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About the Lilly Grant Program


Lilly Grant Program for Lives of Worth and Service
Bruce Dalgaard, Program Director
Old Main Annex 3
1520 St. Olaf Avenue
Northfield, MN 55057

507-646-3268
507-646-3626 Fax
dalgaard@stolaf.edu

Megan Remtema

Connection is everything. Relationship to God and to each other is life itself.

--Heidi Neumark

If I had to sum up my experience at Calvary this summer it would be using this quote. Connection is everything. This summer I worked, in the morning, as an assistant teacher for 2 nd and 3 rd graders and in the afternoon as an arts group leader for 1st , 2nd , and 3rd graders.

While trying to write this paper I thought a lot about what kind of theology I would talk about, or maybe what scripture to reference. When it finally came down to it, however, I realized that what I really wanted to write about was the relationships I made with the students in the Summer Urban Arts Academy. Some of the relationships were more difficult than others, with Unique for example, it was always a struggle from day to day. Some of them were much easier, like with Danica or Tyra who were always ready to give you a hug. But no matter how the relationship played out, I kept thinking of what Heidi Neumark said, “Connection is everything.” Vocationally, I believe it is the second part of the quote that draws me to the church, “Relationship to each other and to God is life itself” and that is evidenced in the experience I had this summer at the Academy. For example, one day one of our afternoon students came in with his mother. His mother was visibly upset and crying. As I walked around trying to get all my kids to sit down, I watched Jimel, an eleven year old boy with a big attitude problem, walk up to the mother and give her a hug. I don't even think Jimel knew her name, much less what was causing this woman to be so upset. I know that Jimel struggled greatly over the course of the program. He would often loose his temper, act tough and not apologize and simply refuse to follow directions. I also know, however, that he managed to come every single day. And that he managed to come to every single family night even though his family would not. So how is this connected to my vocation? I do not think I am even entirely sure, except that I am sure that if it were not for the summer program Jimel would have never in his life given a hug to a crying woman that he didn't know. At some point this summer Jimel made a connection with someone or something. And as a consequence he made a connection with God, whether or not he really knew it. I think that my vocation is in the church is because of instances like the one with Jimel. Watching people create relationships with God because of their relationships with other people is the most rewarding and difficult thing I have ever experienced. Just like Heidi said, “Relationship to each other and to God is life itself.”