Living Faith Through Community, Dialogue & Service
Emmaus Campus Ministry at the University of Montana
Engaging in the Community
Our engagement with the community is paramount to our work as a campus ministry which is why we're so involved in it, particularly with interfaith organizations and ELCA congregations.
Each year we help put on an All-Lutheran Worship Service in the fall to bring together the seven local ELCA congregations in the area for a morning of music, sunshine (we hope!), a meaningful message, and camaraderie.
Interfaith work is a cornerstone of our campus ministry, and Emmaus was one of the drivers for the founding of two local interfaith projects in the spring of 2012: Interfaith Missoula, a University of Montana official student group that extends to the larger Missoula community and brings together a myriad of faith backgrounds to engage in discussions across religions; and the Missoula Interfaith Collaborative (MIC), a project born out of the work of one of our Master's of Social Work Interns, Casey Dunning, who created the non-profit to bring together religious and social organizations to work towards increasing capacity for current projects and forming new projects to bridge gaps in social services in Missoula. We continue to work closely with these two projects in our programming and volunteer efforts, and Pastor John is currently honored to be a Director on the Board of MIC.
Former Lutheran Campus Ministry Pastor Jean Larson, currently senior pastor at Our Savior's Lutheran in Bonner, leading the All-Lutheran Worship service with current campus Pastor John Lund on drums, fall 2012.
Another project initiated by our MSW interns is focused on education of and training for faith communities on the issue of response to domestic and sexual violence. Most recently we hosted a Bystander Training that included: defining bystanders, learning strategies to overcome everyday challenges, discussing "rape culture," learning about resources that are available to prevent sexual violence, and discussing what we, as faith communities and leaders, can do to end sexual violence in our community.
To deepen in our engagement discussing these important though sometimes difficult topics, Pastor John with the support of Emmaus students convene and moderate a Day of Dialogue session at the University of Montana each year (now called DiverseU). This mission of DiverseU is to "provide a forum for honest dialogue in order to explore the complexities of human experience, promote understanding, and create community through the practice of civil discourse." The most recent topic presented by Emmaus was: "Let's Party: Open Dialogue About Drinking, Parties, Hookups, and More."