ULC finds a new student center. From the latest ULC newsletter.

Behold, We Live

St. Paul described the ministry of the apostles to the congregation in Corinth in these words: “as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.” What described the lives and work of the apostles here also can be used to describe the life and work of the Church. Certainly these words of St. Paul describe how it has been for University Lutheran Chapel these past two years. We have gone through much. We have faced those who have tried to kill our congregation and campus ministry, and behold we live. We have had our chapel taken from us, but having Christ, we possess all things. We have grieved, yet we rejoice in our Lord’s grace and favor, in the fellowship of our brothers and sisters across the entire Church, and in the future laid before us.

This is not to say that the past two years have been easy for us. They have not. And they have taken a serious toll on our members and students. But in spite of the hardships, or perhaps even because of them, ULC remains committed. Attendance at Sunday services continues to be strong. Where only a few years ago we rarely had more than 85 people in a single service now we routinely see over 100. While the number of new students attending ULC this year is down a little bit, our students remain active. And our student leadership is perhaps the best I’ve seen in my years of service as pastor. We have managed to maintain all of our regular Bible studies and activities with only a few exceptions (no midweek service, for example). And we have been blessed by Christians not only from within our synod, but from across the Una Sancta, helping us to grow in our appreciation for our separated brothers and sisters in other church bodies. It has been hard, but the Lord has indeed worked good already through it. As we look to the future, we trust that He has even more good in store for ULC, for the students under our care, and for His whole Church.

In this edition of our newsletter, we look forward to some of those good things that are coming to fruition, even as we look back at the path that has brought us to where we currently are. Please continue to pray for our congregation, students and campus ministry as we strive to move forward, faithful to Christ’s Word and eager for His will and Kingdom.


ULC to Purchase Former Sorority House for Use as Student Center on Campus

The Former Delta Delta Delta sorority house will soon become a Lutheran student house. The last week in September, ULC and the owners of the property (currently run as a Bed and Breakfast catering to visiting U of M professors and scholars, called The Faculty House) entered into a purchase agreement for the 7000+ square foot property and the adjacent 24 space parking lot.

The house, a 1920s era English Tudor, is located at 316 10th Avenue SE, just one block from the former ULC chapel and student center. Highly visible and easily accessible by foot or vehicle, it sits on a major thoroughfare for students going to either East or West Banks of campus from the sorority row area.

The deal is set to close at the end of the Fall Semester (mid-December) assuming that our “due diligence” uncovers no major problems with the property.

The purchase of this house will give our students and our congregation a much needed home base on the campus of the U of M, a place where we can hold our regular events, Bible studies, midweek worship, and where students can relax, study, pray, get counsel from the pastor, and maybe even live eventually (there are 14 hotel or dorm-style rooms on the two upper floors). It will also give us room to expand our on-campus efforts and to try new programs and to host large events.

Not only will this house help anchor our presence on campus, but it will also send a strong message to the U of M community that ULC will not abandon the campus, but continues to put ministry to students high on the list of our congregation’s priorities.

The house appears to be in near move-in condition. We hope to use the Christmas break to move in and to prepare it for a grand opening at the beginning of the Spring semester.

Please pray with us that this purchase proceed smoothly, so that our students and our congregation can regain a home on campus at the U of M.


For pictures of the property, look here.

The property is only a block away from the old home of ULC.

Click here for the ULCMN October Newsletter.

View Larger Map

Now this is great news, but you will notice that this is not yet a new chapel for worship.  That is why I would still suggest you consider giving in order to “help it be for good”.  You can donate to ULC here.


About Pastor Joshua Scheer

Pastor Joshua Scheer is the Senior Pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He is also the Editor-in-chief of Brothers of John the Steadfast. He oversees all of the work done by Steadfast Lutherans. He is a regular host of Concord Matters on KFUO. Pastor Scheer and his lovely wife Holly (who writes and manages the Katie Luther Sisters) have four children and enjoy living in Wyoming.


ULC finds a new student center. From the latest ULC newsletter. — 29 Comments

  1. I would encourage folks that now is the time to dig deep and let’s help get ULC a sanctuary built on the same plot of land as they are purchasing the house.

    Rev Kind has been resilient in leadership and faithful to our Lord. The university is huge and our college students need a place to gather for the Divine Service on campus.

    I am pastor nearby and would plead for all to work together and support financially this mission project.

    To all who are connected with ULC, keep up the good work and know we are praying for you and the outreach you are doing.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  2. One block away and on campus. Hmm, why didn’t the company buy that property instead of the ULC? Just curious.

  3. Thinking if 200 congregations gave just $5000 each, ULC would have a million dollars. That would surely help in building a nice chapel.

  4. Well, if any one who lives in the new high rises going up at the former site need a community to worship with, ULC is right there for them. 😉 This is most awesome news. If the building is historic and cannot be torn down, hopefully they can make certain good renovations for their purposes. Getting a location around the coner is awesome and creates a good sense of stability. Hopefully the can stil raise funds and soon, when all (especially God) is ready, they can purshase an adjacent lot and build a chapel.

    All glory to God.

    Well done, good and FAITHFUL servants.

  5. @John Rixe #7
    John, Did you see the undated picture from the Gamma Delta retreat in the newsletter? I thought of you when I saw it–wondered if you were one of the students pictured there.

  6. They should reame the DELTA DELTA DELTA house as the GAMMA DELTA house (or maybe the Lambda Sigma Phi (LSF) house).

  7. Worth remembering:
    Doran offered $3,500,000 for the Chapel and grounds, just to tear it down. Doran spent a lot on plans and zoning and legal fees as well, and demolition (ugh) was also very expensive. The price was renegotiated down to $3,250,000, but the other costs remained. So Doran ended up spending a lot more than the purchase price to be able to build their project in that strategic location. This is what it costs to purchase land and build right on or near the campus there–and a Confessional Lutheran presence on campus is exactly what the students and we as a Synod need.

    The MNS district in convention awarded ULC $2,000,000 from the proceeds of that deplorable sale. This was praiseworthy and helpful, and a tremendous vindication of ULC’s righteous history in this terrible situation. But it still leaves a significant shortfall for ULC.

    Financial support is crucial right about now. They are buying this student center, but they still need a permanent place to worship. We should step up and help.

  8. One side benefit could be that if they rent rooms to LCMS students they would have a pretty significant ongoing income–though that doesn’t compensate for losing their beloved sanctuary.

    My son is a freshman at Iowa State and was able to get into the LCMS fraternity, Beta Sigma Psi, and it is really a blessing. All the boys (52) attend church together each week dressed in matching suits and their fraternity ties. They have weekly Bible studies at the house led by an LCMS pastor. My son’s studying mechnical engineering but has called to ask many theological questions that have come up in discussions with the other boys. I knew it was the right place for him when at the orientation they had a come-and-go buffet and as we were eating another couple came in with their freshman son, took their food, sat down at another table and all spontaneously prayed together, “Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest . . .” Where else are you going to find that at a secular university! So possibly being able to establish a community with that kind of atmosphere for LCMS students could be a real blessing.

    If it is an historic landmark I wonder if they will ever be able to add an actual sanctuary? Though I am sure they have thought this through and have done their due diligence.

    By the way, as far as a former sorority turning into a Lutheran Student Center, Beta Sigma Psi recently bought a quite new and very beautiful house from a fraternity that had gone bankrupt. That fraternity had once owned a large parcel of land which they had developed and sold off to sororities. So, the LCMS fraternity at Iowa State bills itself as “the only fraternity on sorority circle”!

  9. S. :
    @Mrs. Hume #2
    Mrs. Hume, the faculty house is designated as a historic site and can’t be knocked down, which is why developers had no interest in it.

    I suppose then that eliminates the possibility of converting at least part of the building into a chapel???

  10. S. :
    @Mrs. Hume #2
    Mrs. Hume, the faculty house is designated as a historic site and can’t be knocked down, which is why developers had no interest in it.

    How come ULC wasn’t a designated historic site? It was historic.

  11. @Mrs. Hume #17

    The owner of a site has to give permission for it to be designated as historically protected.

    @Jeff #9

    Part of the historic protection says that the “Delta Delta Delta” cannot be removed from the building. . . so rather than changing those letters, something suitable must be found for them to represent.

  12. “Done Done Done”

    For you…

    Since “Delta” is commonly used as a symbol for change, or the Difference, perhaps in this case:

    Lost, but now I’m found

    Blind, but now I see

    Dead, but I’ve been raised!

  13. My son’s fraternity is the Epsilon chapter (the fifth ever established). The Alpha chapter was started at the University of Illinois in 1925. At Iowa State it began as the “Concordia Club” in 1945 and evolved into an actual fraternity, orginally in a building leased for them by the Iowa West District. Apparently at one time nationwide they had gone through the entire Greek alaphabet (24 letters) and were actually naming chapters “Alpha Alpha,” “Beta Beta,” etc. But large numbers have closed and I believe there are only about a dozen left, of which the one at Iowa State is probably the largest and most successful.

  14. wonder what hazing at a Lutheran fraternity consists of? making the pledges listen to every one of Wesley’s hymns?

  15. “Where only a few years ago we rarely had more than 85 people in a single service now we routinely see over 100.”

    Would the existing structure be able to fit over 100 attendees for a Sunday service? Where are they going to build the chapel portion. Is property available next door?

    Who will hold the deed? Does MNS own this new property, too? What would prevent the district from eventually selling this property? After all that has happened to try to destroy the ULC, why is it still a member congregation of the MNS district. Can it associate with a different LCMS district? How can I be sure that not a single penny given to the ULC offering plate ends up in the coffers of MNS? What steps have been taken to prevent future harassment of this confessional Lutheran congregation by the pro Church Growth Movement district officials?

    I imagine a lot of fraternity and sorority houses all over the country closing their doors. This would be a good opportunity for the LCMS to expand and/or upgrade campus Lutheran centers nationwide.

  16. @Lumpenkönig #22

    MNS District has no legal claim on any future property that ULC will own. When the sale goes through as planned, ULC will hold title. All monies donated to ULC remain with ULC – the district has no authority or right to claim or take any funds given to or belonging to ULC. ULC is a full member congregation of the Synod and as such calls its own Pastor and administers its own affairs independent of the district interference. ULC is a member of the MNS district due to history and geography.

    Should or will ULC leave the MNS District? That is a decision for another, later time. The district administration clearly shows little desire to be involved with ULC having recently removed her from the list of missions that district congregations are asked to pray for. ULC’s focus now is, as ever, the preaching of the Word, the right and proper administration of the sacraments, reaching out to students, and closing this sale and looking to the future growth of campus ministry with a new chapel.

    Our good and gracious Lord continues to bless ULC in countless ways. Please continue to pray for the oasis that is ULC and support her as she continues in her mission.

    Oliver Young
    Elder, ULC Minneapolis

  17. >>wonder what hazing at a Lutheran fraternity consists of? making the pledges listen to every one of Wesley’s hymns?

    >>Giving any student organization a Greek name and/or calling it a “fraternity” conjures up the wrong image in the minds of most people.

    Just visited there yesterday for my son’s concert with the Iowa Statesmen men’s chorus.

    Over 10% of the undergraduate students at Iowa State live in fraternities and sororities. My son’s fraternity has an impressive collection of awards in their lobby. Perhaps the most telling is that they have had the highest average GPA of any fraternity or sorority at Iowa State every year since 2005, somewhere near 4.0. They have also won numerous other awards, best managed fraternity, best homecoming spirit, etc.

    The fraternity’s house mother is a retired LCMS parochial school teacher. Their cook is also director of music at the LCMS campus church, just two blocks from the fraternity. He recruited my son to play handbells and they played yesterday morning during communion distribution. My son said a number of boys at the fraternity play the organ at the church and one freshman was disappointed because the organ schedule was full and they didn’t have an opening for him until 2013.

    The boys have regular rotations serving as ushers and valet parking of cars for elderly members at the church. After the concert yesterday there was a supper at the church to raise funds for their youth group and most of the boys from the fraternity were there. On Sundays 50+ go to worship together in matching suits and fraternity ties and sit together in the front pews right in front of the pulpit–a tradition going back to 1945 when they began as the “Concordia Club.”

    Since my son wants to be an engineer and no LCMS school offers that I think this is the best possible alternative (and Iowa State has a highly ranked engineering program). I went to an LCMS school, St. John’s, Winfield, and the atmosphere and camaraderie reminds me so very much of those happy, blessed years.

  18. “Over 10% of the undergraduate students at Iowa State live in fraternities and sororities. My son’s fraternity has an impressive collection of awards in their lobby. Perhaps the most telling is that they have had the highest average GPA of any fraternity or sorority at Iowa State every year since 2005, somewhere near 4.0. They have also won numerous other awards, best managed fraternity, best homecoming spirit, etc.”

    There you have it. The LCMS has good students that could go to LCMS universities, thereby making them great universities, but no, our schools only offer church worker programs and programs that are essentially community college programs thereby ensuring they will generaly attract community college students. So, our good students who happen to want to be church workers are probably holding up what standards there are. If even one of the Concordias would offer even one truly good program outside of the the church worker program, we could at least start to build the kind of programs that our own children would like to participate in. So how about aim high and sell one and turn another into a medical school?

  19. I formerly served at Concordia University Wisconsin and they have a large number of very highly regarded programs outside of church work, particularly in the medical field, including nursing, family nurse practitioner, doctor of physical therapy and doctor of pharmacy.

    CUW investigated adding engineering and found that the specialized facilities required for a quality engineering program would be cost prohibative, and in that vicinity the Milwaukee School of Engineering fills that need. That is when the decision was made to concentrate instead on expanding health care programs, since they have had an excellent nursing program for decades and already had some of the necessary facilities, library resources, faculty, etc. and by concentrating on expanding in this one area new resources could be shared among programs in the health care field.

    I don’t know if this would ever develop into a medical school because that is extremely resource intensive and there isn’t considered to be a shortage of medical schools particulary in the Wisconsin area.

  20. CUW also seriously investigated starting a law school while I was there, building upon their long-standing program in court reporting, which had given them the beginnings of a law library, some basic courses in law, etc. However, it was determined there was not enough demand for an additional law school in Wisconsin. Because of this, instead of a regional approach, like Concordia, Portland’s new program in Boise, where there apparently was such a need, CUW considered a law school with a distinctly Lutheran/Christian focus, with the goal of making it a nationally recognized program that would attract students because of that unique emphasis. But accomplishing that would be daunting and very expensive, and about that time several other “conservative Christian” universities were already launching new law schools on that basis, such as Regent, Liberty, and Ave Maria, and there were already several well-regarded “Lutheran” law schools, albeit at Valpo and ELCA institutions. So instead CUW discontinued the court reporting program, disposed of what law library they had, and focused instead on the medical field.

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