Wednesday, October 21, 2009


by Jenni

(Pssst. I have a challenge for you in the last paragraph.)

When I started at Luther, I felt out of place. I was an older student who had spent the previous 10 years in a non-ministry career. I was also a part-time commuter student with three children. I wasn’t on campus much. I didn’t have people to just be with. Every day I asked myself, “Self, what have you gotten into?”

During this time, I applied for (and was hired for) a job on campus. See, my previous 10 years were spent as a graphic designer and I still loved the work (still do, actually. Finding a way to do graphic design and ministry is an entirely different entry!). The Communications Office was looking for a “student with graphic design experience.” It was, I believe, a match literally made in heaven.

You’re probably wondering what this job has to do with anything, right? It has everything to do with my time at Luther. Through this job, I first developed friendships with a few staff and that was my community. Just a few people to start with. Then I started to work with other students at the same time (and even an awesome spouse of a student). Then as I worked on more projects, I had the opportunity to interact with different departments, staff, faculty and students. You know what I found out? Well, yes, a lot of people on campus are a little crazy and seems to have an unhealthy obsession with T.V. and pop culture. But those are beside the point.

I found out that we have the most amazing community of amazing people on this campus. I don’t always fit in with everyone. But I am able to walk across campus and smile at people I know or have worked with. I have people to sit with at lunch. I have a place to go and spend some time on non-theological conversation with theological people.

I also feel that my family is welcomed and embraced by the community here at Luther. Aside from actual campus events where families are welcome, I have made plans with other parents on campus. We share stories of being faithful parents and, um, not so faithful parents. My children come into the office with me and are genuinely welcomed. In fact, my son has moved to a new school this year and his bus stop is near campus. So when I’m in class or at work, I feel comfortable having him hang out on campus. He has been welcomed by those who don’t know him and embraced by those who do. To me, a true test of the welcome-ness of a community is how they treat visiting children. Luther treats visiting children very well.

Did you read this far? I have a challenge for you. See, I want to show my son, Patrick, just how welcoming Luther is. That’s where you come in! On Wednesday and Thursday for the rest of the semester (from about 3:15-4), Patrick hangs out in the OCC cafeteria. I’m inviting anyone in the area to stop by and introduce themselves to Patrick (he’s 13 with brown hair and should be doing homework when you see him! I hear he looks like me, so take a look at my picture up top). When you do this, Patrick will ask your story of how you have been moved by the promise (for the Communications Office, simple stuff!) and he will give you an awesome pen/highlighter to keep (for free!). So, how many new people can Patrick meet this semester?

But don't make your visit too long...He still has homework to do!


Blogger Mary said...

Wish I could stop by and say hi to him! But I'm out of town the rest of this week. Still -- tell him I said "hi" virtually, will you?

10/22/2009 05:23:00 PM  

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