ten Reasons I Love Lent

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Top 10 reasons why I love Lent:

10. Soup Suppers

9. Under an hour worship experience

8. Purple looks good on me

7. Pushes me towards a faith discipline
(pray, reflect, read, pray some more)

6. Can never hear that temptation of Jesus story enough

5. Opportunity to reflect on what the 40 days of Lent mean …
(Does it include Sundays? Does it not? What about Holy Week?
If Holy Week is not included in Lent, does that mean I still can’t eat chocolate until Easter?)

4. It is not a consumer driven holiday … I don’t have to buy presents or candy or cards

3. As we move through Lent, spring comes ever closer

2. I can give up (most) anything for 40 days

1. I welcome the honesty of this time – I am a sinner and I am saved through God’s grace
(Even when I eat that chocolate bunny before Easter Sunday)

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Want to know more about Lent? http://www.elca.org/Growing-In-Faith/Worship/Planning/Lent.aspx

Check the “Coming Events” page for what we’re doing in LCM!

Blessings,

Pastor Shelley

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Tattooed onto God’s hand

Adult%20and%20Baby%20Hands[1]

Can a woman forget her nursing-child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me. Isaiah 49:15-16

Ever feel alone? Ever feel that no one cares? Ever feel that you have been forgotten … not just by friends and family … but by God?

At times, we all have these feelings. At times we wonder if our life will ever get better or less busy or less lonely. We wonder how to get out of the mess we are in. We wonder about friendship, love, family, work, school. We wonder what God is calling us to do. We wonder if we even want to do what we think God is calling for us to do. We stew and we worry and we cry and we hurt.

Those who kn015[1]ow me are aware that I am not a tattoo fiend (I only have three dots of blue dye around my ribs because of radiation marking). But I admit, when I first reflected on this scripture, I wondered if it would be helpful to have Isaiah 49:16 inscribed on one of my hands, you know, to remember. …

But then … I re-read the scripture (always good to do that). And it doesn’t say that WE are to inscribe GOD on our hands.  What the scripture clearly states is that GOD has YOU inscribed on the palms of GOD’S hands.

God loves you so much that God has inscribed, etched, tattooed your name, your very self, your entire being onto God’s hands. No matter what is happening in your life – no matter the tears, no matter the heartache – God carries you always and forever.

You are held close to God – closer even (as it says in Isaiah) than a woman who nurses her infant.Trust that your pain will not be forever. Trust that even in your pain, you are held.

Have peace on this day.

Blessings, Pastor Shelley

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Where is Serenity?

Where is Serenity?

Yesterday I was very happy to go to a Super Bowl Party that consisted of my dad, my mom, my daughter and myself … oh and two dogs. I said to my parents how nice it was to eat good food, (crab, shrimp, hummus, guacamole) enjoy the company and not be with a huge crowd of people.

Now, don’t get me wrong … I enjoy a good party. But for some reason yesterday just felt … right. Perhaps it was because I needed some quiet time. Perhaps I just wasn’t up for hooting and hollering for the Ravens or the 49ers (I really didn’t care about who won the game). Who knows … but I do know this … we all need to take time. We all need to breathe. We all need to slow down. We all need to stop sometimes.

The Psalmist writes in Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” In the midst of all the hectic stuff that is happening in your life, slow down. Stop even.

Blessings,

Pastor Shelley

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