About our Blog. . .

This is the blog of the Campus Ministry of the Lutheran Church -- Missouri Synod at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa.
This ministry is provided by the pastors and congregations of the Westgate Circuit of the Iowa District East of the LCMS.
Pastor Ronnie Koch is the Blogger and Supervising Pastor of the Campus Ministry.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Christ on Campus

We have just become a Chapter of Christ on Campus!
Here’s the description from their website about what this means:
  • "As the campus ministry arm of Higher Things, Christ on Campus seeks to connect high-school and college age youth with faithful Lutheran campus ministries and assists congregations and campus ministries in their faithful service to Lutheran college students. The Christ on Campus Chapter network plays an integral role in doing just that."
You’ll be hearing more about Christ on Campus in the future, for now though, I’d like to encourage college students and others interested to peruse the web resources and articles they make available to us at http://higherthings.org/campus/resources.html.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Martin Luther's Birthday

Today is the anniversary of Martin Luther's birth  (10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546).

Luther College students in our campus ministry will be watching the Luther movie this weekend. For those unfamiliar with the life and times of Luther I have recommended and distributed copies of  Luther: Echoes of the Hammer.  This new book from CPH is a quick and easy way to learn who's who and what's what in the rapid flow of the sometimes confusing movie.

Earlier this fall I enjoyed watching middle school students engaged in the history of the great reformer as they read Luther: Echoes of the Hammer.  I had to smile when several students in my catechism class told me that they finished it well before it was due; they didn't want to put it down. Some students allowed their siblings to borrow the book.  Parents mentioned to me that they enjoyed it as well, and learned something.

I'm anxious to hear more feedback from college aged people.  The intial reaction is that it's "cool".

Although Luther: Echoes of the Hammer is billed as a graphic novel, I can understand Andrew Craig's disappointment that it fails to meet the expectations he had for a work supposedly done in this genre. But overall, I am in happy agreement with the great majority of postive reviews. Many are welcoming this new tool available to us who teach the next generation about Martin Luther and  his work.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Studying Lutheranism 101

One of the participants in our Monday evening Bible group wrote

I really like this text we're working with and it seems to be really helpful for a lot of people in our group! I know a few have said they've looked at it on their own time which is also great!

The text she is referring to is Lutheranism 101 from CPH, which is proving to be a great blessing to Christians who want to delve further into the doctrine they had learned from the Small Catechism back in their Junior High years.

Isn’t it surprisingly refreshing to hear that there are some college students in this day and age who are actually reading a book?

As a campus ministry pastor, I appreciate how Lutheranism 101 is helping to layout the richness of the Christian faith.  Participants get a glimpse into our Lutheran Confessions with quotes in text boxes throughout the pages marked as “Believe, Teach and Confess.”  Supplementary resources are available from CPH like a study guide, leaders’ guide and power point slides.  I use these intentionally to make the reading of the book truly a Bible Study, and so, by the help of the Holy Spirit, we move from gaining the head knowledge of Christian concepts to truly hearing and believing the Word of God.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Words from Pastor Koren for All Saints' Day

Here are some very comforting thoughts from Rev. U. V. Koren, father of Lutheranism in Northeast Iowa and one of the founders of Luther College, Decorah:

In answsering the question, "Can and ought a Christian be certain of his salvation?" Rev Koren wrote:

"[The Christian] is to believe, i.e., he is humbly and in a childlike manner to rely upon the promises which God has given him precisely concerning [salvation].  Those promises are more firm than heaven and earth and are given just for this purpose, that we are to blieve them, have a firm conviction regarding that He will fulfill them in spite of the devil, the world and our flesh."

"Yes, indeed, God would have us believe that it is unalterably certain that we shall sometime be saved.  For He has given us all these glorious words and promises that we should believe them. He has surely not given them to us that we should doubt them.  "For the Son of God. . . was not yea and nay, but in him was yea.  For the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us" 2 Cor. 1:19, 20.