The students are coming! The students are coming!

Though not a modern-day Paul Revere, this is the thought that crossed my mind in the Publix parking lot this past Sunday. In the store, it was obvious that there were a lot more college-age students shopping (fewer wrinkles around the eyes & foreheads above their masks) than in previous months. But what clinched it for me were the quintessential scenes in the parking lot of parents bidding goodbye to their children and wishing them well with the new semester.

University Lutheran Church, to restate the obvious, is a congregation rooted in Clemson within a block or two of the University. The South Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (the ELCA and its predecessor bodies) has been reaching out to cadets at the military college than students, faculty, and staff at the university for over one hundred years. University Lutheran Church is a grateful home to Lutheran Campus Ministry and has partnered with the SC Synod and the ELCA to make outreach to college students its primary ministry focus.

This year, as was the end of last semester, will be different. We don’t know how many students will be coming. Or when they will be coming. What we do know is this. The LOVE that you have shown students for decade upon decade will be here to greet however many return to campus. Pastor Josh, the student leaders and the LCM Directing Committee will keep us appraised of how we can best express our love and support to students throughout the year. Cindy Sanders and others will help guide us in the best, safe practices for providing meals and snacks.

For now, please pray for students of all ages, their families, teachers, staff and all who are doing their best in juggling priorities to continue the education experience in the safest way possible. Please pray for Pastor Josh and our student leaders as they continue to demonstrate flexibility, adaptability and persistence in showing welcome to all students; especially those who need a place where they know they are loved.

God’s peace & hope,

Pastor Jon