November 25th, 2019
Greetings and Happy Holidays from Lutheran Campus Ministry of Fresno,
As the year end draws near and we bid farewell to a decade, I’m humbled and grateful for the support many of you have shown not only to LCM but also the kindness that’s been displayed in the midst of transition. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has graciously welcomed me into my position and invited me into their lives and congregations.
This year LCM was blessed with many individual gifts and congregational offerings which helped further our mission. In August we were especially fortunate to offer school supplies to young adults in need thanks to the many generous in-kind donations and financial gifts received through our School Supplies Drive. I’m especially grateful for the opportunity to not only award one Darcy Jensen Scholarship to a recent high school graduate, but three scholarships this year due to a generous financial gift.
The Bulldog Pantry was also blessed with generosity this year. Due to the dedication and determination from Erica Bird and Student Coordinator Heidy Gonzalez, the pantry was awarded financial grants which allowed the pantry to not only remain open in the summer, but also serve more families in need this Fall. The pantry welcomed another Student Coordinator, Jacqueline Avina this past Fall and we are grateful for the continued partnership with California State University, Fresno. The pantry was also fortunate to receive many in-kind donations this year and with partnerships in the valley, the footprint of the Bulldog Pantry continues to leave a lasting mark in Fresno.
As 2019 comes to a close, I humbly ask you consider making a year end gift to Lutheran Campus Ministry of Fresno and the Bulldog Pantry. This year, like many others we’re joining the #GivingTuesday movement on Tuesday December 3rd, 2019. Each year on December 3rd, #GivingTuesday serves as a global generosity movement intended to help others through gifts, donations, services and time.
For those willing and able to make a financial gift, please visit our website www.lcmoffresno.org and click the “Donate” button on our home page. Financial gifts can securely be made online through PayPal on our recently launched Online Giving platform. Financial gifts can also be mailed in the enclosed envelope. Please make checks payable to Lutheran Campus Ministry of Fresno and in the memo line, please indicate what fund you would like your gift placed.
This year your generosity can further support LCM and the Bulldog Pantry through in-kind donations. The following wish list items would be helpful and appreciated to further our work.
As always, purchases made on AmazonSmile support the work of Lutheran Campus Ministry of Fresno. To support LCM on AmazonSmile, please select Lutheran Campus Council of Fresno as your charitable organization on AmazonSmile.
Lastly, I’d like to take a moment to thank the generous members of the Lutheran Campus Ministry Board who’ve served this past year: Erica Bird, Terry Roberts, Jeff McGrath, Lori Kamlade, Paul Werfelmann, Janet Baker, Linda Hurst and Gwen Hansen.
On behalf of Lutheran Campus Ministry of Fresno, thank you for your support.
Wishing you a merry and bright Holiday season,
Lutheran Campus Ministry of Fresno
It’s been far too long since I’ve written, and this post is long overdue, but I suppose it’s better late than never. My usual response is “it’s been a busy time of year” but now that we’re headed into the actual busy time of the year, I’m not quite sure I’m prepared for what lies ahead.
In preparation for the holiday season, this past month my partner and I deep cleaned our house and remodeled our living room. We decided to rearrange furniture, hang up new décor and rejuvenate our living space. The project itself was bigger than expected and neither one of us foresaw the project to be just as big as it was!
In the midst of rearranging furniture my partner asked me why I have so many religious pieces of décor hanging on the walls of our home and asked if we could perhaps take a few down. Initially I was hurt and disappointed that he wanted to change things up but then I realized he didn’t know why the pieces were so important to me. In conversation I shared that one piece was a high school graduation present, another was a gift I received on the way across the country after my grandfather died, one wrote one of my favorite bible verses that got me through a difficult time and many more stories surround the walls of our home.
Over the course of the next few days I realized how my literal walls are filled with spirituality but my figurative walls that I carry on my shoulders need some improvement. I found that although I am surrounded by religion every day at both of my jobs and at my home, I’m not necessarily enriching my own personal faith. I suppose in between rearranging our living room, I found that even the most devout and faithful follower can struggle with practicing their faith and perhaps it’s time I rearrange my own life too.
My goal now is not to have a Christ Centered Home but a Christ Centered Heart. My question for you is which are you currently practicing, and which will you strive for?
Wishing you a blessed Thanksgiving,
Lutheran Campus Ministry of Fresno
I'll be honest when I say that it's been a long time since I've written to fellow members of congregations, students and shared a message on the world wide web. However, I like to think that each one of us can impact one another with words and the magnitude of our voices can be powerful in this dark and twisted world at times. Sometimes our voices divide one another but I also like to think that our voices can call to action, unite and hold us together.
It's no secret that our world is becoming a darker place. It seems every day a new darkness sweeps in and we're left to sort through the chaos that comes with it. With said chaos, almost always come divisions. Divisions on gun control, abortion, presidential elections...the list goes on and on. The reality is very rarely do we all as humans or rather a nation see eye to eye on said topics.
A few months ago, my sister was at her high school and went on lockdown because of a potential threat that would be headed onto her campus. I remember hearing about the lockdown and instantly thinking, "this is it, a school shooting has made its way to Fresno." Thankfully the suspect was apprehended before he even step foot on campus and it is unknown what his intent was. But in that moment, those scary and overwhelming thoughts that filled my head, are likely the thoughts of millions of others in our nation and I'm not just talking about school shootings. The reality is we never think anything bad can happen to us, until it does. We never know when darkness is going to invert itself in our lives and disrupt our safe zones.
I think we can all agree that shootings are an ongoing and increasingly rising problem in our nation. Unfortunately, we tend not to focus on the victims and the trauma they faced, but instead argue over gun control. To be upfront, I'm purposely not going to invert my views on gun control in this post. Instead I'd like to argue that the division of gun control, or rather any division in this world, constantly separates us from what matters most.
It's evident our world is divided. There will always be opposing views, and very, very, rarely do we all agree in this world. Quite frankly there is always "black and white" thinking when really there is a whole lot of “grey” in this world. More often than not, we demand people to take a stand and "side" with us on our views. Now we typically find this in politics and usually expect that we find opposing view in politics but when it comes to divisions regardless of where we find them in the world, I ponder how Jesus would feel if he knew we were debating. While we’ll never known for certain where Jesus stands on all the divisions of our world, I'm positive he would give us a philosophical viewpoint that none of us were expecting. Jesus sought to preach ministry. Jesus walked with those that were minorities, he bridged gaps between opposing views, and he reminded us all what matters the most. Jesus sought to unite one another and close divisions, yet why do we still create such divisions among us?
My prayer for us is we uplift one another; we break down the walls that separate us and we remember what matters the most: to act justly, love mercifully and walk humbly with God.
In Christ's Service,