Alumni and the Community
Leaders for Social Change
The Leaders for Social Change program is an opportunity for students to put their ideals into action and to develop leadership skills through internships in community organizations. Click here to download the program description.
Conference on Worship, Theology and the Arts: For the Fruit of All Creation
The 2008 St. Olaf Conference on Worship, Theology and the Arts (CWTA) presented nationally recognized musicians, artists, scholars and theologians in a weeklong conference. .
The theme “Fling Wide the Gates” called attendees to examine in scripture and worship how we open wide the gifts of Christianity for others and for our own hearts.
It is a strange thing about humans, but true: open gates and open doors generally feel more welcoming than no gate at all. The absence of walls, boundaries, fences and gates gives no signal about welcome or unwelcome, while a gate, thrown open, says, “Come on in.” The New Jerusalem of John’s Apocalypse has 12 gates to the city — a gracious, extravagant welcome.
The 2008 CWTA contemplated and celebrated open gates:
- Daily worship, always a highlight of the conference, served as a gateway into the welcoming presence of Grace.
- The gates of a beautifully renovated Boe Memorial Chapel were thrown open for conference participants to enjoy, featuring the newly built Holtkamp pipe organ.
- Thoughtful lectures, plenary addresses and seminars opened gates to new understanding.
- And through the lively mix of learning and worship, all were called to a renewal of life in a covenant where love and justice work together to “Fling Wide the Gates.”
Teen and youth singers were invited to participate in the Choir Connection, a weeklong program of song, music education and recreation, now in its third year.
The 2006 St. Olaf College Conference on Worship, Theology and the Arts presented nationally recognized musicians, artists, scholars, and theologians who brought their own perceptions and expertise to this week-long event. The next conference will be held July 21 – 25, 2008.
Oles Shadow Alumni for Insights into Service Vocations
Ben's Chili Bowl on U Street in Washington, D.C., is as famous for its history as it is for its chili. The restaurant opened in 1958 when the area, known as "Black Broadway," was graced by the likes of Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Bill Cosby and Martin Luther King Jr. King's assassination began a decades-long decline for the area, but the restaurant remained open when few other businesses survived.
To Merrie Benasutti, associate director of service and civic leadership in St. Olaf's Center for Experiential Learning, Ben's Chili Bowl is an icon of vocation, and was the perfect place for her and six St. Olaf students to kick-off an Interim break trip that focused on public and social service work in the capital.
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