We live in a world where there are so many things trying to get our attention. Phone calls, texts, emails, notifications, news alerts, all vying for a spot in our lives, which already feel stretched to the limit. It’s hard not to feel exhausted and drained in this current world.

But when we gather for UKirk, we are invited to take a breath, to find a familiar face, to find a place that welcomes us exactly as we are. It is that atmosphere and hope that has brought me here to serve as the campus minister. It is the feeling that this ministry offers a place set apart, a place to come as you are, a place to feel like home amidst a world that wants to pull you in every other direction.

Throughout the gospels we see Jesus sitting down and creating holy ground with those that gathered. It was simple space, folks gathered around a table, folks seeing the image of God in on another, folks encouraging and being the body of Christ in this world. That is what I have found UKirk to be. Simple, open, deep space, filled with unexpected encounters with Christ already at work in the world.  In a season where there can be language that the church is dying, I have seen just the opposite. At UKirk, students value the sacraments and know the beauty of broken loaf Hawaiian sweet bread, they know that when two or three are gathered, that God is there. It is in this place that we expect the unexpected and rely on the abundant grace of the community of faith and of the Spirit at work.

I am so excited about this new adventure of doing ministry together. The world will always seek to pull our gaze away from one another, away from the gospel work we are a part of, but when we gather around tables to eat together, pray together, and be the body of Christ together, we take a deep breath and remember how important this ministry is. UKirk reminds me how the church is alive in the world and I am cannot wait to see what good work we can do together!

Rev. Rachel Penmore
Campus Minister