From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Lutheran Students Focus on Social Justice and Faith

From News News <NEWS@ELCA.ORG>
Date Wed, 4 Dec 2002 18:38:10 -0600


December 4, 2002


     CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Striving to support justice and give clarity to
faith, Lutheran college and university students will participate in
"Celebrate IV: Weave Us Together" at the Albuquerque Convention Center,
Albuquerque, N.M., Dec. 28-Jan. 1.
     Hosted by the Council for Ecumenical Christian Ministry (CESCM)
and the National Catholic Student Coalition, "Celebrate" is an
ecumenical event designed to bring together students to engage in social
justice, political action, philosophical contemplation and more.  The
event takes place every four years.
     CESCM is a partnership of students and higher education staff of
the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Christian Church
(Disciples of Christ), the Episcopal Church, Presbyterian Church
(U.S.A.), United Church of Christ and United Methodist Church.
     "According to CESCM the theme, 'Weave Us Together,' was chosen to
evoke the image of the first people of the Southwest in the United
States," said Lisa Parker, Lutheran Student Movement-USA (LSM-USA)
intern, ELCA Division for Higher Education and Schools.  "The first
people of the Southwest wove blankets to shelter their people, carry
their young, support their eldest and give image to their vision and
hopes," Parker said.
     Through Bible study, keynote presentations, tours, workshops and
worship, students will weave together a new spiritual community that
will support works of justice and give clarity to faith and belief,
Parker said.  About 1,200 students from across the United States and
around the world are expected to attend.
     Keynote speakers include Millard Fuller, founder and president of
Habitat for Humanity International. Habitat volunteers have built homes
with more than 100,000 families in need in more than 1,500 U.S. cities
and 82 other countries.  Another speaker will be Paula McGee, president
of Paula McGee Ministries -- a nonprofit organization whose mission is
to help people discover their calling in life, find personal peace and
     Workshop topics range from social witness and justice to faith and
spirituality.  The event will also feature small group reflection
activities and social events.
     "The gathering is designed to bring together students with a
common Christian heritage to 'celebrate,'" said Parker.  Students from
other faith backgrounds are also invited to attend.
     Parker said members of the ELCA who participate in LSM-USA will
meet during Celebrate's "denominational time" to conduct the business of
LSM-USA and elect new officers -- president, secretary and secretary of
international and multicultural concerns.  About 400 Lutherans from
across the United States are expected to attend.  Four students from
Brazil, Japan, Slovakia and Tanzania are also expected to attend.
     LSM-USA is a national organization of college, university and
seminary students who worship in the Lutheran tradition.  Through the
organization, Lutheran students work to promote the active participation
of students in the life and mission of the Lutheran church on their
campuses, in their communities and as individuals.  The ELCA Division
for Higher Education and Schools supports LSM-USA as an active voice of
students in the larger church through financial and organizational
     LSM-USA's legislative body operates on a regional and national
level. It has a national gathering every December over the New Year's
holiday with opportunities for worship, fellowship, service, faith
exploration and fun.
     Established in 1923 and originally called the Lutheran Student
Association of America, its first gathering was held at Augustana
College, Rock Island, Ill.  The gathering there began the tradition of
an annual national conference.	In 1969, the name of the association
changed to the Lutheran Student Movement-USA.  Led by and for students,
LSM-USA strives to better understand and advance the gospel of Jesus
Christ through the exploration of social and spiritual concerns as the
active voice of students in the church at the regional and national
-- -- --
     Information about the Lutheran Student Movement-USA and
"Celebrate" is available at on the Internet.

For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or NEWS@ELCA.ORG

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