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28May 20

Pres House Ten – Race Playlist

Pres House Ten Race Playlist At Pres House, engaging in racial justice is a regular part of our life together because following Jesus compels us to recognize the deep roots of systemic racism that pervade the communities we live in. Incidents of racial violence periodically get flashes of attention on the news and in social media; we believe that a sustained commitment over the long haul is necessary to effect meaningful change. So we challenge you this summer by giving you this Pres House Ten Race Playlist which is a selection of ten sermons, blogs, and events about race from Pres House. There are many great resources available out there. We hope that hearing from people you know will encourage you to ask questions and continue the conversations in your specific communities. Don’t let the latest events of racial violence go by with only a post of outrage, a 2.23 mile…

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15May 20

Becoming All of Who You Are ~ Jessica Prom

Jessica Prom shared this reflection on May 3rd, 2020 at Graduation Sunday Part II. You can also watch or listen to it. As a child, I grew up going to church, and to be honest, it was never something I really enjoyed. To me, it was something you had to wake up early on the weekend for. You would sit in the pews and listen to some guy go on about something that supposedly related to the Bible and to your life at the same time, even though your little 8-year-old life couldn’t relate to anything except for recess and chicken nuggets. You then are slowly lulled to sleep by the almighty organ because the ancient hymn text means nothing to your 8-year-old mind. This representation was unfortunately me for the first 10 or so years of my life while my family attended weekly Sunday Catholic mass. After attending a…

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14May 20

Letting Go, Finding Grace ~ Taya Briggs

Taya Briggs shared this reflection on April 26th, 2020 at Pres House's Graduation Sunday, Part I. You can also watch or listen to it. Coming into college, I was so excited to choose my major and make a bunch of new friends, but the dilemmas associated with each of these tasks suddenly felt enormous. My major would be the biggest, most important decision I made in my lifetime --- right? Except, it wasn’t. While each person makes around 35,000 decisions per day, I think I can count on one hand the number of choices or reactions during my college career that have really affected me and who I am today. These huge decisions don’t include my major and certainly don’t include things like choosing which lease to sign or which social event to attend that one random Friday night, but instead more subtle choices like what to do when my…

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13May 20

God’s Grace in Action ~ Nathan Burwell

Nathan Burwell shared this reflection on May 3rd, 2020 at Graduation Sunday Part II. You can also watch or listen to it. First of all, I would just like to thank Mark and Erica, as well as the entire Pres House staff for the encouragement, support, and friendship I’ve received over the past couple of years. I’m also looking forward to having some connection with Pres House once I move away from Madison. As I think about my connection to Pres House, I recall that I first became interested in what Pres House had to offer when I received a postcard in the mail before I moved to Madison. From this invitation to attend events, I could tell that Pres House was clearly interested in supporting graduate students. I have a feeling that many campus communities sometimes forget that graduate students have a strong need to connect on a spiritual…

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12May 20

Let God Be the Author of Your Life ~ Beatrice Tan

Beatrice Tan shared this reflection on April 26th, 2020 at Graduation Sunday, Part 1. You can also watch or listen to it. I still remember the day I was desperately praying to get admitted into my dream school, or the day I was praying for God to show me what my future career path would look like. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Beatrice and I am a senior studying Actuarial Science and Risk Management and Insurance. I am one of those girls who is obsessed with personality tests like the Enneagram. However, the business school has one test in particular that they always rave about, up to a point where I think most, if not all, students have taken this test at least once—the Gallup CliftonStrengths assessment test. After taking the assessment, you will be given an in-depth report with your top 5 signature…

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11May 20

Home Is Where the Heart Is ~ Erik Franze

Erik Franze shared this reflection on May 3rd, 2020 at Graduation Sunday Part II. You can also watch or listen to it. “But those who trust in the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” ~ Isaiah 40:31 Hi everyone. My name is Erik Franze, I use he/him/his pronouns, I’m from unceded Potawatomi territory now known as Waukesha, a suburb of Milwaukee, and I am a senior who has been a part of Pres House for four years now. It’s pretty crazy to say that. Home has been on my mind a lot lately. For almost two months now, most of us have been staying at home to protect our own health and the safety of our communities. Some, like me, have returned semi-permanently, at least for the foreseeable future, to…

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24Mar 20

Letter from UW-Madison Religious Leaders

Dear Badgers, It has been an extraordinary time of unsettling events in our community, nation, and world. We know that your lives have been upended and many of the things you were looking forward to have been cancelled. For graduating students, our hearts especially go out to you as this is certainly not how anyone anticipated marking the conclusion of your time on campus. We are writing to you as religious leaders on the UW-Madison campus--while we represent different faith communities, we all share a common value in loving our neighbors. For many of us, we are used to doing that in-person and face-to-face; it is how we express and embody that love ethic. However it has become very clear that we must drastically change our behavior in order to care for the most vulnerable in our society at this time. For that reason, we ask that you express your…

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16Mar 20

Wilderness Lessons for COVID-19

Pastor Erica shared these reflections on Sunday, March 15th, 2020 in an online worship gathering. The last time we gathered in-person seems like a lifetime ago with all the events that have transpired in the past week. We went from washing our hands for twenty seconds to many students packing up their lives in a hurry to leave campus, not knowing when the next time they would be back. If you are still reeling from all that has unfolded in just one week, you are certainly not alone. None of us have lived through a worldwide pandemic before so it is no surprise if we find ourselves dazed and wondering how we are supposed to be a student, sibling, friend, worker, parent, pastor in times like these. Mixed messages fill the media and our minds are trying to make sense of information that keeps changing by the hour. We are…

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