The Lutheran Campus Ministry at West Virginia University
Synod Assembly Report, June 2022
Your Lutheran Campus Ministry at West Virginia University has had quite a year, embracing the transition to Chaplains Ben and Courtney Erzkus and their family, welcoming new and returning faces after the disruption of the pandemic and changes to how people gather, traveling throughout the West Virginia – Western Maryland Synod, and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ through the important lens of Lutheran Christianity. God has been faithful and we are excited for how the Holy Spirit leads us forward!
Grounded in Worship
The center of life together for those connected with the LCM@WVU is worship. We gather for Mass on Sunday evenings of the academic year, followed by a free dinner in the Undercroft (our fellowship area below the Chapel) and then Compline. Throughout the week, in between classes, studying, and everything that life throws at us, we gather to pray the daily office on different days of the week: Matins (Morning Prayer), Noon Prayer, Vespers (Evening Prayer), and Compline (Night Prayer). These rhythms of prayer and worship are the backbone of our community, continually bringing us back to the promises of God when other things in life might distract us from that Truth. We have been blessed to see this worshiping community grow, not only with guests joining us in person, but also with the connections we have made virtually, praying together as we live-stream our weekday prayer offices. It has been such a comfort and encouragement to our in-person community here at the LCM@WVU to know that our prayers are multiplied by the body of Christ near and far. It has been tremendously powerful to have students entrust us with their prayer concerns, asking for us to remember their concerns or light a candle at vespers so that we and all who gather can pray for them. Thank you for joining us in these prayers!
A Lutheran Christian Witness
One of the more unique aspects for the LCM@WVU is the frequency with which we are blessed to encounter people from different denominations, other faiths, and those seeking to know more. In addition to ELCA Lutherans, this past year alone we have welcomed Roman Catholics, Missouri Synod Lutherans, Mormons, evangelicals, Episcopalians, and other Mainline Protestants. This diversity of religious background encourages a lot of meaningful questions and conversation, and also the opportunity for some to hear anew (or for the first time) the unconditional love and mercy that we celebrate in Jesus Christ through our Lutheran Christian tradition. In a university of over 28,000 students that has no formal Spiritual Life department, and whose main Christian student organizations have more of an evangelical and non-liturgical bent, we have seen the transformative freedom God brings through the gospel from a Lutheran Christian perspective. Your Lutheran Campus Ministry at West Virginia University is taking part in changing lives, not only for the immediate college experience but also as these young adults go out into the world and follow their callings.
Highlights of the 2021-2022 Academic Year
- Students embracing leadership in worship and communal life at the Chapel
- All the students, faculty, staff, and community members who have connected with the LCM@WVU through formal events, informal connections and pastoral care
- Increased traffic in the Chapel with students stopping by to study, chat, and hang out
- Growing connections between the LCM@WVU and the larger university campus, as well as our sisters and brothers throughout the WV-WMD Synod
- “Aleks’ Pretzels”: Ask anyone from our community about the unofficial snack of the LCM@WVU, made by Aleks Stefaniak, requested often by students, never left over!
The chaplains, students, and Board are currently working on:
- Registering as an official student organization and increasing campus involvement
- Building more connections with faculty and staff
- Exploring opportunities for study in both traditional ways and virtually
- Property improvements to meet the opportunities of a growing university campus
- Continuing to connect with folks throughout the Synod territory
Partner & Support
There are many ways you can partner with and support your Lutheran Campus Ministry at West Virginia University! Here are just a few:
- Include the LCM@WVU in your personal prayers and weekly Prayers of Intercession
- Sponsor one of our Sunday meals (send a gift card or join us and bring a dish)
- Connect us with your new or returning students at WVU (we will travel to you!)
- Join us for worship in person or for daily prayer on Facebook
- Invite us to visit your congregation (for a formal LCM@WVU visit or as pulpit supply)
- Become one of our donors by giving a regular financial gift!
We thank God for you and are honored to continue to the long, faithful tradition of Lutheran Campus Ministry in the West Virginia – Western Maryland Synod!
Chaplain Ben Erzkus
Chaplain Courtney Erzkus
Visit www.LutheranMountaineer.org for information on worship, current program offerings, and how to set up online giving. You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram @LCMWVU.