Congregational Council

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.

More than 70 students serve in leadership positions in College Ministries each year through volunteer, work study, and elected congregational council positions. Students provide leadership in all areas of our ministry. 

The Luther Congregational 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 statement from each position is listed below.

Elise Carlson

President

This next year has so much potential in College Ministries at Luther. I am excited to see the ministries that have been created continue to improve and strive to foster better relationships within our community. It is my hope that we can continue to find connections between all the different ministries offered, while working to create new ministries in places of need. I'm excited to see what will come of this year!

Lucas Byl

Vice President

Some of my goals for the year include helping to facilitate community and cooperation between the Luther Congregation and the multitudes of student organizations on campus. From closely related groups like FOCUS, to groups involved with other faith traditions like Interfaith in Action, to the not faith-involved groups that still do valuable service for the community like PRIDE, Active Minds, GrandPALS, and all the groups in between and beyond. In the spirit of a living Christ, who loves all, the Luther Congregation, as part of the heart of this institution, needs to take an interest in and support these groups. I would also love to see the Congregation be even more involved in positive social changes on and off campus as well. We as members of this institution are privileged by our education, and as a member of this Council I am privileged to have tools and resources to help realize goals for change. It would be wrong to not use this privilege to make a positive impact during my year in this position. I especially hope to engage in dialogue with those who may have at one point but no longer attend faith events at Luther and learn what we can do better. Thank you for this opportunity to be a catalyst for positive action, I won't let you down.

Grace Olson

Secretary

I hope that the Luther congregation and community continue to become a more inclusive community for worship and fellowship. I hope to continue to foster an intentional community open to all, no matter the faith background. It is my hope that as serving on the Congregational Council I can increase the number of students who attend morning worship service and chapel and help explore the Lutheran faith in a modern context, in order to aid young Christians who may be exploring the Lutheran faith.

Megan Gmitro

Treasurer

I would like to see the amount of people who are involved with the college ministries community grow by raising more awareness of the different opportunities for worship on campus. College ministries should focus on providing worship opportunities that students enjoy and from which they benefit spiritually when they attend. Although busy Luther students may not see the point in attending worship services, I hope that college ministries is able to provide services that students want to attend so that they feel closer to God. I believe that investing in your relationship with God is the most valuable way to spend your time. I hope for this place to be a church home away from home for students where they will look forward to worshipping within this community and deepening their faith. For me, church has always been a joyful place, and I hope that Luther is that place for its students. Through serving on council as treasurer, I hope to serve Luther and its students while remembering to give God control.

Nicole Kiefer

Deacon of Spiritual Formation

In the next year I hope to see a new kind of community within the Luther College community and campus ministries. A community where people are able to come together and feel comfortable talking about the struggles and challenges they might be facing with faith and religion whether or not they come from this kind of background. I want people to know that whatever struggles or challenges they are facing, Luther College Ministries continues to be a welcoming community that embraces this. I hope to see the congregation council grow together as people of faith that are able to reach out to the Luther and Decorah community in new and exciting ways.

Jessi Labenski

Deacon of Global Concern

Deacon of Community Action

Greta Carlson

My goal for the Luther Congregation and the Luther Community next year is to bring the community closer through service and helping others. I hope to continue to grow Luther Serves as it is a great way to get the community involved with Luther students, staff, and faculty. I also hope that we can help bring the Luther community closer together amid the various faith backgrounds and diversity we have here on campus.

Cody Luebbers

Deacon of Outreach

Through my position as Deacon of Outreach, I hope to build a stronger connection between the Luther College Community and the Luther Congregation. Outreach should be a safe place for students to explore their faith and share their gifts free from judgement. I hope to build on the existing Outreach program to create an environment where students can feel comfortable growing in their faith and practicing leadership.

Erin Keller

Deacon of Worship

Two hopes for the Luther Congregation and the Luther Community I have are to have a more welcoming atmosphere overall and have more collaboration with the FOCUS community. I hope we can make some changes so that more people feel welcome at worship and at other College Ministry events. This means possibly changing up morning worship so people are more attracted to come. Church is a place that everyone should feel welcomed and supported and we need to show the people not already involved in ministry that we care for them too.