The regular academic year is over and, as WVU enters
Summer Term, the Lutheran Campus Ministry enters
hiatus until the start of the 2016 Fall Term.
During the summer, we will be available by phone
(304-296-5388) and e-mail
Regular weekly mass is held at St. Paul Lutheran
Church (Evansdale) at 10:00 AM each Sunday. St. Paul
is located on Patteson Drive next to the Arby's.
Members of the academic community are always
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Thinking about the Fall
Believe it or not, the Fall Term is only three
months away. While planning for the new school
year hasn't yet begun in earnest, there are some
things you can count on.
We don't even know when this tradition began, but
we know it will continue. Thirsty students,
faculty, and staff can pause on their stroll along
University Avenue to get a refreshing glass of
lemonade on the Chapel lawn located directly
across the street from the Downtown Campus
Library. Look for the Lemonade Stand on the first
Monday and Tuesday of classes.
Blessing of the Brains
Why wait until exams for Divine intervention. Get
your brains blessed at this festive mass for the
start of the school year. This is usually held the
first Sunday after classes begin. The service
includes prayers for the start of the new academic
year and the opportunity for an individual
blessing. As we like to say, "Be a scholar; don't
be dull. Join us Sunday. We'll bless your skull."
OK, we're guessing that our friends at
Pitt/CMU/Carlow are going to be up for this. If they
are, it will be the fifth annual Backyard
Paintbrawl. No prior experience needed. Equipment
can be rented at the park. Transportation and lunch
provided. It's a a rollicking good time
playing paintball with/against our friends from the
Lutheran University Center Pittsburgh. Lock &
Pilgrimage to Pitt
Since Fall 2000, we've road tripped to Pitt every
semester for compline (night prayer) at Heinz Chapel
with the Pittsburgh Compline Choir, one of the
finest liturgical choirs in the region. Many begin
the pilgrimage with a degree of skepticism, but all
return eager to do it again. Sadly, many don't try
it until their senior year only to say afterwards,
"I wish I had done this when I was a frosh." Yes, it
really is that amazing, transcendent, and sublime.
immediately, we added some extra fun to the
pilgrimage. A stop at Sarris' Candies for ice cream
and chocolate is a must---we nearly had a rebellion
on our hands when this wasn't planned on year. We
also like to find an interesting restaurant and take
in one of the sites.
The Fall pilgrimage has traditionally been
associated with Oktoberfest, meaning delicious
German food in Pittsburgh. Past sites include the
second largest relic collection in the world, The
Phipps Conservatory, Old Economy Village, and The
Center for Post-Natural History.
The 2016-2017 academic year ended with out
traditional series of worship and meals plus a
Daily prayer offices were held, as is our custom,
throughout the exam time. Many outside the campus
environment have asked, "Why do you hold additional
services during a time when students probably want
to study?" Well, we've found that more than few
students enjoy the opportunity to pray and find some
peace and quiet in the midst of exams. The meals at
noon and in the evening (after compline) also prove
we had some added excitement. The incense at
compline set off the smoke detector. An engine from
the Morgantown Fire Department soon
arrived---dispatched from our safety service. This
has only happened three times since the installation
of the current alarm system more than ten years ago.
It has only happened at the end of the Spring Term
and, then, only during exam week. This time, it was
the very last compline of the academic year.
We have nothing but praise for the Morgantown Fire
Department and its speedy and professional response.
We did note that the firefighters seemed somewhat
relieved that it wasn't a couch fire.
End of Year Retreat
A small group from the Lutheran Campus Ministry made
their way to St. Augustine's House, the only
Lutheran Benedictine monastery in the Western
Hemisphere for a few days of retreat. While on
retreat, the pilgrims from WVU participated in the
seven daily prayer offices and mass, Lectio
Divina, the common meals, and silence. Over
the last few years, multiple trips have been made to
the monastery. Think about joining us for this
unique experience. St. Augustine's House is located
in Oxford, MI.
Chaplain Search in Progress
The Board of Directors of the Lutheran Campus
Ministry at WVU is conducting a search for a new
The open application period will close May 31,
2016. Until that time, applicants for
the position of chaplain may submit a letter of
interest. Likewise, anyone is welcome to
nominate/recommend someone for the position. Letters
of interest and/or nominations/recommendations
should be sent to Sampson@LutheranMountaineer.org
with copies to Chaplain@LutheranMountaineer.org and
Bishop@WV-WMD.org. If you have questions, please
feel free to write to those addresses or call
304-296-5388 (The Chapel Office) or 304-680-5388
To download the job description, click here.
To download the accompanying statement of values, click
The board engaged in a deliberate and careful
process over the course of several months aimed at
clarifying the values and principles of the ministry
at WVU. At the same time, they engaged in
reassessment of internal operations with an eye to
strengthening the support structures that undergird
The Rev. Rt. Matthew Lynn Riegel, S.T.M., chaplain
of the Lutheran Campus Ministry from 2000 to 2015,
was elected June 6 by the 2015 Assembly of the West
Virginia-Western Maryland Synod to the office of
synodical bishop. He left the campus ministry to
assume duties in his new position on Sept. 1. Riegel
followed The Rev. Dr. Jerry Robbins who held the
post for 35 years.
The board projects that a new chaplain will be in
place for the start of academic year 2016-2017.
During the interim, LTC (ret.) Matt Sampson has been
serving as campus ministry administrator. Sampson
has been a fixture around the Chapel for the last
several years as participant worship services,
educational, and fellowship programming. Sampson
brings with him tremendous experience as a program
manager and leader, including working directly with
students as Professor of Military Science and
commanding officer of WVU's Army ROTC not too many
years ago. Sampson has primary responsibility for
all back office operations and oversight and
coordination of ministry functions.
During the interim, the students in the Ev. Oblates
of St. Benedict, our initiative to create a Lutheran
Benedictine confraternity at WVU, took the lead in
ensuring that the prayer offices, the principle
support and expression of the spiritual life of the
ministry, continued unabated. Area clergy covered
the evening masses, and Pr. Jerry Kliner, our pastor
remained on call for pastoral care emergencies.
Protestant & Monastic?
A little history
The two concepts are not antithetical, and there
is actually history to support it. Contrary to
popular opinion, Luther did not close the
monasteries. While he had sharp criticisms of what
monasticism had become by his day, we also wrote
several letters defending monastic foundations
from the local political rulers. Some monasteries
and convents actually converted to Lutheranism,
and the vestiges survey to this day in Germany.
Monastic foundations also continued in the
Anglican tradition, and, following W.W.II, a
rebirth of Protestant monasticism took place in
both the Lutheran and Reformed traditions.
So, what's that got to do with WVU?
In 2014-2015, we committed to the formation of a
confraternity, a local group of people who desire
to enter into a deeper, more disciplined
spirituality shaped by daily prayer, study of the
Word, Christian fellowship, and growth in
sanctification as informed by the Lutheran and
The confraternity is open to men and women,
students, faculties, staff, and members of the
local community. Before joining, one can explore
life in a confraternity as a guest, and then as an
aspirant and postulant, without making formal
addition to the mutual support of the confratres
in things spiritual, the confraternity will also
provides devotional resources, periodic communal
meals, an option for religious housing, and the
opportunity to make retreats in a Lutheran
When does this begin?
We already have. Seven enrolled as postulants at
the end of the first fortnight of Fall Term 2015.
Since then, attrition is normal in a collegiate
environment. Two remain residential on campus.
Another graduated but remains connected though in
Charleston. A fourth remains connected from Japan.
The remaining three have pursed alternative
Who does one get involved? If you are interested
(or merely curious), feel free to join in the
prayer services and various aspects of oblate life
as a guest. We'd also be happy to send you a copy
of the customary, answer any questions you might
have, or meet with you. Drop us a line
(Monk@LutheranMountaineer.org) or call us
this about housing?
Lutherhaus became an "oblate house" (or
"confraternity house") with the start of the
2015-2016 academic year. As a privilege and aid to
oblate life, members of the confraternity have the
option, limited by availability, of living in Lutherhaus.
Located directly behind the Chapel, Lutherhaus is
one block from the Beechhurst PRT and two from the
Mountainlair. Residential membership fee for the
oblate house is $600 per month (utilities included)
with a $50 rebate if no vehicle is brought by the
resident. Lutherhaus can lodge seven. Each
resident gets a private semi-furnished bedroom.
There are three shared baths and shared kitchen,
living, and dining rooms.
Housing agreements can be made for an entire year,
the summer, or a single semester. Sometimes
additional rooms open up as students opt for
overseas studies or graduate mid-year.
The Lutherhaus will be closed during the
2016-2017 academic year for renovations.
Nevertheless, start thinking ahead for housing next