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[Pacific Lutheran Scene]

Leadership and Service

PLU pastors help shape Campus Ministry


LEADERS IN FAITH: Nancy Connor (left) and DennisSepper (right) welcome to the PLU campus MarkHanson, new churchwide Bishop of the ELCA.

By Noreen Hobson '99

As the directors of Campus Ministry, Nancy
Connor and Dennis Sepper, the husband
and wife who have offered their talents to the PLU community as pastors for the last seven years, must take on many roles-spiritually and administratively. But they eventually want to be remembered for their pastoral care. "We want our legacy to be that 'they're just darn good pastors,'" Sepper says.

The programming schedule of a Campus Ministry ebbs and flows. Each year unique personalities, needs and wants have to be met specifically. The principles of Lutheran higher education guide Sepper and Connor as they create services to meet those needs.

"We operate so that if Nancy and I left tomorrow, things would continue on the same path."
The pastors, who have no plans to leave PLU, offer personal qualities and passions that could not easily be replaced. From ministering through crises, to the countless weddings they have performed, their presence at PLU has nurtured the path that Campus Ministry currently walks. Previously pastors at separate Lutheran congregations, they enjoy the freedom of university life that allows them to try new things. Connor is enthusiastic about the "resources for music, speakers and perspectives" you can find within the community.

It is those diverse perspectives that can bring about challenges and growth. Even when it seems most difficult, they insist on holding together the diversity of religious expression on campus. Connor tells the community, "there's a place for your voice."

Sepper stresses the importance of teaching students that controversial subjects can be strengthening to growing faith. "Dialogue helps you solidify your own views."

Both see a great deal of hope in what the next few years will bring to Campus Ministry at PLU. Technology will likely be a part of the future of the department, with Web site updates and plans for online prayer chains and daily devotionals. It may also play a role in the Eastvold and Tower Chapel restoration in the years ahead.

"We're looking forward to the opportunity to help shape what that very special place on campus will be like," Sepper said.



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