November 20th was the last day of in-person classes for students at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, South Dakota. Students will finish the semester online. The DWU Student Ministry team hosted a final in-person gathering prior to students' departure from the campus. The COVID-19 pandemic does not stop the ministry from continuing to care for others.
The mission of campus ministry is to "take care of one another." Being on a campus or away from campus during the COVID-19 pandemic brings the mission to the forefront, but not without challenges, exemplified by this Facebook post from September: "Campus Ministry at DWU is made up of a lot of different kinds of people with a lot of different political persuasions. We try to work through those differences with honesty and love. And we will always support those who speak courageously and peacefully, and by so doing call us to examine ourselves and our world."
Recently, Rev. Eric VanMeter, campus pastor, Davis Anderson, a leader on the DWU Student Ministry team, and Lacey Wipf, an Elisha intern with DWU Student Ministry and Fusion UMC, discussed what it is like to be involved in college life and student ministry during the COVID-19 pandemic.