Just to give you a sense of what goes on in our building, let me describe some of the events that transpired last week. On a recent Tuesday afternoon more than a dozen of us met at the Presbyterian campus ministry, which included an interdenominational group of faculty and students, to talk about ways faith intersects with learning. That night we hosted about 50 students for a home-cooked meal. That Thursday, Father Roger Joslin of All Saints’, Bentonville, celebrated the Eucharist with more than a dozen faculty and students, and on Friday a handful of us met for lunch to talk about Emerson’s essay “History”—and I’ve left off the times we’ve met for Morning Prayer!
From the last week of August through the first week of October, we’ve had more than 350 people walk through our doors—students, faculty, staff, and interested college-aged people. Let me quickly break down those numbers: At least 65 college-aged people come to our Tuesday dinners. Last week for dinner we had 15 confirmed Episcopalians, 7 with loose religious affiliation, and 5 self-described atheists/agnostics; the affiliations of the others is unknown to me. Of this group, 13 were graduate students, 16 undergraduates, and 14 were college-aged people not presently in school. A handful of them are international, some are gay, some are transgender, some are strongly conservative, some are strongly liberal. We have students in nearly every school at the university (liberal arts, science, business, health, etc.).
I’m thrilled with how vibrant our ministry has become, and I could go on at length about all the positive activities and connections happening in our building, but I will also say that there is a significant amount of ministry being left on the table due to our limited resources. So I ask you as the Church to seriously consider how you will support what is happening here in the next few years.
We at St. Martin’s do have a message to tell! There is fertile ground to tell it! We must find a way to respond to how the Spirit is moving at the University of Arkansas!
Joshua Daniel, Chaplain