3 Steps to Making Friends in a New Place

IMG_3055Lots of people struggle to build relationships when they get to new places. In my work as a university chaplain, my main experience is with new college freshmen. But people experience the same challenges when they move to a new town for work or even during significant shifts in their community when they don’t move anywhere (new job, divorce, etc.). Thankfully, watching freshmen succeed and fail at forming new friendships has taught me a lot about what is required to start building new relationships. [Read more…]

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Do Not Despise the Foot: A Sermon on 1 Corinthians 12:12-26

How do we affirm Paul’s “body of Christ” language when the world is not only divided between Jew and Gentile, but is made up of radical diversity even within the Church? In our unique university Christian community there are Catholics and Pentecostals Methodists and Evangelicals and lots of other kinds of Christians. Paul’s language call us to see those that are different as a gift to the whole of the “body.” Listen as we learn to appreciate the great gift that each member our diverse Christian community offers to us all.

Odell Beckham Can Teach Us How to Pray

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Robert Sabo/New York Daily News

Odell Beckham shocked everyone with his one-handed catch heard around the world.

Most of the conversation about that catch made it sound like it was either a stroke of magnificent luck or the feat of a superhuman god of professional football.

I think it was a great expression of freedom. [Read more…]

UIndy Student Lenten Devotional 2015

I’m glad to offer a free devotional created by the students and for the students of McCleary Chapel Ministries at the University of Indianapolis. I hope that you too will enjoy taking the Lenten journey with them. I’m so proud of these students, their love for Jesus Christ, and their heart to share that love with others.

Here is the PDF download: UIndy Lenten Devotional 2015

A little about the creators of it: Aaron Taylor is our Chapel Steward of Devotion this year. He is the primary editor. Aaron is a Religion major from Franklin, IN, preparing for ordained ministry in the Presbyterian Church (USA). The rest of the authors are Catholics, Methodists, Presbyterians, Evangelicals, Baptists, and lots of other kinds of Christians. They are studying a variety of fields at UIndy including Social Work, Art, Physical Therapy, Nursing, Education, Philosophy, Religion, and many others.

You can print and distribute as many copies as you would like. We ask that you not redistribute electronically (just point them to this site!) or use the text that belongs to these authors without attribution. Otherwise, we’d be thrilled if you share it far and wide.

Last Year’s Devotional can be found here: UIndy Lenten Devotional 2014

One Young Woman’s Efforts to Help Trafficking Victims

Katie MehrlichOne of the greatest joys of pastoral ministry is seeing the amazing ways that people respond to God’s move in their lives. We have a committed group of students working to raise awareness about human trafficking and to fight back against the injustice. Katie Mehrlich is a sophomore student leader in that organization. She is also insanely talented as a worship leader and song writer, and she leads a Bible study on campus for other students through CRU. I asked her recently to tell people about what she is doing now to make a difference for trafficking victims.

[Read more…]

“Don’t Hold on to Me”: Finding Gratitude in a Time of Transition


This sermon was from the last service of McCleary Chapel last year. As students prepared to transition out of university life, feelings ranged from joy and hope for the future to grief for the friends that they would leave. I suggested that they could learn a lot from the exchange between Mary Magdalene and Jesus after the resurrection. (The sermon is only about 20 minutes long, the end of the video wasn’t edited properly.)