Gardener Extraordinaire

Meet college student and gardener extraordinaire, Natalie Sturm! Natalie hails from 14991271_360201757659062_1492208059742736482_oGrayslake, Illinois and will begin her sophomore year at MSU in the fall where she is pursuing a degree in Sustainable Food and Bioenergy Systems (Agroecology concentration). She is an active member of Lutheran Campus Ministry and a student representative on the LCM Board. This summer she is serving as a research assistant at MSU and looking to get her hands dirty in her spare time by gardening. Natalie took the initiative to develop a plan for Hope Lutheran’s garden, offering her time and talents to steward it. She’ll be donating all of the food that is harvested to seniors without gardens and the Gallatin Food Bank.

I recently connected with Natalie to ask her a few questions and help us all get to know her better!

How long have you been gardening?:
I have been gardening since I can remember, probably since I was 4 years old.

What is it you enjoy about gardening?:
I love so many things about gardening. I love nature and spending time outdoors, and gardening is a great way to get outside and enjoy the sunshine, fresh air, bugs, and dirt. There is something about gardening that makes me feel very connected to nature; through tending to plants as they grow, watching the weather, getting my hands in the soil.

One of the best parts about gardening is the fresh, healthy, tasty food I get to grow. Garden fresh vegetables taste so wonderful, and I love taking whatever is in season from the garden and cooking it up in the kitchen. Growing food that tastes so good and is so good for our health is one of my favorite things about gardening.

I also love the connections I can make through gardening. I think gardening is a great way to bring people together – whether it’s doing hard work in the garden with others, or sharing the harvest from the garden.

Does gardening connect you to your faith? If so, how?:
Gardening and farming definitely connect me to my faith. I think God is in a way calling me to farm and garden. A big aspect of my faith is this idea of stewardship. I believe God has put me here to steward His creation; to take care of it and heal it, and to use it to feed people.

Spending time gardening and farming also helps me to see God every day. I get to see Him in sunsets and rainstorms and the first green leaves poking out of the soil. Growing food certainly feels miraculous sometimes – every growing season I am still in awe about how a little, dry seed can grow into a big, green plant that produces fresh food for people.

Thanks, Natalie, for all of your hard work caring for the garden at Hope Lutheran and for taking time to share about your passion for being a steward of God’s creation.

Peace to you during finals…

Dear Students:

It’s pretty crazy how fast this year has gone by… I truly hope you have enjoyed the classes you’ve taken, the friendships you’ve developed, the memories you’ve made, and your overall college experience at MSU. As you round out the school year, may you find time for peace and rest in the midst of what is very likely a wild week of finals. Know that you are held in prayer as you finish your coursework, move out of your residence, and transition into summer. If you’re heading home, staying in Bozeman, or traveling somewhere for a summer job I wish you well!

As a blessing for peace during this wild week and for what is to come, I want to share with you a poem by Christian poet Wendell Berry; he is also a farmer and environmentalist.

“The Peace of Wild Things”

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

“The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

In Christ,

Give Big Gallatin Valley


Lutheran Campus Ministry at Montana State is participating in Give Big Gallatin Valley. An initiative of the Bozeman Area Community Foundation, #GiveBig “is a 24-hour, online and live celebration of giving” that was “created to connect people who care to causes that matter to build a better community.”

The Board of Directors for LCM invites you to join them in giving big to LCM. Because they are so excited about the future of LCM at MSU, they have committed to matching the first $3000 given to LCM during Give Big Gallatin Valley! Please join them beginning at 6:00 p.m. on May 4th and ending at 6:00 p.m. May 5th in giving to LCM and help us meet our $6000 goal.

You don’t need to be in Bozeman or the greater Gallatin Valley to participate… Just visit our profile this Thursday and Friday to support our ministry!

Campus Ministry and Congregations

by Pastor Lindean Barnett Christenson of Christ the King Lutheran Church

As a pastor of an ELCA church in Bozeman, I love the partnership between LCM and congregations. We can do and be more together than on our own. Congregations have gifts and opportunities to offer students that only an intentionally intergenerational community can provide. At the same time, students have a ton to offer to congregations, sharing gifts of their faith, time, energy, experience, music… the list could go on and on. In addition to creating student-focused community, Lutheran Campus Ministry often serves as a bridge for students looking for a congregation to call home while they’re away from home for college.

One fun tradition at Christ the King Lutheran Church (CtK) which has developed over the last few years, is for our college Bible study group, which normally meets at a local coffee shop on Wednesday nights, to meet at CtK during Holy Week. Those gathered stuff all of the eggs for our Easter Egg Hunt on Easter morning – and there are lots of eggs. There’s always pizza, and plenty of candy sampling. It also provides an opportunity to talk about the events of Holy Week, how they observed it in their home congregations, and how it all fits together in their lives now. It’s a tradition I hope lasts for a long time.


Lectio Divina


Join Lutheran Campus Ministry for a time of fellowship and dwelling in God’s Word! On Monday mornings through April 24th, we’ll gather in room 234 of the SUB for Lectio Divina, which is a contemplative prayer practice that invites us deep into God’s Word. At each session, we’ll engage a particular passage from Scripture (following what is known as the Narrative Lectionary) and read it four times through. After each reading, we’ll take time to reflect and share our thoughts, questions, and prayers.

What’s lovely about this practice is that it creates an opportunity to be in conversation with God and with one another. More so, you don’t have to be a biblical scholar or come prepared in advance. All you have to do is come with a willingness to engage the text. And if that sounds intimidating, know that we’re a really friendly group and that there is no pressure to share. This is sheer invitation. 🙂

It truly is a nice way to begin the week! So if you’re able to join us, please come when you can and leave when you must. And if you have any questions, you are welcome to reach out to me.

If you’re not able to meet at 10:00 on Monday mornings, but would like to get together with me for coffee or something just let me know when might work for you!


P.S. You’re welcome to bring your Bible with you or feel free to simply show up because I will have printed copies of the reading available as well.


Forty Days


Tomorrow we enter into our Lenten journey by way of Ash Wednesday. Ashen crosses will mark our foreheads reminding us that we are dust and to dust we will return. It’s not unlike the cross marked on our heads at baptism. Both make us aware of our finitude and our mortality. More importantly, both communicate God’s promise that death will not have the final word. So we wander through these forty days not necessarily knowing where we’ll find ourselves at any given moment, but trusting in the way of Jesus. Trusting that we will arrive not only at the cross, but also at an empty tomb.

I invite you to journey through Lent in worship and fellowship! Check out the opportunities and resources below:

  • Ashes to Go – Can’t make it to Ash Wednesday worship? Pastor Steve Schmidt of Hope Lutheran and I will be on campus near the library from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. for the imposition of ashes.
  • Ash Wednesday Fellowship and Worship
  • Midweek Lenten Services
  • Lenten Devotional – I had the honor of contributing to Luther Seminary’s God Pause Lenten Devotional, “Oh, Love, How Deep”, along with two other students and three professors from the Old Testament department.
  • Additional Opportunities for Regular Fellowship
    • Lectio Divina – Mondays at 10:00 a.m. in the SUB (email me for room information)
    • College Bible Study – Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. in City Brew near Q’doba (facilitated by Pastor Lindean Barnett Christenson of Christ the King)

God’s peace,
Annie Langseth
Serving as LCM Intern Pastor

World Religions Panel

Lutheran Campus Ministry has been invited by the United Methodist Campus Ministry TNT group (Tuesday Nights Together) to join them and others for a World Religions Panel on January 24th at Christus Collegium. Dinner is at 6:00 p.m., followed by discussion at 6:30 p.m. I’ll be serving as a representative of the Lutheran tradition and will join faith leaders from other Christian denominations as well as Judaism and Islam in sharing about our faith. It’s sure to be an informative evening! Please join us for food, fellowship, and conversation.

Advent Blessings

We have now entered into Advent, which marks the beginning of our Church year. This is a season that calls us to return to God. This is a season of expectant waiting and preparation for the coming of Christ. We are called to center ourselves and our lives on the promise of Christ and live out of that. It’s unfortunate that the busyness of the end of the semester and the busyness of this time of year seems to directly contradict what this season invites us into. There are tests and final papers and projects, after all. There are gifts to buy and parties to plan and trips to make. It’s exciting, but exhausting. In the midst of all of that, it’s all too easy to overlook the invitation of Advent to pause and light a candle and enter into scripture and lift up prayer. My hope is that you will find the time to reflect on the coming of Christ and the promise of healing and forgiveness he brings.

The rituals of Advent (candle lighting, devotions, and prayer) are not merely more things to add to your to do list, but are rather opportunities for rest and to be fed so that you might be sustained in accomplishing all that you have to do. And so I thought I’d share a couple of the opportunities for just that that are available to you:

  • Midweek Advent Dinner and Worship – Both Hope Lutheran and Christ the King have FREE soup dinners and Holden Evening Prayer services on Wednesday throughout the season of Advent (November 30th, December 7th, 14th, and 21st).
    • Hope Lutheran: dinner at 5:30 p.m., worship at 6:30 p.m.
    • Christ the King: dinner at 6:00 p.m., worship at 7:00 p.m.
  • Advent Devotional
    • “Savior of the Nations, Come” – Download the PDF to read and share in this traditional devotional.
    • #RendtheHeavens – Check out this daily list of Scripture readings and words to meditate on, and follow the hashtag to see what others are sharing and writing.


Coming Out Day at MSU

Coming Out Day – Tuesday, October 11th from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

  • “The Diversity Awareness Office is hosting an information fair and celebration on the Centennial Mall to celebrate Coming Out Day. Coming Out Day is a nationwide celebration of LGBTQ identity wherein the concept of “coming out” is publicly recognized. The point of this event is to make students and employees aware of every LGBTQ resource we have on campus while celebrating LGBTQ identities! The main event will be an interactive art installment on the Centennial Mall in which passerby can participate. In case of cold/wet weather, this event will take place in SUB Ballroom B.”

I will be joining other campus ministry coordinators/area faith leaders who are supportive and affirming of the LGBTQ community at an interfaith booth. Please feel free to swing by to show your support and/or receive resources.

Grace and peace to you!


Greetings on behalf of Lutheran Campus Ministry at Montana State! I along with the LCM Board, area ELCA congregations, and Montana Synod of the ELCA have been holding our MSU students, faculty, and staff in prayer. And we hope that your first month of classes is off to an excellent start!

And particularly for our students, we hope that your college experience will be formative, enjoyable, and something that helps equip you to answer God’s unique call to you. However, as easy as it is to look towards the future, we must not forget the present…

You might hear people say something to the effect of, “Some day when you’re in the real world…” (I often heard that when I was in college.) But you already are in the real world! And God calls you and me and all of God’s beloved to be faithfully engaged here and now for the sake of the world God so loves.

So what does that faithful engagement look like? Well, in part, I think it looks like developing relationships and building community with people. I think it looks like loving our neighbor, serving others, and caring for creation. I think it looks like exploring scripture through study and worship, and applying it to our lives so that we might follow in the way of Jesus.

But I’m especially interested in what you students think that engagement looks like! And I’m interested in supporting you and your peers as you seek to live that out during your college experience. Therefore, we will have the opportunity discern our time and work together on a number of occasions throughout the year – including a dinner and fellowship gathering this Thursday evening (September 29th) at Christus Collegium. We’ll be meeting with Nicholas Sutherland, a Global Mission Recruiter from the ELCA Churchwide office in Chicago, to learn more about the Young Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM)  program. So please feel free to join us to learn more about opportunities for a year of service in places like Jerusalem, Mexico, Southern Africa, and the United Kingdom in addition to sharing in dinner and fellowship.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, prayer requests, or are just interested in chatting please feel free to contact me! I’d be happy to meet you for coffee or lunch to discuss those in person as well.

Annie Langseth
Serving as Intern Pastor