Although M.Div. senior Joe Natwick, 25, spent his childhood on the flat, wind-swept North Dakota prairie, he feels particularly at peace in the mountains. In fact, Natwick says he first felt God’s call while camping in the mountains with his church youth group.
“Although many mainline Protestants no longer attend church, many still identify themselves as spiritual, but not in any organized way,” says Lois Malcolm, professor of systematic theology. The recognized terminology is “spiritual but not religious,” or “SBNR.”
On a hot day in early August, F. Phillip Nushann Jr. took a short break from his internship working with refugees through Lutheran Social Services. He carefully packed a large parcel with bottles of hand sanitizer, eardrops, ibuprofen and acetaminophen, and then stopped at a local post office to mail the package to his home in Liberia, hoping that the desperately needed items would arrive within 10 days.
In this issue of Story magazine, you will read about some fascinating ways that alumni and students are stretching their own horizons and making a difference both in the communities they serve and in the larger church and world.
For Luther graduates, a lifetime spent in service to others is common. Whether alumni find their vocation in a standard pastoral setting or serve their communities in another form, giving back remains a key tenet of faith.
The newest version of the Tom Thiets story is called “Serving Beyond Bars”—and it’s about prison ministry. This story is built off an amazing tale about packing meals. However, this particular part of the story wouldn’t exist without years of faithful work and mission trips.