In the wake of the events of the past spring and summer, I remember seeing lists and lists of books about race. When I saw that we would be reading Dear Church by Lenny Duncan I was excited to be able to have a group to discuss the topics and a little accountability to make sure I read the book. Race always seems to be an awkward topic to talk about, and as I white person I always feel like I’m not the right person to speak on it. The book creates space to discuss race in a context many of us were familiar with, the church. Lenny Ducan does not hesitate to criticize the church in the ways it failed many of its members, promoting conversation on these issues. We had many great and I’ll admit sometimes awkward conversations, in part to these being held on Zoom. We had the space to admit that we may not have been aware of these issues so tangibly present in some of our home congregations and the church as a whole. We had the space to discuss how these could be rectified and action that could be taken now to better our church, to make sure we hold the church and even ourselves accountable. If you haven’t yet read Dear Church, I recommend it. Take some time to really soak in the words and have the hard conversations with your friends, family, and church community about it.

Sami George, Environmental Sciences, 2022

Student Perspectives are part of a series from the newsletter called “What, exactly, is it like to be a student in a pandemic?”

In any given year, it seems as though the Lutheran Campus Ministry community is becoming something new. As a quarter of our student population leaves and another class is welcomed, life at LCM is always changing. But this year, with all of our activities shifting to a virtual format, our community’s life together changed profoundly. Leaning into the strangeness of these times, we tried some new experiments: a small group especially for first year students, a social media based reflection on the seasons of the church year. At the same time, students continued to experience classes, campus life, and LCM’s Thursday night faith conversations, but in new formats. Here, we have gathered four reflections on an unusual fall semester at Lutheran Campus Ministry. In them you will hear our longing to return to an embodied expression of our community, but you will also find that we have found God’s presence in our virtual experiences.