Last year, Lutheran Campus Ministry embarked on a holy experiment, gathering our first cohort of Faith & Vocation Fellows. Each student volunteered with a partner organization or ministry for 10 hours per week during the academic term. At their volunteer site, they were connected with a mentor and encouraged to reflect on their experiences regularly. In addition, the four fellows also met on a weekly basis for two hours – engaging in facilitated reflection on their recent experiences in their ministry sites and in their life in general, sharing spiritual practice related to the monthly theme as well as hearing from presenters on a topic of faith.
This past year’s fellows expressed gratitude for the small ways that their mentors cared for them and enriched their experiences. For example, Rylie was overjoyed when her mentor at the Bethel Food Pantry, Cheryl, took the time to take her to visit Second Harvest Food Bank and help her learn about the distribution network for food pantries. At the end of the year, Addison remarked, “Pastor John is going to take me out to lunch! It’s so nice of him.”
This year, we’re blessed to report that our student leadership program is expanding. Once again, we’ll have four Faith & Vocation fellows who will serve local ministry sites. In addition, five new Student Ministry Interns as well as one Grad Student/Young Adult Ministry Coordinator will reach out to other students, organizing programs here at Lutheran Campus Ministry. These student leaders will gather twice per month for intentional prayer, reflection, and spiritual formation.
We are grateful to the Siebert Lutheran Foundation, the Bethel Lutheran Foundation, and to many individual donors for making these programs possible. Each student leader receives a stipend, which allows him or her to dedicate time to growing in faith and serving others. Read more about them at lcmmadison.org/blog. and support them by donating at lcmmadison.org/giving.