The Michigan Conference’s Division of Higher Education and Campus Ministry speaks out in solidarity for all Michigan campus ministries and calls on United Methodists across the state to pray for all young people and to reach out to the closest campus ministry to see how best to support them.
DIVISION OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND CAMPUS MINISTRY
On February 13th, 2023, gun violence found its way to the campus of Michigan State University, leaving three young people dead, five wounded and resulting in the death of the gunman by suicide.
The Michigan Annual Conference Division of Higher Education and Campus Ministry recognizes the trauma and harm inflicted on our campuses due to gun violence as a crisis for our young people, as well as society as a whole. The violence on the MSU campus has not only affected that campus, but also college campuses across Michigan as they deal with the ongoing trauma of gun violence. Students, staff, and faculty have wondered if they will be next, living with stress and fear as violence continues to strike new communities.
We are grateful for the Wesley Foundation at Michigan State University and area United Methodist Churches for their quick response in offering space for listening, prayer, and pastoral care. We give thanks for the ways that our campus pastors and campus ministries across the state have shown up for students as they process this traumatic event. Finally, we give thanks to those who advocate for ways of change, in hopes that our young people (and indeed, all those in society) will not have to continue to live in fear for their lives because of gun violence.
The Division of Higher Education and Campus Ministry continues to advocate for and support all of the Michigan Conference campus ministries as a front line resource on our campuses across the state. Campus ministries provide safe spaces of gathering, theological reflection, community and leadership development, and faith formation even in the midst of the difficult state of the world. As differing bodies call for prayer and for action to make change as it relates to gun violence, we recognize that our campus ministries have been important places for students to grow in both their personal piety and their social action, and are a vital part of the equation when it comes to the church’s role in transforming the culture of gun violence in the United States.
For those in the Michigan Conference looking for ways to support our campus ministries, we would encourage you to hold in prayer all of the Michigan Conference campus ministries:
- Central Michigan University (Wesley@CMU)
- Ferris State University (Big Rapids Wesley House)
- Grand Valley State University (United Campus Christian Fellowship)
- Michigan State University (MSU Wesley Foundation)
- Wayne State University (Motor City Wesley)
- Northern Michigan University (NMU Wesley)
- University of Michigan (Wesley Foundation at UMich)
- Western Michigan University (Wesley Foundation of Kalamazoo)
- And our two United Methodist-related colleges: Adrian College and Albion College
Further information on our campus ministries can be found here:
Additionally, please hold in prayer other college campuses and young people across the state of Michigan. We encourage all to be in touch with their local campus ministry to see how you can best support their front line ministry. We also continue to encourage all to advocate and create change in their local communities that leads to less gun violence.
As the Scriptures say,
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
In “A Call for Peacemaking” in the 2016 Book of Resolutions, The United Methodist Church calls upon:
“United Methodist children, youth, and adults—as devoted disciples of Jesus Christ—to become peacemakers wherever they are—at home, school, work, in the local community and the wider world—and to show the love, compassion, and concern for justice that Jesus taught and lived.”
Last Updated on March 20, 2023