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05Sep 18

Freshman Small Group: One of My Best Decisions in College

Beatrice Tan is a junior and participated in the Freshman small group during her first year at UW Madison. She shared this story at Sunday Worship on September 2nd, 2018. “Hi!” “What’s your name?” “Where are you from?” “Why did you come to Madison?” As we roll into the semester, I am sure that a lot of us have been asked these questions multiple of times. As funny as it sounds, these are actually some of the questions that I have struggled with the most? Malaysia, Taiwan, Hawaii—which one of these am I supposed to answer? I don’t know. To introduce myself here, my name is Beatrice and I am a Junior double majoring in Actuarial Science and Risk Management and Insurance. I was born in Malaysia, raised up in the beautiful island of Oahu, Hawaii, and moved back and forth since then. While it might seem obvious to some…

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21Aug 18

“What I Wish I Knew” – Advice for New Graduate Students

We asked experienced graduate students at UW-Madison what they wished they knew when they started as a new grad student. We hope you can learn from their advice for new graduate students! And this is just some of their wisdom. Come on over to Pres House on Tuesday, September 11 at 7pm for "What I Wish I Knew as a New Grad Student" to meet other grad students, enjoy dessert, and hear first-hand from experienced students what they wish they had known as new graduate students. And check out how to get connected to the Graduate Student Fellowship at Pres House. So here it is: "What I wish I knew" - advice for new graduate students: ON MOVING: What was something you wish you had brought with you to Madison that you didn't? What was something you brought that you didn't need? I wish I brought a bike to Madison. I moved…

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21Aug 18

“What I Wish I Knew” – Advice for Freshmen Students

We asked returning students at UW-Madison what they wished they knew when they started on campus as Freshmen. We hope you can learn from their advice for freshmen students! And this is just some of their wisdom. Come on over to Pres House on Friday, August 31 at 1pm for "What I Wish I Knew as a Freshmen" to meet other freshmen, enjoy Babcock ice cream, and hear first-hand from experienced students what they wish they had known as freshmen. And check out how lots of other ways to get connected at Pres House. So here it is: "What I wish I knew" - advice for freshmen students: ON MOVING: What was something you wish you had brought with you to campus that you didn't? What was something you brought that you didn't need? I brought way too much stuff, be conscious of the size of your new living space! I also…

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16Jun 18

Hope is Born

TBT to “Hope is Born,” a sermon Pastor Erica gave on January 21st, 2018, which retold the story from the Book of Exodus about a ruthless king who created policies to tear children from their parents and the ordinary women who worked to save them; read or listen to it and may you be empowered to be agents of hope in the world. In these challenging times, do you believe that you can change the world? I think you can; let me tell you why through a two chapter story from the Bible, one that specifically plays out in the Book of Exodus yet is timeless, having replayed itself again and again across the ages. Chapter one: A new king rose to power in the nation of Egypt; this king, like many rulers, was intent on increasing his influence and quickly found that fear and blame were effective tools to…

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19Apr 18

In His Own Image – A Poem

Graduate student, Rebecca Jane Bedell, composed this poem for Worship on April 8th, 2018, as Rev. Mark Elsdon preached the sermon, "Is God a Man?" You can listen to her reading the poem at the end of sermon. Rebecca is a candidate in the MFA program at UW Madison. In His Own Image Michelangelo stands crammed against the chapel ceiling, his weight swaying the wooden scaffolding, neck craned back as he frescoes the hands, eyes, and beard of a man he could meet on the streets of the Vatican.  A regal man with traveled eyes. And why not?  By 1508, artists had overcome their awesome fear of depicting God the Father.  So it has been.  Holding a brush, a pen, a keyboard, our imaginations feel a tremble in their climbing muscles, fall back and tumble down the smooth riverbeds of what we know, back into the arms of those we came…

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20Feb 18

Hope Endures – A Reflection from BWAP Louisiana

Hope Endures - A Reflection from BWAP Louisiana by Clare Aeschbacher If you’ve been present in Worship or keeping up with the Pres House blog the past couple of weeks, you’ve already heard some of the stories from the winter Break With A Purpose trip to Denham Springs, Louisiana. First we heard Taya share about ‘hope is born’ and how we saw hope fill Mawmaw, the 80-year-old owner of the house we worked on, as she was able to walk on her new floors for the first time since the flood ruined them in August 2016. Next, Steven shared about hope being tested in Mary, our host at the Fuller Center where we stayed, as she gave away her last towel, but received many more to give away shortly thereafter and as Mawmaw watched the flood waters rise closer and closer to her home, eventually coming in through the floors…

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08Feb 18

Hope is Named – A Reflection from BWAP Louisiana

A Reflection from BWAP Louisiana by Mary Murphy Hope is Named. As I reflected upon this phrase, I pulled out my sketchbook to help me express my thoughts. I resulted in the displayed drawing. I reflected on the stories I heard throughout my trip to Denham Springs, LA and I ended up with three elements of hope--Pain/Darkness, Possibility/Light, and Trust/Community. As I continued to draw, I ended up adding words that resonated with each attribute. While doing so, I asked myself a few questions; What pain did Denham Springs suffer from? What do they hope for? And How did they cultivate those hopes into something tangible?  Today I would like to share two stories that guided me in this artistic reflection. Pain/Darkness and Possibility/Light One particular story stands out to me in this regard is from the daughter of Director of Hospitality (Mary), Her daughter, a high-school sophomore I believe,…

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05Feb 18

Hope is Tested – A reflection from BWAP Louisiana

Hope is Tested - A reflection from BWAP Louisiana by Steven Martell When I think of the phrase “Hope being tested”, I tend to think of the word “Faith”, so when I was asked to speak about a time that hope was tested, I knew I wanted to share a brief story of faith in action. Although there are times in my life when my hope was tested, I discovered through our interactions with the people of Denham Springs, Louisiana, that those who were present during the flood in August of 2016 all had their faiths tested by the difficulties presented by the disaster.For those of you who are unfamiliar with this event, last August there was a large flood that was the result of extensive raining and the inability of the water to drain from the region. This resulted in a flood that had standing water for several days,…

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