As we begin Lent today, Ash Wednesday, I’ve thought of many things and been settled on very few. I swam this morning so I can say “I’ve exercised every day in Lent!” But seriously, my mental, emotional, and spiritual dispositions are integrally bound up with fresh air and endorphins so it was good to get re-started.

The last couple of nights I’ve picked back up in reading this powerful book about the Emanuel 9 Massacre. Earlier in the book, and months ago in my time reading, I was stunned to come across a person I recognized from my days at seminary. We were not close, but as Student Body President I was a go between with students and the administration as we were having some challenges bringing a new phone system online in the new student housing. I had no clue he was a lifelong friend of one of the murder victims. This June 17, 2020 will be the 5th Anniversary of this horrific event.

And lastly, this Lent during our Thursday evening services Pastor Josh and I will be focusing on “Welcoming and Hospitality”. We’ll lift up key scripture texts and lay them alongside UniLu and Lutheran Campus Ministry practices. We’ll also seek input from anyone in attendance about their experiences in receiving gracious hospitality, or when they’ve been able to offer such hospitality and welcome to others.

Just some random thoughts that have been swimming through my mind.

God’s peace & hope, Pastor Jon