Category Archives: Campaign

Your Shopping Can Help ULC

You can support ULC when you shop on Black Friday and throughout the Christmas shopping season. Go to and Amazon will donate a portion of the money you spend to University Lutheran Chapel. Amazon Smile works just like the regular In fact it is the regular 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.


Reformation Matching Challenge Met!

A very big thank you to everyone who contributed during the month of October. You helped us meet the challenge to raise $50,000 in honor of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The totals are in! $54,618.45 was given in response to the challenge. The matching funds have also been received IN FULL (!!!) bringing the total donated for the 500th to $104,618.45. We are constantly amazed at the generosity of our fellow Christians and the strong support shown to ULC and our new chapel project. Thanks be to God for each one of you and for your continued support of His work at the U of M!

Almost half way there!

Half full or half empty – whichever way you see it, we are delighted with the response to the $50,000 matching challenge for October. With a little over two weeks to go until Reformation Day to meet the $50K challenge, we are almost half way there. As of October 15, $21,268.97 has been given to meet the goal set out by our matching donor. If you have contributed, thank you so very much! If you haven’t yet, now is the time to make your gift toward building the new chapel count for double!

You can contribute now by clicking the donate now button to the right or by visiting the support page on where you can also view the latest updates to our fundraising efforts and construction progress.

Reformation Matching Challenge

In celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, a generous donor has offered to match all gifts received to the Build-it-Back Fund dollar for dollar though the end of October up to $50,000! This is a great time to give thanks to God for the Gospel so freely proclaimed among us by helping us proclaim that Gospel at the U of M with your contribution to the building of the new University Lutheran Chapel!

You can contribute now by clicking the donate now button to the right or by visiting the support page on where you can also view the latest updates to our fundraising efforts and construction progress.

Support ULC Through Amazon Prime Day Purchases

Amazon’s Prime Day is here! Deals start at 9:00 pm ET tonight, July 10 and run through July 11. Prime Day is one of the biggest shopping days of the year.

When you #StartWithaSmile on #PrimeDay, Amazon donates to University Lutheran Chapel. Shop for great deals at

You can support ULC with your Amazon purchases by going through any day of the year too! Its super easy, even if you already have items in your cart.

December Matching Challenge Met!

Thank you to everyone who has been supporting the Build-it-Back project for the new chapel at the U of M. I am pleased to report that in December ULC received nearly $100,000 toward the project ($97,576). Around $60K of this was monies received in fulfillment of previous pledges. The rest was comprised of new gifts, several from first-time supporters of the project.

We had set an ambitious goal of raising $500K in pledges and gifts in 2016. We fell a little short of that goal, but are so very thankful for the generous support of all of our friends, alumni, members and other donors. Our fundraising total for 2016 was $346,670. Of that amount, $200,665 was received outright, the rest being pledges that will be fulfilled over the next 2-3 years. These amounts do not include the $500,000 district grant which was also presented to us in December.

You can keep up with the chapel project and funding by visiting the Construction Update page. And again, thank you for your prayers for and contributions toward the new chapel!

Progress Reports Available

You can now follow our progress more closely online. In addition to our blog posts here, there will be a monthly update on Build-it-Back fundraising and on the construction of the new chapel at the regular ULC website, There is also a direct link to the progress report page at right on this blog, just under the Martin Luther Donation button. We hope this will help everyone supporting the new chapel project have a better idea of just where things stand as we get ever closer to making the chapel plans reality!

ULC Receives $500K Grant from MNS District for New Chapel

It has been in the works for a while, but we are excited to announce that last week the Minnesota South District Board of Directors approved a campus ministry grant of $500,000.00 to ULC to help us build the new chapel at the U of M. The motion to approve the grant, which was part of a larger campus ministry plan for the entire District, passed unanimously at the May 3rd meeting. What a difference four years and having new, supportive District leadership can make!

(I know many of you will ask, so I’ll say this up front: this is a no-strings-attached grant to help us build. ULC will still be the sole owner of the property.)

The $500K grant that ULC will receive is a portion of the monies the MNS District has been holding for the sake of campus ministry since the sale of the old ULC chapel and the campus chapel at Mankato State University. With no campus ministry plan passed at the 2012 convention, and a complete change of leadership with the retirement of former DP Lane Seitz and the election of Rev. Dean Nadasdy at the same 2012 convention, the question of what to do with the money loomed large at the 2015 district convention. You may recall that a resolution was passed (with overwhelming support) directing the District leadership to come up with a comprehensive plan for campus ministry for the entire District, but with special emphasis on the ministries at the U of M (ULC), Mankato State, and Concordia St. Paul, and with attention to ULC’s need for a permanent place of worship. A campus ministry committee was formed of campus pastors and other campus workers, and then a smaller working committee, of which I was a part.

renderings on titleblocks.psdA plan was drafted by that smaller working committee and, with the support of President Nadasdy and our MNS mission exec, Rev. William Utech, went before the missions committee, and then up the chain to the Board of Directors, where it was approved! This campus ministry plan will be a help to many campuses in our District, and especially to ULC as we look to break ground on the new chapel later in 2016 (God willing!). For this we give thanks to Christ, who continues to so very graciously care for His flock at ULC and to uphold the mission of bringing the Gospel to the students of the U of M.

If you’ve taken the time to look over our new Build-it-Back Prospectus you will see that this $500K grant is but one part of the funding needed to make the new chapel a reality (its listed as “requested grants” under Sources of Additional Funding). But this grant puts us on the home stretch. We hope you will consider supporting the Build-it-Back project by making a pledge today. ULC Pledge card  You can also contribute online by clicking the “Donate Now” Luther picture on this page.

The new chapel is finally within reach! By God’s grace and with your help it will happen.


New Build-it-Back Prospectus Available

Prospectus PicA newly updated Prospectus is now available. In it you will find information, much of it new or updated, about our plan to build a new chapel at the U of M, including information on:


  • ULC’s campus ministry and its impact on the Church at large
  • The location of the new chapel
  • Chapel architecture, design and drawings
  • Progress on our fundraising
  • Statistics about the health of ULC
  • Ways to support the project

Please take a few minutes to download and peruse!

We also humbly ask you to consider contributing to the new chapel project by making a pledge of support over the next three years. (ULC Pledge card). By gathering pledges we can more easily secure a building loan and move the project along more quickly.

Of course contributions of any kind or size are welcome! You can give directly by clicking the “Donate Now” Luther picture on this page. Thank you for your consideration and support!



Wandering in Place

By Pastor Kind

Purple Onion
The Purple Onion Cafe in Dinkytown – one of my favorite lunch spots

About once a week I eat lunch at the Purple Onion Cafe in Dinkytown, just a few blocks away from Luther House. Its a great place, filled with students and profs and other university types. When I go to the Onion I always bring along something to read – something theological – something that doesn’t have anything to do with the class I’m teaching or the sermon I’m working on – something to be read for its own sake. Lately that something has been Hermann Sasse’s Letters to Lutheran Pastors.

Today I was reading a letter Sasse, who had left Germany and was then serving as a professor of theology in Australia, wrote in 1950 entitled Ecclesia Migrans, “the wandering Church.” In this letter Sasse makes the point that all Christians are wanderers: “wandering through countries and continents, through nations and races, through civilizations and eras of human history” (Letters to Lutheran Pastors, Vol. 1, p.200). History, he argues, has shown this to be true. The Church thrives for a while in one locale, then migrates to another never to return to the first. And this, Sasse says, is not strange, but helps to illustrate the nature of the Church as a heavenly, rather than merely an earthly institution. He gets this concept of the wandering Church from the New Testament which describes the Church and her Christians as sojourners, as pilgrims, as citizens of another realm – “In the world, yet not of the world,” our Lord says.

Hermann Sasse

And yet, because the Church is in the world, she puts down roots, albeit temporary roots, in it. How can the Church influence the world without doing so? While she has no abiding city (Heb. 13:14), she still is active in and dwells in the earthly city, and as long as faith abides in that city, remains there. One thing Sasse said struck me in particular in light of the trends of today that argue that Churches do not need to be attached to a particular place, or have property and buildings and such, in order to fulfill their mission (being “missional” is the current catch phrase). He said: “Nothing more clearly reveals the earnestness with which the Church of Christ carries out its commission to go ‘into the world’ and to work ‘in the world’ than the tenacity with which the Church endeavors to strike roots in a given district, nation, or locality. What a temptation it must have been for the primitive church, with its keen awareness of being the wandering people of God, to roam nomadically about the world and quickly pass on the Gospel to all people” (p.205).

And yet it was not a temptation to which the Church succumbed. The apostles went into the world and established congregations in the cities and locales they visited. Those congregations remained in place so long as faith in the Word and grace of Christ remained in those places. They received or purchased land. They built buildings – great buildings even! Sasse says: “the Church already in ancient times becomes possessed of landed interests. In the eyes of men, landed property becomes the most valued earthly possession of the Church. It is more than an aftereffect of a late-ancient and medieval framework of economy that churches today are still property owners; also that they make every effort to compensate for the great losses which they have suffered in this respect… Underlying this is not merely a lust for power but also the realization… that the Church can influence the world only when she actually enters into the world, as her Lord and Master did and as He expects His church to do…” (p.205-206). In other words, it is important for the church to claim a piece of this world to call her own, even if only for a while, to lay down shallow roots, to be landed and to build. Why? Because she has been put in the world to bring the grace of Christ into the world through her preaching and her liturgical and sacramental life in the world. Claiming a place is a natural part of bringing the Gospel to that place. And that mission is accomplished more easily when there is a particular place from which the Church can do it, and to which people may be drawn. The Church is meant to wander in place. Until that place will have her no more.

Dinkytown 1The place where ULC wanders in place is Dinkytown USA, adjacent to the University of Minnesota. Like the Purple Onion cafe, Dinkytown itself is a place full of students – not just Minnesotans, but students from all around the world – and full of profs and other university types too. It is a place where the students, the pastors, and the members of ULC, have confessed the Gospel since 1925. It is where we have chosen to lay down our roots while we wander this earth.

Dinkytown 2Sasse also says: “we are reminded that it was a great misunderstanding to suppose that our churches and our congregations would necessarily maintain their status quo unto Judgment Day. To be “in the world” certainly means to stand where God has placed us and to maintain our stand to the very end. But it does not mean that God could not allow the place were we stand to be smashed to bits” (p.208)

Dinkytown 3

How well we know it! 

And yet we do not for a minute believe that we have reached “the very end” of our stand in Dinkytown and at the University of Minnesota. What God has allowed to be smashed to bits, He is also, it appears, allowing to be rebuilt. The roots have been shifted only 1 ½ blocks away. Our wandering in this place is not quite over yet.

As we are nearing ground-breaking (likely this Fall!), I ask you to help us lay the roots a little deeper and Build-it-Back.