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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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30Jan 18

Hope is Born in Louisiana

Hope is Born in Louisiana - A reflection from BWAP 2018 by Taya Briggs As some of you know, twelve students and young professionals from Pres House went to Denham Springs, Louisiana over winter break to provide relief to flood victims. While the damage happened a year and a half ago, the community has all but been forgotten. However, going with the theme of the week Hope is Born, I saw a lot of hope being kindled during our short week on the work site. We broke into two work groups while we were there, and while the other group did amazing work moving a several ton ramp for a couple who had mobility issues after their relief trailer was taken away, my story about our trip comes from the work site I was on, with an eighty year old lady that the community called Mawmaw. When the flood happened,…

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19Dec 17

Bring Back the Basement – 3 Year Anniversary

Almost exactly three years ago we took back the basement at Pres House from a Subway restaurant that had been renting the space for a number of years. While the income from Subway was necessary to cover costs associated with our 2007 renovation of the Pres House Chapel, we were glad to reclaim the space back for mission and ministry. Shortly after regaining the space a major renovation of the basement began, transforming the basement into what is now known as Lower Hall and the Conger Meeting Room. This project, dubbed, “Bring Back the Basement,” was made possible through the generosity of 183 donors who gave more than $700,000 to install a commercial kitchen, renovate the hall, and provide programming funds to engage in ministry in the new space. As we remember the anniversary of this exciting moment in Pres House history we are pleased to share with you an…

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19Dec 17

Two+: Christian Community

Jenni Geurink graduated in December 2017 from UW Madison. She shared this reflection at Sunday Worship (12/10/17) about the importance of Christian community. I didn’t know if I was going to go to church in college, but still I followed the sidewalk and soon found myself in Pres House.  That first Sunday I sat next to Billie not knowing that she was soon to become one of my best friends throughout college.  But, my freshman year didn’t go exactly as planned.   I was doing all the normal freshman things- making tons of friends, eating all the pizza of my heart’s content and loving my studies, but I was also really sick.  At the end of high school, I found myself dealing with a myriad of chronic health problems that no one knew how to fix, and then suddenly, I was also transitioning into college. My body didn’t handle it so…

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16Nov 17

In the Heart of Campus – Drone video

This is a cool drone video showing just how central Pres House is on the UW-Madison campus. Steps away from Bascom Hall, Memorial Union, the Terrace, and State St. Pres House Apartments: Campus's Best Location from Pres House on Vimeo.

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01Nov 17

Letters from Prison

Chris Sundahl is a graduate student at UW Madison. He shared this story at Sunday Worship on October 29th during a sermon series, "Questions On Our Mind: Where does it hurt?" When I arrived in Madison in 2013, I did a bit of church-shopping. At one of those churches, I picked up a couple of friends that I wanted to talk about today. This church ran a snail-mail-based Bible study course with prisoners, and a few of them had included notes in their correspondence that they’d like a penpal to talk about their faith and the Bible with, and also help them through the times they were having. Being young and invincible and extremely eager to talk about my faith (since I was new to Christianity), I thought it was a good idea to take BOTH of these letters, and start writing to them, on top of all the coursework…

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19Oct 17

10 Pieces of Alumni Advice for Madison Students

We recently asked Pres House Alumni what they wished that had known when they were starting out as students at UW-Madison. They had some great alumni advice to share in 10 areas! Here is what they said: On Grades Zuf W: Unless your goal is med school, law school, or an eventual PhD, bad grades won't jeopardize your future success at all. I mean, good grade still matters (it certainly helps open doors when you don't have much else to show) and hard work is always required, just don't stress over a bad grade like the end of the world. Sometimes if not always, a well executed project through an org carries as much if not more weight than an A in a class. Comparatively, many people get A's, not many projects succeed. I've had many friends who aren't stellar students grade wise but have some fantastic experience and wealth…

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