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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (April 18, 1974)
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idcsri Wesey Foundation: community ministry
9 a.m. Mini University "Clerical
Staff Needs"-Nbraska Union
10:30 a.m. Mini University No.
7 "Communication Skills"-Union
p.m. CSL Ffetand Fines
3 p.m. Free University "The
4 p.m. Builder Red
4:30 p.m. Free University
5 p.m. Council of American
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By Rebecca Brite
"Community style" ministry.
This is how the Wesley Foundation
director describes his work.
"However, the community of people
- ?. -I....... U " Roil
licit; IS IIOI ctiwvaya mo un,
Mel Luetchens said. "It's a
The Wesley Foundation, formerly the
United Methodist Chapel and Student
Center, now is affiliated with the United
Ministries in High Education (UMHE).
UMHE is supported by the United
Church of Christ, the Christian Churches
Disciples of Christ); the United
Presbyterian and United Methodist
Luetchens said that because the
Wesley Foundation was tied closely to
one denomination before the merger with
UMHE, the center has had few financial
"And beams ws ere primarily
celebration (worship) oriented, our
programs are not often challenged by the
church at large," he added.
Three worship services are conducted
at the center each Sunday morning. The
staff also is responsible for personal
counseling with students, and study
classes on marriage, church doctrine and
But the majority of programs and
projects at Wesley
initiated and carried
With staff help,
out by students,
a committee of
students oversows the center's ministry,
develops programs and is responsible for
the student budget.
Some programs indude sponsoring a
Filipino orphan and planning a fall
students a$o are involved in such projects
as tutoring and Y-Pals.
The building is open to University and
community groups as well, Luetchens
A student income tax service, a speed
reading program, international and native
American student groups, the University
Counseling Center and various Greek and
independent groups all have used the
Staff involvement outside the center
has included teaching at the Nebraska
School of Religion and serving as resource
persons to the University, Nebraska high
schools, and local and district churches.
Luetchens' associate, the Rev. Duane
Hutchinson, is the author of a recently
published biography of Nebraska Gov. J.
Campus ministry has changed from the
days when nonstudents or older adults
ministered to students, Luetchens said.
"Now students are involved as part of
the ministry," he said. 'They are more
committed, mere responsible. Students
make up at least 50 of our governing
boards, for example.
."The staff no longer makes decisions
for students. They are their own decision
Luetchens said he has observed a
recent rise of interest in religion, "but not
so much within the organized church.
"It's a popular movement, made up of
new, individual groups," he said. "I
believe it began with the hippie
movement and the drug culture, and I
feel that, somehow, it was also influenced
by the Vietnam war.
"In some way, the war changed
society, created a new freedom," he said.
"There Is a new acceptance of religious
behavior and expression of religious
He said he had observed that more
men now seem to be involved actively in
religious programs than in past years.
"it used to be more OK for a woman
to express religious belief than for a
man," he said. "Now the men are
becoming more vocal about their faith."
Luetchens said he also thought the
"back to the earth" movement had
influenced religious interest.
"Getting close to nature, you can't
help becoming more tuned to
spirituality," he said.
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