First and foremost, a blessed and merry Christmas from all the saints at University Lutheran to all of you. O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!
Second, we want to draw your attention to an opportunity to make a gift to a newly established endowment that benefits the ministry work being done here at the University of Illinois. Up to the first $10,000 given to the endowment is being matched dollar for dollar, through July 1, 2021. Visit the Lutheran Legacy Foundation website for information on how to contribute.
Like everywhere else in the world (literally!), the year of our Lord 2020 was one for the record books here at UniLu.
The year began with the installation of a new pastor, the Rev. Michael Schuermann. He is the sixth pastor to serve the congregation in her almost seventy-year history.
We were able to do a few of our normal spring semester activities: curling, the LCMS U retreat at Indiana University, and our UniLu euchre tournament.
Then, of course, COVID-19 happened…
After a summer of serving the few students and other congregation attendees who were still around, and using the time to do some maintenance inside and out, we welcomed students back for the fall semester of 2020. The University had a strict testing protocol in place for all students, faculty, and staff. While UniLu was not directly subject to these rules, because we are part of the greater University community, we did what we could to provide Word, Sacrament, and Christian life together to everyone as carefully as possible.
Thanks to a grant from the Central Illinois District Church Extension Fund, we were able to put a tent up in the parking lot and purchase tables to use under it. We had a delightful time outdoors throughout the semester, having a weekly meal together each Sunday following the Divine Service…
We also used the tent for Sunday and midweek Bible Studies, and Friday Fun Nights throughout the semester: games, trivia, movies, pumpkin carving, Shakespeare readings, and more!
We were able to get away from campus for one activity during a pandemic lull in October; we visited the amazing Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch for a hayride, wiener roast, reindeer feeding, and corn maze.
Now, here we are at the end of the year 2020, looking forward with hope in God’s care for us in 2021. God’s Divine Service to us continues each week, and we eagerly await the return of students in late January of 2021.
If you are ever in Urbana-Champaign, please stop in and say hello! And if you’re here on the Lord’s Day, please join us for the Divine Service at 10:30 a.m. It’s offered each and every week.
Once again, if you feel so moved, please consider a gift to UniLu in one of two ways: First, an endowment has been established which benefits the work on behalf of the Gospel being done here; Second, you can also contribute to our general fund by sending a check to us at: University Lutheran Church, 604 E. Chalmers St., Champaign, IL 61820.