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Meeting People Where They Are

Agape San Diego represents the 70 decade Lutheran•Episcopal presence at San Diego State University. The ministry predates the founding of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego and predates the unification of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Agape has always answered the call to minister with the students, faculty, and staff of SDSU.

Remembering Ash Wednesday; Pastor Darin and I sitting next to a sandwich board reading, “Free Pizza” to which we get variations on the theme of:

Free Pizza, Really? -Really.

What do I have to do? -Nothing.

What’s your deal? -Great question!

We talk, we share, we host, and rest. Andrew, a PoliSci major, shares that he won’t move home this summer because, “honestly dude, I’m too tired.” Andrew echoes a common theme among this year’s seniors. Students who, in past years, would have blazed through to graduate program look forward to a break from the weight of a year of years, get a job, and “check out for a while,” shares JJ, a Sustainability major. This continues to be a season of pushing beyond the limits of what many of us thought possible. Vacations seem like a dream, a weekend free of responsibilities feel necessary, and nothing to do has never felt more welcome.

With a smile, Episcopal Bishop Susan Brown Snook arrives for a time of Ashes to Go on the Campus Green in South Campus Plaza. Our regulars swing by for a slice and conversation and some partake in this ancient tradition of remembering that we are “dust and to dust we shall return.” JJ, the Sustainability major, spins that “we come from earth and we’ll return to her so, until then, what can we do to better connect with her.” After another hour, The Rev. Rebecca Hansen, Rector of St. Dunstan’s Episcopal joins the group as Pastor Darin and Bishop Susan transition to a conversation about mutual ministry and our forthcoming building. Rev. Rebecca connects with students and staff alike as the afternoon sun shines warmly on our tent. Two students walk over, holding Valentine’s flowers, and join us in the shade. Taking a page from Francis of Assisi, we “preach the gospel at all times and, when necessary, we use words.” Jesus is present and we rarely name him.

Worship in buildings is important.

Worship among the people is important.

I’m grateful that our traditions encourage us to meet people where they are.


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