What price do you put on the Gospel? Apparently the price is three million dollars. We have just learned that the Minnesota South District Treasurer has recommended to the district board of directors that the University Lutheran Chapel (ULC) property be sold for three million dollars to the Doran Construction and Development Company for private purposes.
This is an odd recommendation. The ULC is a thriving parish and campus ministry on the University of Minnesota campus. Why would you eliminate an effective parish in the midst of one of the largest concentrations of Lutheran college students in the country? What price do you put on the Gospel?
The district’s plan to replace the campus ministry is untried and experimental at best. You can read about the haphazard plan on the ULC website where the ULC members have catalogued the endless and experimental efforts to replace the campus pulpit through the years.
This also seems like an odd recommendation since ULC parish and alumni have started a campaign to raise funds to purchase the property from the district. Officials from the District are aware of this plan and have encouraged it. It seems odd that the parish would have to purchase the property from the district since it was Lutherans from Minnesota who raised the funds to purchase the property in the first place, some sixty years ago, and build the beautiful and reverent chapel and adjoining kitchen, hall and Sunday School rooms. At the very least this ought to be a decision for the district convention voters and not the board of directors.
Again this seems like an odd recommendation since the Chapel has been self-sufficient for the last several years. This is not a ministry of the district. This is a parish that the Lutherans of Minnesota created so that there would be an altar and pulpit on the Minnesota campus. It is not subsidized by the District but the District is now stepping in and saying that they want the money that could be generated by selling the altar, the pulpit and the earth that they have sat on for the last couple of generations, where countless people have come to the faith, been edified in the faith and many of whom have gone on to our seminaries and are now passing that same faith on to folks all around the country. What price do you put on the Gospel?