Goal met and exceeded! Thank you!

Fantastic news from our financial secretary: ULC received just a little over $81,000 in response to our $25K Advent Build-it-Back matching challenge (including the match). Thanks be to God for all of those who support our congregation and the work that takes place here!

The money raised will help us pay down the debt on our mortgage and continue to improve and beautify the new chapel at the U of M. Be sure to follow us on Facebook or at our main website, ulcmn.com, to keep up with the latest news, updates, and events at ULC.

$25,000 advent & christmas Matching fund challenge

We are blessed again as we approach the Advent season to look to the coming of our Savior in remembrance, in Sacrament, and on the last day. Even though churches have had to adjust (sometimes greatly) to the conditions of the pandemic, we rejoice that our Savior has not withdrawn either His Gospel or His gracious Presence from us. And we are reminded that in spite of worldly danger and trouble, He is present among His congregation; and His Church remains a haven of life-giving forgiveness, peace and strength for His people.

This is the reason we give thanks for the new ULC chapel at the U of M. It is a beacon of that forgiveness and peace of Christ in the midst of a very troubled world – for students, and for the greater community.

We are also blessed again this Advent to put before you a challenge, from a generous donor, to give to the Build-it-Back fund during this holy season. Every dollar received between now and January 1 will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to a total of $25,000!

What a great time to show your ongoing support or the new University Lutheran Chapel and the ministry of the Gospel to students at the University of Minnesota. To donate, you can send a check to us at 316 10th Ave SE, Minneapolis MN, or donate online through our web portal. And may our Lord grant you and most blessed season of peace in these troubled times.

$20K Challenge Met and More!

A very big thank you to all of you who contributed to our Build-it-Back fund throughout December. Not only did we receive enough contributions to receive the full $20,000 in matching funds, but more than double the amount needed for the match! As a result, over $60,000 were added to the Build-it-Back fund last month: money that will be used to improve the new chapel and to lower the amount ULC will have to take out in mortgage (once the building loan is converted.) We thank God for the generosity of our donors, and for granting us to have a chapel again at the U of M campus.

Christmas Decorating

This past week some two dozen students and members of ULC gathered together on Friday evening to decorate the sanctuary of the new chapel. A common occurrence in churches around the country, it was very special for ULC as it was the first time we have been able to put up Christmas decorations since 2011. What a blessing it is to have a chapel on campus in which to worship Christ who became incarnate to save us, and to celebrate His incarnation with brothers and sisters in the Faith.

2019 Christmas Decorating 1
Let there be lights. 

2019 Christmas Decorating 2
Sorting through the box of chrismons – all handmade by ULC folks and carefully stored away these past 8 years. 

$20,000 Advent & Christmas Gift Matching

Christmas gifts on the wooden backgroundChristmas is often called a time for giving. As Christians we know that Advent and Christmas are actually more about receiving than giving: receiving the prophecies of the coming Messiah, receiving the gifts that the Messiah has won for us and bestows upon us through His Church, receiving the message of His coming again, receiving the proclamation of His birth anew as we celebrate His incarnation, life and work among men for salvation. We receive so very much from the hands of our Savior! And during these seasons we rejoice in what He gives us.

But it is also proper give in response to the gifts we receive. This year I present you with a wonderful opportunity to help us fund the newly dedicated University Lutheran Chapel. A generous donor has offered to match every gift received into the Build-it-Back Fund by the end of December dollar for dollar up to $20,000!

And we still need your help. The chapel has been built, and is now in use; but it is in need of some finishing touches. There’s a sacristy lacking cabinetry, a vestry in need of a wall (yes, a wall!) and storage cabinets, a choir loft in need of risers, and the list goes on! This year we also hope to be able to begin work on a communion rail and a new pulpit to improve both the seeing and hearing of the sermon. And there’s the expense of servicing the mortgage, which, though small in terms of most mortgages for the new construction of churches, is large in terms of a campus congregation’s resources.

Now is a great time to give and to show your ongoing support or the new University Lutheran Chapel and our ministry to students at the University of Minnesota. To donate, you can send a check to us at 316 10th Ave SE, Minneapolis MN, or donate online through our web portal. And may our Lord grant you and most blessed season of receiving His gifts.


Chapel Completed and Dedicated

On September 8, 2019, the new University Lutheran Chapel was dedicated over two worship services, one a Divine Service on Sunday morning, the other an afternoon Vespers service. Over 500 students, members, alumni, parents, donors and other friends attended. The services were followed by a very festive celebration at Luther House that continued well into the evening.

The chapel itself was dedicated at the morning Divine Service using a rite combining the best elements from the Lutheran Service Book Agenda supplemented by elements from the broader history of LCMS worship – including portions from Lutheran Worship Agenda (1984), The Lutheran Agenda (1950?) and Liturgy and Agenda (1936), – from the even broader history of the western rite, and from the ancient Church.

The service began on the sidewalk outside of Luther House despite the incessant drizzle that morning. After a brief address and a prayer, the whole congregation moved in procession to the four corners of the chapel building while either choir or congregation chanted Psalms 87, 20 and 84. At each corner the building was blessed and sanctified by the pastor and a prayer was said: first, that evil continually be driven out of this place by God, second that God would hear the prayers of His people offered up in the chapel, third that the chapel would be a sign of the Gospel to the community, and finally that people who are seeking God would receive forgiveness of sins and eternal joy in the chapel.

Next the procession moved to the doors of the church, which were still firmly shut. There another collect was said asking that those who enter the chapel may, by God’s help, please Him with their worship and, by His grace, receive salvation. Then the pastor knocked up the doors with the base of the processional crucifix. This was followed with a portion of Psalm 24, demanding entrance to the chapel and that the doors be opened to the congregation in the name of Christ.

P. Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in.

Voice from within the chapel:  Who is this King of glory?

P. The Lord strong and mighty. 

P. Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in.

Voice from within the chapel:  Who is this King of glory?

P. The Lord strong and mighty. The Lord mighty in battle.

P. Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in.

Voice from within the chapel:  Who is this King of glory?

C: The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory. Open! Open! Open!

As the congregation shouted the words “Open! Open! Open!” the doors of the chapel were flung wide at last. The threshold was blessed, and the congregation entered. This first portion of the liturgy was intended to be very public, and somewhat of a spectacle, for the sake our University neighborhood, that they may see that something special was happening and that a new church was now open for the proclamation of the Gospel in their midst.

Once inside, Veni Creator Spiritus, the traditional hymn sung at the dedication of churches, was sung in English (LSB #498) while the pastor blessed the interior walls of the chapel building. The font (donated by the now defunct Lamb of God Lutheran Church) and organ were blessed next, followed by the singing of the Kyrie and the first public sounding of the new Rodgers Organ! Next, the altar, rebuilt using the black marble from the altar of the old ULC chapel, was dedicated with prayer, and then anointed with oil and incense while Psalm 23 was chanted by the congregation. New paraments designed and created especially for the occasion were also dedicated and the altar was vested.

The Divine Service continued as usual with the Gloria in Excelsis, Salutation and Collect, Readings and chanted responses (including a festive alleluia verse sung by a festival choir made up of alumni, students, members and friends), and the Nicene Creed. The Hymn of the Day was “Build on the Rock,” the hymn whose text so dominated the closing service of the old chapel using a festive setting composed by our own Jacquelyn Magnuson. After the hymn, the pulpit (also donated by Lamb of God Lutheran) was dedicated and then mounted by our own pastor who delivered a sermon on I Kings 8:22-30, the dedication of the Temple of Solomon.

The liturgy continued according to the normal rite throughout the rest of the service and the distribution of the Sacrament of the Altar. During the communion, Psalm 122 was chanted by the chapel choir, and the hymns were sung: “Here, O My Lord, I See Thee Face to Face” LSB #631, “Holy God, We Praise Thy Name” LSB #940, “The Gifts Christ Freely Gives” LSB #602, “Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word” LSB #655, and “O Jesus, Blessed Lord to Thee” LSB #632. The recessional hymn was LSB #644, “The Church’s One Foundation,” followed by an organ postlude “Toccata and Fugue on Holy God, We Praise Thy Name,” written by Jeffrey Blersch and performed by Jacquelyn Magnuson who also led the festival choir and played organ throughout the service. The chapel choir was led by our regular choir director, Jeff Brueske. There was also a sextet of brass and tympani.

The afternoon Vespers service was a more basic service, but was equally joyful and full of music, including both choirs and all of the instrumentalists who played at the morning service. Blessing was spoken by our Minnesota South District President, Rev. Dr. Lucas Woodford. And the sermon was given by our beloved former pastor, Rev. Prof. John T. Pless. After the service greetings were given to the congregation by President Woodford on behalf of the District and by Rev. Marcus Zill on behalf of LCMS campus ministry.

We were so happy to have many students (some of them attending for the very first time!), alumni and supporters join us for what was a truly joyous day, and a monumental day for the life of our congregation. People came from around the nation, some flying from as far as California, Texas and Massachusetts just to be there. There were alumni from every decade of ULC’s ministry since the late 1940’s, including even one who was at the dedication of the old ULC chapel! And there were many dear friends who have upheld our congregation in their prayers the past seven years, and many who donated generously to make our new chapel a reality.

The congregation of University Lutheran Chapel has now been worshipping in the new chapel for several weeks. We have met and worshipped with dozens of new students and a few new families too. We have seen joy on the faces of our long-time members. So far the chapel is loved by all, even as we work out the inevitable kinks that come with settling in to a new place. We are thankful to our Lord for this wonderful house of worship; and we pray that His Gospel may ring forth from the new chapel for many generations.

(Photos below)

P.S. It has been a long time since we’ve updated this page. Our apologies to all of you who have been following our progress and have been wondering how the project has fared. We thank you for your steadfast support.






Structure Going UP!

We’ve seen quite a bit of activity since the last post here. Those of you following ULC on Facebook have seen a few pics along the way, but here as an update from today. Foundations have been laid, some utility work done and now the structure is rising! I was able to actually walk through the future building today and for the first time actually imagine what it will be like to stand in the finished chapel. Very exciting indeed!

Please pray with us for construction to move forward smoothly. And if you’d like to contribute to the building of the new chapel please click the button in the right column of this page.


Construction Delayed Until Spring

As some of you have already heard, construction of our new chapel has been delayed due to issues in getting our building permits from the City of Minneapolis. Recent decisions by the city’s plan reviewer have resulted in issues that could add well over $100K to the cost of construction. While we are hopeful that these issues will soon be settled, the delay has pushed our potential construction start date deeper into the cold months of winter. Beginning construction now would also add significantly to costs (due both to the costs of working in winter and to the reluctance of contractors to bid on the job.) So we have decided both to reconsider the aspects of the chapel design that are causing difficulty with the city’s plan reviewer and to delay construction until the early Spring.

While we are so very eager to get our new chapel built, we are also eager to be cost conscious and to use the resources the Lord has entrusted to us wisely. We ask for your continued prayers as we work through the issues with the City’s plan reviewer, and that all moves forward smoothly, that the new chapel at the U of M be erected as soon as possible.

Your Shopping Can Help ULC

You can support ULC when you shop on Black Friday and throughout the Christmas shopping season. Go to smile.amazon.com/ch/41-0789399 and Amazon will donate a portion of the money you spend to University Lutheran Chapel. Amazon Smile works just like the regular Amazon.com. In fact it is the regular Amazon.com. You can even sign on when you already have items in your cart and it will remember you. With the amount of online shopping we now do for Christmas, why not use Amazon Smile and help ULC’s new chapel project? I know I will be.

Building a New LC-MS Chapel at the U of M