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New Worship Approach Aims to Build Community on Midland University Campus


In her efforts to provide Midland University students an opportunity to strengthen their faith and build a community, Lisa Kramme, Director for Campus Ministry and Spiritual Wellness, has helped implement a new ministry schedule on campus, and is taking an innovative approach when it comes to students sharing their faith. 

“What we are seeing across the board, on campus and in communities, is a decline in the number of young people attending worship services,” Kramme said. “We can’t expect young people to come to us, we need to go to them. When I first got here (December), I started learning about the needs of our students and their desire for a sense of belonging and community. It’s not just at Midland, but young adults everywhere have a desire to feel like they belong.”

Community is a word that resonates strongly with Kramme. In her goal to incorporate a community of faith, she has created a variety of services throughout the month that range from traditional worship services, to times of reflection and conversation. “We want to do some out-of-the-ordinary activities,” she said. “But most of all, we want to make things accessible for everyone on campus. We want to help people grow in their own spiritual journey.”

Standard chapel services have been held each Tuesday throughout the month on the Midland campus. While an element of those services will remain in place, Kramme has given students, faculty, and staff some new opportunities to share their stories, faith, and beliefs.

Community Connections will kick off the first Tuesday of each month and will take place from 11-11:30 a.m. on the second floor of Clemmons Hall. “Basically, what we’re doing is having conversations and building community,” she said. “In talking with a faculty member, when I asked him what campus ministry should be about, he talked about connecting groups of students with one another and building relationships they might not normally build. Campus ministry and spiritual wellness is about open community, and we want to have opportunities for students who might not normally connect with students from different groups, to build that community.”

Community Chapel will be held the second Tuesday of each month from 11-11:30 a.m. in Clemmons Hall and will have a more “traditional” worship feel. “This will be a time for people to talk about God, pray, sing, and share a message,” Kramme said. “We are still working through some of the details, but it will provide a time of worship.”

The Lueninghoener Planetarium will host Reflections on the third Tuesday of the month from 9:30-10 p.m. “This was something we did when I was a student at Midland, where we gathered in the planetarium a couple of times each month and they would bring the stars up and we could be in the space to relax and reflect on our lives,” Kramme said. “We held our first Reflections in January and had a lot of positive feedback, even some people asking for this more than once a month. For a lot of our students, it was their first time in the planetarium, and it was a great opportunity for them to just relax and soak everything in. Sometimes, we all need space to breathe and relax.”

The final Tuesday of each month will feature a Community Meal, which will take place from 11-11:45 a.m. in Clemmons Hall. Kramme said a team of volunteers (she’s always looking for more volunteers) will help prepare a light lunch and dessert for a time of eating and worship. “In the book of Acts, there is a story of people eating and praying together, and that’s what we’re doing here,” Kramme said. “It will be a time of worship and sharing scripture passages. We also plan on having a guest pastor each month who will share communion with everyone. Those pastors will talk about communion, what it means, then let everyone know they are welcome to share in Holy Communion.”

These events are in place for the remainder of the semester, where Kramme said she will evaluate and formulate potential changes for the fall semester. “We are in the experimental stage and we will see what resonates with people and what is, and isn’t, working,” she said. “I’m open to ideas for what people need and want, and if anyone wants to be involved in any capacity, please let me know.”

To volunteer to help with Community Meals, or submit ideas, contact Kramme via email or by calling 402-941-6205.

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