Me? A Pastor?
By Andrew Gerlach (WISCO)
As a first-year student at MLC, standing in an empty dorm room with luggage at my feet, questions filled my head. What am I doing? Isn’t New Ulm kind of small? Will it be boring here? Who am I to become a pastor? Doubts soon faded, and MLC turned out to be much better than I expected. People’s friendliness, delicious cafeteria food (it really is!), and dorm freedom made me simply love it, and it quickly became home. And that last question—“Who am I to become a pastor?” In 1st hour Greek, Professor Wessel gave the answer—xaris and pistos, grace and peace. By myself, I could never be a pastor. It’s only possible through God’s saving grace and the peace he gives. What a privilege—the almighty God, creator of heaven and earth, deigns to use us as his servants. This pastor thing is for all types. After class, as friends hurry off to football, musical, or Student Senate, or later that night as they gather for Halo tournaments, jazz band, or pick-up basketball, I realize that all kinds of guys can become pastors. And MLC’s a great place for this training, because of interested professors, awesome chapel services, great classes, and because of the little things—late night McDonald’s, ping-pong in the Round Table Room, “steak night” in the caf, midnight sledding, pick-up football, jogging in Flandrau, ultimate Frisbee, or just lounging around the dorms.
Where Two or Three Come Together . . . A Word on Worship at MLC By Andrew Gerlach (WISCO) With heads bowed in meditation and hearts lifted in prayer, students sit quietly in the Chapel of the Christ awaiting the evening Compline service. The only sounds are the last few worshipers filtering in and the baptismal font’s quiet flow. Setting aside stress and worry, students come to praise their Lord, and they depart refreshed by the gospel. Whether in Compline’s plaintive melodies, a festival service’s resounding brass, or voices joined in praise on a Tuesday morning, the music always refreshes the spirit. Whether in the triptych’s paintings, the altar set in stone, or the risen Jesus on the croce dipinta, the symbolism always takes the breath away. Yes, worship at MLC is truly a blessing, and it’s easy to see why alumni often miss it the most. And above all, the Word is there—in the creed’s conviction, the liturgy’s timelessness, and the sermon’s reassurance. Only in these truths do the music and symbolism take on their beauty as they edify and glorify. There, united in Christ and focused on “the one thing needful,” the MLC family raises their hearts and voices to their Savior-King.
So, to all you guys out there considering it . . . How’s MLC life? It’s a blast. And to that big question, “Who are you to be a pastor?” Well, xaris and pistos. In his preseminary program, Andrew Gerlach focuses heavily on Spanish. Here he is in Ecuador, where he did an immersion experience. He has also taught English and led Bible class for a year in Mexico.
Paying it forward: I want to have the same impact on my future students that my teachers had on me. Missing Molly: I still get homesick once in a while. What I miss is a nice home-cooked meal, seeing my parents, my dog, Molly, and also my bed. The cure for homesickness is to pray and be with your friends. Your friends here are your new family. Definitely worth it: It is worth coming here. The friendships are awesome, and everyone knows everyone. The atmosphere is not like any other college. Everyone shares the same faith, and it is strong and growing. The faculty, coaches, and friends will make you realize that you will never regret coming to MLC.
w w w . m l c -Sophomore, w e l s . e d uElementary Ed / Secondary Phy Ed
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