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Keeping it ‘So Jesus’ with the Lutheran Episcopal Ministry

The campus was pretty quiet this week, but the UMBC Episcopal Lutheran Ministry made sure to lift their voices and express their love for God.

Katrina Grusell, the episcopal preacher for the ministry, gathers students of all faiths every Wednesday in the Mosaic room on the second floor of The Commons. For the Lutheran Episcopal ministry, their motto is “all people and all view-points are welcome.”

Members of the ministry discuss weekly occurrences, pray and learn more about the word of God at the hour-and-a-half long discussions. Stephanie Caracciolo, a junior psychology major, enjoys every moment with her Lutheran Episcopal peers.

“I’m able to get acceptance for what I think,” said Caracciolo. “It’s always a good time.”

Caracciolo explained her impact on the group, specifically her efforts at bringing in new members. One peer that she helped join the ministry was sophomore Joshua Lucker. Lucker, who double majors in math and chemistry, explained how this ministry is a place to come and forget all about burdens throughout the week.

“This is a very nice place to get together and talk about God,” said Lucker. “I definitely feel forgiven after every ministry.”

Laura Sinche, the Lutheran priest of the ministry, said that the ministry “facilitates people spiritually.” The ministry’s new shirts read “SO JESUS” on the back. When the group gets off topic, cries “So Jesus” bring everyone back together and back on topic.

Psychology major Michael Flake always has a good time when he comes to the ministry as well — he especially loves the free food. The ministry makes sure to always have refreshments available for participants. When they’re lucky, the eye-catching dishes even lure in a few new faces from time to time. Some of the regulars actually joined after walking in and seeing food on the table.

The Lutheran program has been on UMBC’s campus for the past 20 years, but the Episcopal, not as long. As a joint ministry, the Lutheran and Episcopal ministry have worshiped together for the past decade.

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts approximately six weeks until Easter, which means group leaders have kept the ministry open to engaging activities, such as partaking in more prayer hours and taking moments of silence every day.

The ministry does not just partake in events on campus, they make sure to spread their word through travel as well. The group also has partnership ministries at both Morgan State and Towson University.

The ministry keeps members abreast of many issues throughout the United States, including topics such as racism and prejudice, by traveling to different states and getting in contact with other churches. Some of the places that the ministry has visited have been New York City, Jacksonville Florida and Alabama. Their next trips will be to Charleston and Columbia South Carolina.

Although some feel that worship is a exclusive and private affair, the Episcopal Lutheran Ministry makes sure its arms are open to everyone and is hoping to grow. Until then, they’ll keep it “So Jesus.”