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10May 21

Learning Who I Want to Be ~ Silas Setterstrom

Silas Setterstrom shared this reflection on May 2nd, 2021 at Graduation Sunday. You can also watch or listen to it. Hey everyone, for those of you who don’t know me, my name is Silas, and I’ve been attending Pres House since the fall of 2017 (and now that I’ve said that out loud I instantly feel a whole lot older). I’d like to start off by sharing a few lessons that I’ve learned over the past four years that I wish I would have known before, and then I’ll talk about how Pres House has shaped my journey. The first lesson I’ve learned is to be yourself. Now, I know it sounds cliche, and that people always say this, but I really think that this is one of those sayings that often goes in one ear and out the other, or at least it often did for me. I spent…

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10May 21

Loving Creation, Finding Community ~ Spencer Johnson

Spencer Johnson shared this reflection on May 2nd, 2021 at Graduation Sunday. You can also watch or listen to it. I chose my first campus faith community because they had a bonfire at Picnic Point. An avid camper myself, it seemed like the right kind of vibe for me. However, apart from the name of a deity and an affinity for bonfires, I quickly found out that we had little in common. The first red flag appeared when I was asked about, of all things, my class schedule. I mentioned I was taking an introductory course on biblical literature, which was met, to my surprise, with dismay. They told me of a previous student who, after taking that class, had confessed he no longer believed in God. They admonished me to find out if the professor was a believer before I listened to anything he said. I was shocked and…

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10May 21

A Season for Everything ~ Emily Johnson

Emily Johnson shared this reflection on May 2nd, 2021 at Graduation Sunday. You can also watch or listen to it. Hi, everyone. My name is Emily Johnson, and I have been a part of the Pres House community for nearly five years, beginning in the fall of 2016 when I began my undergraduate studies here at UW-Madison.  Last December I completed my degree in biology and Spanish, and I’ll soon be leaving this city that I have come to love as I move to New York to start medical school in the fall. Even before I was a student at UW, though, Pres House was a part of my life. I spotted our quaint building for the first time on a campus tour while still in high school, and in that moment I felt a deep sense of comfort in there being a place to continue practicing the Presbyterian faith…

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28Mar 21

Lenten Practice #6: Eating With Gratitude

Each week during Lent, we will be sharing spiritual practices for your Lenten journey. The sixth practice is eating with gratitude and comes from the Center for Spirituality in Nature. Along with this practice, we encourage you to read or watch Ava’s story: "Food, Faith, and Frozen Meals."

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23Mar 21

Sledding with Practice of Play ~ Olivia Avery and Chez Phelps

The story below comes from Olivia Avery and Chez Phelps, roommates and Pres House community members. We've also turned this story into a video (complete with clips of all the wipeouts mentioned) that you can watch on our YouTube channel; check it out! Practice of Play is just one of the many small groups Pres House has to offer. Find yourself among friends in a Pres House small group!

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22Mar 21

Stop AAPI Hate

Pastor Erica shared these reflections on March 21, 2021, at the beginning of the sermon, "What About Buddha, Gandhi, and that Wiccan Priest?" which is part of the Lenten series, "Decolonizing Christianity, Encountering Jesus." You can listen to the full series here. This has been a hard week with the murder of Asian women in Atlanta by a white, Southern Baptist man, in a year when anti-Asian violence has exploded around the country. I have struggled with what to say because there are too many things that need to be said; Nii and I have joked that we were going to undo hundreds of years of colonization in fifteen minute sound bites over seven Sundays in Lent, which is as ridiculous as it sounds; we laugh, him a black man, me an Asian woman, living in this country where we know our bodies are under constant peril simply because of…

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