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15Sep 17

Home Away From Home

Jessica Prom is a sophomore studying Biology, with plans to pursue Pharmacy School. The week prior to Thanksgiving last year, I received an email from Erica asking if I’d like to meet her for coffee. Little did I know, that one little email could change my life entirely. Obviously, I agreed to get coffee because I was intrigued by Erica’s kindness and by what Pres House had to offer! After our chat, Erica brought up Freshmen Small Group. She told me that they met once a week and that that year they decided to discuss different worldly topics and how they connected to the bible and to faith in general. At first, I was slightly hesitant because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to have another weekly commitment. After all, I was a first year college student, so keeping up with school, friends, and adjusting to the college lifestyle was…

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13Nov 16

“Let Us Walk Together” – A Word of Comfort After the Election From Your Asian American, Female Pastor

Let me share some snapshots of my week. On Election Day, I spent the entire day in the courthouse to support a victim of sexual assault as this person testified against the perpetrator; it was as awful as you imagine it to be. I put my crying daughter to bed that evening, who was scared of what a Trump presidency would mean for her Muslim schoolmate. I wept all Wednesday morning not from surprise that Trump won, but because I knew that people were going to be attacked in the coming days. I spent the rest of the week listening to stories from friends—of a black brother who was unjustly shot by police, of gay couples worried about losing their rights, of undocumented immigrants fearing deportation and separation from their young children, of countless people who because of their skin color or head covering being verbally and physically assaulted, and…

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13Nov 16

“Shut Up & Speak Up” – A Call to Action After the Election From Your White, Male Pastor

I have lived through enough elections now to realize that this one is different. Elections are always filled with bombastic comments, negative campaign ads, and strong feelings. But this time is different. This time people are genuinely afraid and hurt. I am afraid and hurt. As a Christian community, it is vital that we understand this and respond in love. Many of the members of the Pres House community are hurting and afraid. You are hurt because you are an immigrant or your parents are immigrants (like mine are) and the message that won on Tuesday was full of anti-immigrant vitriol. You are hurt because you are gay and the message that won on Tuesday said that your identity is not valid. You are afraid because your skin color isn’t white and the message that won on Tuesday suggested we go back to a time when America was great for…

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27Aug 15

A letter to the Pres House Community from student leader Andrea

Dear Pres House Family, I can’t believe summer is already winding down. While summer is fun and (hopefully) relaxing I am super excited about the fall! There is a lot to look forward to here at Pres House this fall. We will be welcoming hundreds of Freshmen and new students on Tuesday, September 1at Frunch. Our kickoff worship service on Sunday, September 6 at 4:30pm will be awesome. Students at Pres House believe it is important to give back to the community so one of our kickoff events will be to make homework kits for youth on Sunday, September 13. Graduate students are invited to meet for coffee and conversation every Thursday morning at 8:30am (first meeting at Colectivo on State St. on 9/10). And there is much, much more. The invitation at Pres House is to, “Bring all of who you are.” We want everyone on campus to know that…

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24Jun 15

A Letter from Hannah in Zambia

Dear supporters, I write to you today four weeks from my departure from Zambia. I leave Zambia on July 22nd and will arrive in Milwaukee late on July 23rd. I feel so many emotions as I approach the conclusion of this transformative year. I’m more than excited to see all of you again soon, and honestly, I’m currently feeling exhausted from the fatigue that usually comes midway through a school term. At the same time, I can’t imagine saying goodbye to the people around me who have changed my life. Teaching computers, mostly in theory with only my personal laptop available, has certainly been a challenge, but yesterday I had my students make posters about some of the concepts like icons and the Microsoft suite programs we have been studying. I enjoyed just sitting at my classroom table watching each of their personalities come out as they were having obvious…

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23Apr 15

Serving in Zambia

Pres House Alum Hannah Weinberg-Kinsey is serving as a PCUSA Young Adult Volunteer in Zambia this year.  Check out this video for a snapshot into her life there.

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07Dec 14

A Pastoral Letter on Recent Events

Dear Pres House Community, In the past couple of weeks, incidents in Ferguson and Staten Island revealed a long-existing divide in our nation. My purpose in writing to you is not to debate the specifics of those cases, but rather to exhort our community to be a place where we come together and talk honestly with one another. Our community represents a diversity of opinion and perspective which is something I highly value. We strive to create a culture of asking questions, wrestling with challenging issues, and being open with one another. This is easier to do with some topics, much harder with others. Race, which is deeply embedded in the Ferguson and Staten Island incidents, is one of the toughest ones to talk about. I understand the hesitation to engage in this topic—I know our community is one in which people endeavor to treat each other with respect and do…

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03Dec 14

A Lament for Ferguson

In the first week after the decision by a grand jury to not indict Officer Darren Wilson over the shooting of Michael Brown I struggled to sort through my reaction and think of what to say in response. Pastor Erica, my wife and co-pastor, wisely suggested that we orient our first worship service after the verdict around lament. The act of prayerful lament is very fitting during Advent. In Advent we call out from the darkness of our current situation and hold onto hope that Christ is coming to break into our world with light and grace. So on Sunday, November 30, 2014 I shared these words as a personal lament for Ferguson. They do not reflect an official position of Pres House or represent all of the opinions of our diverse community. They are my own words of sadness, anger, confession...and ultimately hope. - Pastor Mark (You can listen to…

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