I would like to publicly say how proud I am of both ULC and
Pastor David Kind for the manner in which they have handled everything over the course of this past year and a half. They have been resolute where they must, yet charitable where they could, in the face of an unspeakable and unwarranted cross, brought on not by the world around them, but by the very District authorities who were given the responsibility and sacred trust to care for, and support, them and their campus ministry.
And, Pastor Kind, my classmate, dear friend, and fellow campus pastor, you have been a sterling example of what a campus pastor and a faithful shepherd looks like, not just because of your great hair and beautiful voice :-), but because of your faithfulness to Christ and those charged to your care. You have also personified under enormous pressure everything that Christ on Campus was about when we started it in the first place. You have been willing to lay down in the gate to protect your flock, and while all credit goes to the Lord of the Church, your flock’s ability to endure this cross is also a testament to your faithful preaching and leadership not only during this difficult time, but throughout your ministry at ULC, and Pastor Pless’ ministry before you (and even to you).
We are grateful for the financial support given to your congregation by the Minnesota South District gathered in convention, not only because of your need to find a new church home, but because it bespeaks the importance of what you do in terms of campus ministry. It also represents (even if unsaid) a vindication of how you have been shamefully treated.
The days ahead will not be easy and the trials are certainly not over. However, the Gospel endures, you and your people endure, and faithful campus ministry at the University of Minnesota will endure. Proof certain of that comes tomorrow! Tomorrow morning at the Chapel of the Cross on the campus of Luther Seminary in St. Paul, you will be holding the Divine Service and receiving Christ’s gifts just the same. May it be a time of great joy for you and all of God’s precious saints!
May that also be true for all of us!
Of course, that which has taken place in Minneapolis strikes at the very core of all of us who care about campus ministry. Yes, we all feel beat up at the moment because we all have had to be long suffering and serve as we are able, often without the resources we wish we might have to match our zeal for what we do and the importance we place on it.
However, this is not a time for any of us in campus ministry to despair. We must also resist the temptation to think that God’s people around us in the greater church no longer care about what we do on the campuses of this nation. I just don’t believe it. If such was true, the fight for ULC would have had little fuel. So while weeping may remain for a night, joy does come in the morning and God will use this, yes, even this, for good!
ULC will continue to faithfully proclaim the Gospel in and around the University of Minnesota community and we will support her as she does. And the rest of us in campus ministry will continue to do likewise where God has placed us! It’s who we are. It’s what we love. It’s what we do.
There is no greater honor that we can give to our gracious Lord for being merciful to us, nor any greater support that we can give to Pastor Kind and ULC going forward, than to re-dedicate our campus ministry efforts where God has placed us. We also can honor the memory and the legacy of those faithful saints before us who had the foresight and dedication to establish the campus ministries we have today, by going and doing likewise on campuses where Christ’s voice is silent.
This is a new beginning for ULC with timeless gifts and tools still at her disposal. The same is true for all of us.
So let us proclaim the Gospel in all its fullness, minister to those college students entrusted to our care, promote truth in the academic square, and seek to draw others to Christ and His gracious visitation!
CAMPUS MINISTRY UP!