• Chad Olson

Serving soup with a smile to MSU

Shae Pederson, business management, and Mark Fulbright, energy economics and finance, enjoy free soup provided by Lutheran Campus Ministry in the lower level of the Student Center.  Photo by Chad Olson

Love and generosity are alive and well on campus. To students here at Minot State University, it comes in the form of hot cups of soup, tasty treats, and warm smiles — all for free. Soup day, hosted by Lutheran Campus Ministry, happens every Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. next to Buckshots in the Student Center, lower level. It is an established tradition and a regular part of the MSU culture.

“This is a free event to all of the students and staff to come in and enjoy a little camaraderie and to enjoy some nice warm soup for a cold winter day,” volunteer Sue Robb said.

There are a variety of different soups, breads, and deserts to choose from, and it provides students a safe place to relax and enjoy good conversation between classes.

“It’s just growing every year. We’re serving probably anywhere between 160 to over 200 kids a week,” Robb said. “It just brings me so much joy to be able to give to the students. Money is not in plentiful supply for most students. It is nice to be able to provide them a nice, warm lunch and a little bit of fellowship.”

Students on campus appreciate the generosity of this ministry and the fact that they don’t have to figure out what they are doing for lunch on Tuesdays.

“It means a lot. It’s a really good opportunity for those of us, especially us college students trying to save money,” communication disorders major Noah Grant said.

Augustana Lutheran Church formerly hosted the event across the street from campus, but was inundated with water from the 2011 Mouse River flood. The church, in a collaborative effort with MSU, moved the event on campus. Starting in room 158 of the Administration Building, the ministry then moved to the Multicultural Center, and then finally to their current location.

The churches that fund the event are happy to continue to provide this service to students year after year.

“The funding source comes from a percentage of the five ELCA Lutheran Churches here in Minot,” Zion Lutheran board member Linda Christianson said. She also said that they get some support from the Western Synod and Turtle Mountain and the Western Prairie Conferences.

The warm greetings and smiles week after week show students the caring nature of the volunteers involved in this ministry.

“We just really enjoy being around all the students,” Robb said. “Like I say, when you get older, it just keeps you young.”

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