The digital realm is a familiar one for me. Even before the pandemic, I was organizing Skype and Facebook messenger calls with my family and friends to play long-distance games from the Jackbox franchise or Dungeons and Dragons. And, as an avid gamer, I was no stranger to some of the ways gamers communicate online.
However, when the pandemic started and all religious activity moved into the digital realm, life took a strange turn. It was one thing for my social relationships to be assisted by digital means, but now my spirituality and also my church community would be online too. It was completely uncharted territory to navigate starting an internship, going to worship, meeting the congregation when it is all on Zoom, email, and video recording.
Over the course of the past eight months or so, there have been many ups and downs in terms of figuring out the technology.
It has been harder to meet the people at Luther Memorial and Lutheran Campus Ministries, as well as experience the daily life of the church. But on the other hand, the little online communities that I have gotten to be a part of have been an absolute delight.
One particular joy has been using my roots in digital gaming to bring it to the students by hosting some Jackbox game nights, which are a regular highlight to provide a space to laugh and joke around with one another. It has also been a joy to discuss faith, pray, and reflect on God’s word. Certainly there are challenges and pieces that I am missing. But I still consider it a blessing that I get to work and grow in such an environment.
–Vicar Leif Kratzke Nelson, Intern