from PCC alumnus Rev. Jennifer Zogg
Though I had grown up attending church, I met God in a new and powerful way in the fall of 2001 through the campus ministry at the University of Rochester known as the Protestant Chapel Community (“PCC.”) And now, six years later, I am a seminary graduate and the newly-ordained Curate for Family Ministry at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church here in Rochester.
With my friends at PCC I was able for the first time to delve deeply into my faith. We openly explored our questions, served the poor, and sought the pastoral guidance of the chaplain from time to time who was always generously available and visible on campus. I had the opportunity to worship with peers from Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, UCC, Baptists, and many other backgrounds. In this factious world PCC is perhaps the one place, in my brief experience, which has come closest to answering Jesus’ prayer to the Father – that they all may be one.
At the U of R there are ample resources for each student’s academic, social and leadership development. Yet, at a secular institution, the responsibility for providing spiritual support and growth rightly belongs to those of us who care about campus ministry. With so many voices in the modern age competing for the attention of college students, don’t we in the Church have a need to make sure that the Word of the one Voice can be heard among the cacophony?
Young adults often represent the missing demographic in the average congregation. Yet, rather than despairing their absence in our churches, the best thing to do is exactly what Jesus would do: meet them where they are – the college campus. By making sure a Protestant chaplain is there for them, we know there is someone there to help nurture the faith of young adults and welcome new students into the community of faith, encouraging God in Christ to be their guide through the tumultuous years of decision-making and maturing done in college.
Nearly all of my seminary classmates will tell you that it was their campus ministry that had the most profound impact on them and that led them to seminary. Campus ministry is becoming more, not less important, for raising up leaders in the church. Certainly, I know I wouldn’t be here today without the fellowship of the PCC and the wise and caring chaplains who were there to listen and guide me on my journey with God.
Won’t you join me in supporting the Protestant Chapel Community at the University of Rochester?
Rev. Jennifer Zogg
University of Rochester ‘05
Yale/Berkeley Divinity School ‘08
To donate to PCC, please visit the support page on the GACM website.