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Author Archive -- Pastor John Wegener


Rev. John H. Wegener was born on September 22, 1974 in Ames IA a minute after the birth of his twin brother. He was baptized on October 6, 1974 at St. John Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Hubbard, IA where his father (The Rev. Thomas C. Wegener) served as pastor. He was confirmed in 1984 at Faith Lutheran Church of Waterloo, IA. He graduated from West High School in Waterloo and then attended the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, IA where he earned a B.A. in Graphic Design in 1997. In 2000, he began his studies at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, IN. He served as vicar at Emmaus Lutheran Church, in Fort Wayne from the summer of 2002 to the summer of 2003. He received his Master of Divinity from CTS in 2004. He was called to St. Paul Lutheran Church in Readlyn, IA and Immanuel Lutheran Church of Klinger, IA where he was ordained and installed on June 13, 2004. He served there until July, 2007 when he accepted the call to serve the campus ministry at College Hill Lutheran Church in Cedar Falls, Iowa near the University of Northern Iowa. He was installed there on July 1st, 2007. John met Ms. Heidi M. Johnson while in college at the church where he now serves as pastor. They were married on August 8, 1998 at Grace Lutheran Church in Waterloo, IA. John and Heidi have four children: AJ, Aleah, Javan, and Michael.

Steadfast on Campus- Daily Chapel at Secular U

August 30th, 2013 11 comments

We have a beautiful and spacious building just one block from the university campus thanks to our generous congregation and the Iowa District East.  We boast a huge student center with a game room, plenty of quiet study space, a washer and dryer, a student office with computer, printer and desk, rooms with dry erase boards, a community chest full of goodies, full kitchen, a respectable library, fresh coffee, comfy coaches, air conditioning, a good furnace, and the like.  Yet, our building seemed awfully quiet many weekdays throughout the school year—quiet like the campus library, only worse, no one was   More…

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Steadfast on Campus — The Spirituality of the Dross

If you’re looking for the opposite of what Gene Veith describes as The Spirituality of the Cross, here it is!  Since dross rhymes with cross and, in as much as dross is waste matter, I think “The Spirituality of the Dross” is a fitting title for what our students are being taught. One of our students thought he would attend the spiritual wellness seminar offered on campus.  He returned to my study with high delight and placed into my hands a worksheet for “Developing Spiritual Wellness”1 (You may find a pdf copy here).  I read it.  I laughed.  He knew   More…

Steadfast on Campus- So What Did Your Students Think of UNWRAPPED?

January 12th, 2013 3 comments

He began to walk away from the podium and said, “[You are] all damned sinners, one and all,” to which, the assembled college students rose to their feet and gave him a standing ovation. This is why confessional Lutheranism resonates with our college students. They are damned sinners. And, earlier in the morning during his homily, Pres. Harrison reminded them that Jesus came only for sinners. Our confessions suggest that this proclamation of the Gospel is our greatest treasure: “The blessed proclamation, the Gospel, which proclaims the forgiveness of sins through the blessed Seed, that is, Christ, has from the   More…

Q&A — Gender as Social Construct

November 21st, 2012 11 comments

Another question came in using our Ask a Pastor button on the right. Sorry these are taking a while to answer, but we are getting quite a number of questions, some of which are difficult to research and answer. Studying at Indiana University I constantly hear the phrase, “gender is a social construct.” To clarify, their meaning behind this is, in specifically Western society, that masculinity (associated with authority, strength, basically your classic macho man) and femininity (submissiveness, gentleness, your classic “Leave it to Beaver” wife) are characteristics that build harmful barriers between sexes, limiting the acceptable activities of each   More…

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Steadfast on Campus- A Few Surprises to Begin the Academic Year

August 29th, 2012 1 comment

It’s been a while since I’ve tapped the keys for Steadfast on Campus and I don’t even have a good excuse (like building a shed or something).  But here’s the low down:  Students and their families were EVERYWHERE just a week and half ago.  It was crazy, yet normal, for this time of year.  Students were moving into the dorms and off-campus rentals.  The campus and entire city looked like a giant beehive with activity.  We delivered nearly 80 little welcome baskets to the LCMS students whose names we had.  The Catholics were outside their nice building handing out food   More…

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Steadfast on Campus — A Cry for Help and a Wish List

Your graduating seniors are heading off to college.  They’re leaving the herd and the lion is waiting. For some of them, this may be the last time sitting in the pew of a Lutheran church—it may be the last time they’re in church- period!  Believe me, BELIEVE ME, we need to help them find a confessional Lutheran church home away from home. I don’t know the stats.  But I do know from the school of experience that many of our Lutheran students are finding their way to other churches of other confessions (or no confessions!). Their new friends on campus   More…

Steadfast on Campus — ULC: The Flagship of Campus Ministry

While you’re looking through the University Lutheran Chapel (ULC) website, take note of three reasons why so many of us in campus ministry see the ULC as the flagship for confessional Lutheran campus ministry.   Reason #1-  The ULC centers her life in the Sunday Divine Service (See http://ulcmn.org). When I said in an earlier post that campus ministry is nothing other than Word and sacrament ministry for students, I really meant it.  Everything else is nice, but the Divine Service is the main dish. This is why it is called campus ministry. By the word “ministry” here we are   More…

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Steadfast on Campus — Short Term Mission Trips

April 19th, 2012 2 comments

The Rev. Joshua Gale wrote a fine article here on BJS in response to the discussion on short-term mission trips.  He wrote from the perspective of one who received help from a group of college students who were on spring break.  I’m writing from the perspective of the pastor who was with those students. First, just to clarify, our spring break trips are not intended to be “mission trips” in what we would regard as Lutheran mission work.  Lutheran missiology is long-term. This is why Philadelphia Lutheran Ministries (PLM) called Rev. Gale to serve as a missionary in Philly and   More…

Steadfast On Campus — A Common Order

March 23rd, 2012 20 comments

I couldn’t help but follow the discussion on BJS concerning the topic of worship wars titled “Every Sunday Pro-Choice Sunday?” (Who cares that it’s March Madness!—I’m becoming a BJS addict and I admit it.) This topic captivated me because of its relation to campus ministry! Campus ministry, in my own experience, is where we really see the benefit of a common order of service. Having a common order, with less variety would be most beneficial for the sake of unity and edification of our people—especially college students. Luther agrees with me, or vice versa. He exhorted the Livonians, “Therefore, when   More…

Steadfast on Campus

The college campus is a windy place. Life-long Lutheran students are suddenly carried away from the foundation of the apostles and prophets by every wind of doctrine. They appear to be helpless as the waves of rationalism, emotionalism, synergism, etc. bear them away from Christ. They are bombarded with new ideas that are foreign to their Christian worldview and conflict with everything they have been taught. Unaware of the danger, they follow the enticing voices of the world, their own sinful flesh, and the devil who still asks, “Did God really say…” How can we help these students from falling   More…