Members of the Campus Ministry Collaborative gathered for a Spring summit at Procter Center in March, to learn about each other’s ministries at universities in Athens, Columbus, Cincinnati and Oxford, encourage one another, discuss the diocesan grant-writing process necessary to fund our work and to plan for our popular fall student retreat. The Collaborative is comprised of congregations and ministries that receive grant money from the diocese for campus ministry. Representatives include the Rev. Deborah Woolsey, rector of Good Shepherd in the heart of Ohio University in Athens; the Rev. Alice Connor, coordinator at the Edge House at the University of Cincinnati; Dr. Ellen O’Shaughnessy, executive director of the Downtowners Interfaith Ministry who ministers to Columbus State, CCAD, Columbus Nursing School, Franklin, and De Vry University; the Rev. Sara Palmer, rector of Holy Trinity Church and reaches out to students, faculty and staff at Miami University in Oxford; Erin Rasche from St Matthew’s, Westerville works at Ohio State; the Rev. Jared Talbot of St. Stephen’s and the University Center, Columbus; and Sara Tobe, a doctoral organ student who is the program coordinator at Christ Church in Cincinnati.
We shared our lives, the challenges we each face and the joys also. It was uplifting to listen to the various creative and new projects that each of us have been involved in and to hear the stories of God at work. Sara Palmer shared about a new student who has joined the church and recently came to the weekly Wednesday Student Bible study as we finished reading Ruth. Jared talked about a new service at St. Stephen’s with meditation and Taizé music, a tamale fundraiser and the church providing space for Muslim students to make thousands of sandwiches to feed the homeless. Ellen and Jared talked about the blessing of last year’s joint fall retreat in Columbus, Holy Hike, that included a visit to the state capitol. Ellen is excited about a DC Mission trip in May, and interfaith services. Deborah described the thoughtful genesis of Good Shepherd’s new coffee shop ministry with its delicious Deeper Roots Coffee and employing students and locals. Her series on “The Gospel According to Doctor Who,” sounded fascinating – and the Tardis located outside the church attracted significant attention! Alice has written her second book, How to Human. One student said that she had learned at the Edge House “how to fail with grace,” a beautiful and moving comment.
We are all most grateful for generous grants from the diocese, which pay for choral scholars, priest’s salaries, outreach to students and our fall student retreat. We agreed that grant proposals should be submitted by May 2 and on July 14, we will have a Zoom meeting to distribute the grant monies. The fall retreat will be at a cabin in the Hocking Hills; the theme will be Becoming Beloved Community and the dates will be from October 11 to 13. We will have a balance of rest and activities to get to know one another better.
We are thankful for the fellowship and support we find in the Student Ministry Collaborative and for the leadership of our convener, the Rev. Deborah Woolsey.
Submitted by the Rev. Sara Palmer, rector of Holy Trinity, Oxford