Congregational Council

Congregational Council 2014-2015

More than 70 students serve in leadership positions in College Ministries each year through volunteer, work study, and elected congregation council positions. Students provide leadership in all areas of our ministry. We invite you to consider offering your gifts by serving in a leadership position in College Ministries.

Meet the Congregational Council for 2014-2015:

President: Makayla Marinack
Vice President: Annē Wermedal
Secretary: Ashley Meyers
Treasurer: Matt Freburg
Deacon of Community Action: Brett Blattner
Deacon of Global Concerns: Carter Johnson
Deacon of Outreach: Elena Zarecky
Deacon of Spiritual Formation: Gifty Arthur
Deacon of Worship: Claire Seitzinger

As a community of faith, the Luther College Congregation seeks to be a place of Christian hospitality, celebrating the diverse gathering of the Body of Christ through its commitment to ecumenical conversation and partnership. As a Lutheran congregation, we also bear a calling to communicate our Lutheran identity. Serving on the Student Congregation Council requires a commitment to Christ’s ministry and support of the Luther Congregation and Luther College as ministries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

The Luther Congregation Council meets throughout the year (Tuesdays at 9:40 a.m.) to discuss, plan, and lead the ministry of the Luther Congregation. Each of these positions requires a significant commitment of time and energy. A brief summary of each position is listed below. 

Makayla Marinack

President

As president of the Congregational Council, Makayla leads meetings, sets agenda with input from other council members and campus pastors, and represents Congregation at Board of Regents' meetings, Student Senate, and other groups as needed.

“I served as Deacon of Community Action last year and really enjoyed serving our Luther congregation. I have helped lead worship on campus through assisting minister and ushering roles. I have a vision of the Luther Congregation being a healthy environment for faith and learning. I hope worship provides a comfortable place for people of all backgrounds to gather, but our congregation also encourages growth and looking at faiths through new and different perspectives. Above all, we share God's love with one another.”

Annē Wermedal

Vice President

As Vice President, Annē represents the Congregation in lieu of president, and serves as a liaison for College Ministries groups such as: Catholic Student Community, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Student Group, Muslim Student Association and Allies, and the Interfaith Student Association.

“I am an active member of the Luther Student Congregation by attending weekly worship, chapel, and FOCUS services. I am also a member and Student Coordinator of Luther’s Gospel Choir, a choir sponsored by Campus Ministries and the Diversity Center. This fall, I served with many other Luther students in the Fall Fling service project and I have served as a lector in Sunday church services on campus. I want our congregation to continue keeping God at the center of our lives through ministry opportunities at Luther College. I know we have the ability to reach an even greater amount of people for His glory, and I pray we will be able to find new ways to learn more about Him. I think we should continue making our worship services welcoming and seek ways to make our services feel more like Luther student’s home congregations.”

Ashley Meyers

Secretary

As secretary, Ashley keeps minutes and records for the Congregation and Council, and handles correspondence for the Council.

“I was a Sunday school teacher in my home congregation for the better part of my school career. There, I was also involved in plays, choir, and Vacation Bible School. I also represented my congregation at the Synod-wide gathering when we elected our first female bishop. Here at Luther, I am currently involved in Outreach. One of the major challenges facing Luther Congregation's ministry right now is how to exist in a changing environment that is becoming more and more secular; or at least not involved in organized religion. I found this to be true of Luther College as we have to ask ourselves some serious questions concerning our religious identity. My goal and vision for the Luther Congregation's ministry is to rise to that challenge with conviction, but also with respect, open mindedness, gentleness, acceptance, compassion, and love as we are called to do as Christians.”

Matt Freburg

Treasurer

As treasurer, Matt keeps financial records for the Congregation and raises awareness about stewardship, handles deposits, offerings, and writes check requests for the Congregation, and reports financial updates to the Council.

“I have helped out with offerings at my home congregation in the past, as well as at Luther College as an usher for Sunday morning worship services. I want the Luther Congregation ministry to establish a successful religious atmosphere where anybody, regardless of their faith and faith stability, can feel at ease to serve and praise God in any way they feel called to do.”

Gifty Arthur

Deacon of Spiritual Formation

As Deacon of Spiritual Formation, Gifty coordinates the formation of Bible Study, book discussion groups, and plans special events throughout the year. This position has a high time commitment at the beginning of each semester forming groups and gathering resources. 

“I have been the Bible Study Leader for FOCUS 2013-2014, the Youth President at International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) - Ghana, a Bible Study Leader at Covenant Family meetings (ICGC), and a member of the FOCUS prayer team. It my aspiration that with the help of the Holy Spirit, I would be able to revive the passion for learning and the application of the Word of God to personal lives through Bible Studies."

Brett Blattner

Deacon of Community Action

As Deacon of Community Action, Brett coordinates service projects of the Congregation including: Fall and Spring Fling and Adopt-a-Grandparent.

"During the fall semester, I was in t.r.e.c. at Luther. In my home congregation, I was a youth leader who helped coordinate events and fundraisers. One of my main goals for Luther is for more people to find ways to incorporate God into their life and allow him to be a source of joy and happiness. My vision is that we can build communities of people that will extend out into the world to represent the love of God through their faith in Jesus. I also hope we can create an environment on campus where these people can live out their faith.”

Carter Johnson

Deacon of Global Concerns

As Deacon of Global Concerns, Carter coordinates monthly meetings with Concern's group leaders, serves as a liaison to the Congregation and groups, directs resources and information to appropriate groups, and assists in planning events as requested.

“I would love to see Luther's ministry reach out and make a difference in the lives of those who do not have access to the wealth of resources we encounter on a daily basis. As a school that embraces religious diversity, we have a powerful atmosphere of dynamic faiths that we can call upon to better understand religious and cultural issues around the world. These collections of faiths brings forth numerous strengths, but also may present challenges with interfaith differences, as well as when inter-Christian opinions conflict. It is the future of the church to meet these differing viewpoints and embrace their reconciliation through the example of Christ.”

Elena Zarecky

Deacon of Outreach

As Deacon of Outreach, Elena coordinates the Outreach Ministry of the Congregation, in coordination with College Ministries staff, the Outreach Assistant (a work-study position), and team leaders. The Deacon of Outreach establishes teams and leaders, coordinates outings, plans a fall outreach retreat (and possibly other retreats in J-term or spring), leads Outreach leaders meetings, plans Closing Vespers, and plans in-reach opportunities on campus. Together with the Outreach Assistant, the Deacon of Outreach also serves as a liaison between churches and team leaders.

“I have been involved in college ministries at Luther for a year now—I'm a co-leader of HUGS (an Outreach group). My goal for the Outreach program is to create and sustain a faithful, safe, and loving environment for anyone to come to and participate in. I see myself condensing Outreach groups so we don't have as many groups of only 4-5 people, but rather larger groups of maybe 10-15. I feel like this would be more effective when planning for outings and weekly small group. I see recruiting people as being the biggest challenge. By having that faithful, safe, loving environment, I hope to draw more people into the program, and not have the issue of not having enough people.”

Claire Seitzinger

Deacon of Worship

As Deacon of Worship, Claire coordinates student involvement in the worship life of the community. Together with the Worship Volunteer Coordinator (a work-study position), the Deacon of Worship coordinates the scheduling and training of worship leaders (ushers, lectors, and communion servers) for Sunday morning worship. The Deacon of Worship also attends weekly Sunday worship planning meetings and works with College Ministries staff to plan schedules, train leaders, and send information and weekly reminders to leaders.

“At Luther, I am an active member of the Gospel Choir, and within that, I help to recruit new members, especially at the activities fair. I also have ushered in the on-campus Sunday morning service frequently over the past two years. A goal I'd like to set for the ministry would be to continue to be a place that is welcoming for all people, but also have the services feel like a home congregation for those seeking one.”