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New students move in tomorrow!

I preached a sermon a few weeks ago at Trinity Episcopal Church about how all summer long I felt like Jesus on the mountain by himself -- the crowds have been fed and gone away full, the disciples are all off on a boat, and here I was getting some good introvert time, finally. And now, looking out on the sea, there's a storm brewing, the crowds are amassing again, and it's time to get back to work.

This is all a very dramatic way of saying that tomorrow is freshmen move-in at UMW! Summer always goes by in a flash, and though I could use another week or two of Adirondack chair sitting, I'm excited to welcome our students back, and I'm curious and excited to see what new students will join us this year.

It is a funny thing to be in this kind of ministry -- imagine if the entire congregation of Christ Lutheran turned over every four years, if in May a quarter of us headed off to new adventures and in August a new quarter came in and took their place. It means that in our work in campus ministry, we simply cannot anticipate what each year will bring, and we have to be radically open to what the Holy Spirit has in store for us. Our new kids could have wild ideas, really cool interests, and bring all those to bear in ways we could not have imagined. Group dynamics will shift, rhythms will shift, and it's all just the nature of our life together.

It's at the same time a little nerve-wracking to stand on this precipice looking out over the 2023-2024 school year and only be able to plan for so much of what will happen. Overplanning would tamp out the Spirit's work in re-creating our ministry anew, so with as much planned as makes sense, we simply get to wait and see, and meet the moment (and the people) that God presents to us.

CLC, I would ask your prayers for our new year, and for the students who are making their way back to campus this week. And if you would like to support our work individually, please keep an eye out in the Facebook group (or be in touch with me directly at for a link to our Amazon wishlist, or to our sign-up sheet to bring dinner to our Tuesday night UMW gathering.

Thanks, always, do your support, and I'll see you when I see you!

Pastor Ethan

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