Luther House UNM & CNM

Luther House, shorthand for this place where Lutheran Campus Ministry happens, is a progressive and reconciling Christian ministry at the campuses of University of New Mexico and Central NM Community College.

Lutheran Campus Ministry is an open and affirming, progressive Christian ministry at the University of New Mexico and Central NM Community College.

Mission: Expanding Minds, Deepening Faith, Inspiring Service, Building Community

Operating as usual

“Americans today live in a haunted house; surrounded by the ghosts of those disposed of, dispersed, and driven away, and decimated by disease and war. And some of those ghosts aren’t even dead yet. Every inch of where we live in the United States was denied to someone else who lived here first, and however the taking is justified, it is based really on power—in the superior power and war-making ability of the settlers. In the same way that the reality of African slavery was baked into our Constitution and laws, Indian dispossession is a foundation of the American polity."

— the Rev. Dr. Guy Irwin, President of United Lutheran Seminary. (He was the first Bishop in the ELCA of Indigenous Descent and the first openly gay Bishop in the ELCA.)

Follow ELCA American Indian Alaska Native Ministries and ELCA American Indian/Alaska Native Lutheran Association too.

Indigenous Peoples Day
12 October 2020

I’ve been reading recently about the Lenni Lenape and the Susquehannock and the other tribes that once were the only human inhabitants of what is now Pennsylvania. They have been reduced to a scattered, assimilated, vestigial presence in these ancestral lands. The largest number of the Lenape (or Delaware) Indians who used to live where Philadelphia is now, are now—through Federal removal policies—in my home state of Oklahoma! That’s like resettling the Basques in Ukraine.

Pennsylvania was founded by Europeans on the hope of peaceful coexistence of white settler and Native populations, and with some good intentions by Quaker and other Christian communities, but there was a fatal flaw in that thinking—for the settlers to flourish, the indigenous would need to move and decrease in their freedom of movement on the land. And a new, European, idea of land ownership by individuals and corporations would need to be recognized by all. Natives couldn’t imagine a abstract claim to land apart from its use—that a single person could “own,” forever, a piece of land far greater than their ability to use, or even ever to see. And this disembodied, abstract ownership could be transferred from one person to another by signing pieces of paper without either person even being present on the land—this was a wholly new idea to them. Naturally they didn’t come out of it with very much.

Today Native Americans are absorbed into our national story in many ways: romanticized as welcoming, helpful people who just gradually melted into the background of history; demonized as ruthless killers of innocent frontier families exercising legitimate land claims; ignored as impoverished and isolated residents of distant reservations to which they were exiled by those who deserved the land more. But most people of Native ancestry (and tribal connection, the real marker of Native identity) are just mixed right in with everybody else today. Some—who have the ancestry but not the living connection—mourn the loss of a sense of belonging; others who are connected to their tribes struggle to retain the connections they have, while everything around the pulls them further into the American mainstream.

Americans today live in a haunted house; surrounded by the ghosts of those disposed of, dispersed, and driven away, and decimated by disease and war. And some of those ghosts aren’t even dead yet. Every inch of where we live in the United States was denied to someone else who lived here first, and however the taking is justified, it is based really on power—in the superior power and war-making ability of the settlers. In the same way that the reality of African slavery was baked into our Constitution and laws, Indian dispossession is a foundation of the American polity. Those “Second Amendment” rights are not just to repel future British invasions, or even to protect individuals from state power, but to protect the land we stole from those from whom we took it—though this fear is now deeply buried beneath lots of other fears.

But the collective guilt over what was done in this land still rears its ugly head any time there is any chance a superior or prior Indian claim gets in the way of settler prosperity: at Standing Rock; when treaty rights are reasserted or nation-to-nation ideas are inconvenient to the majority, or fishing is limited to Natives—no matter how small the Native right that is asserted, each time the guilt of atrocity and genocide gets exposed again it results in a counter-reaction of denial and hate. For a taste of this, just read the current President’s proclamation for Columbus Day issued yesterday.

I think today should be a national day of repentance and prayer. It’s not about Columbus as an individual, or about Italian-Americans—there are many days we could use to celebrate that, and Columbus Day means nothing to real Italians—but about the symbolic conquest of a continent by European Christians, who believed their natural superiority as humans gave them license to take a whole continent as though it was empty, “unclaimed,” inhabited only by people who didn’t believe either in land ownership, or in the destiny of Europeans to rule the world. This isn’t even uniquely a North American problem—colonialism is everywhere—but only in North America have the Natives been ground so far into the dust.

I am happy that Bishop Eaton has made a statement on Native concerns today for the ELCA, but I wish the Native story were a larger part of our current national reckoning on race. And somehow I think the churches have the responsibility to help this conversation happen. For if Christians truly are citizens of an eternal reign not based in human power politics, they might be able to help us out of the moral mess into which we have fallen in regard to Black, and Brown, and Native lives.

Sorry not to be more cheerful, but it’s a day of mourning for many.

(Thanks to the ELCA Deaconess Community for the image.)

🏳️‍🌈 Happy National Coming Out Day! Luther House is blessed by our LQBTQIATS+ siblings and we commit to our collective work to welcome, include, AND celebrate each of you as beloved. 🏳️‍🌈

Today is National Coming OUT Day! Let us celebrate the ways in which we express our sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions, and can share with others our true and authentic selves. And for those who are unable to safely come out, know that you are seen and loved.

#RWKS #QueerLutheran #LGBTQIALutheran #RIC #Lutherans4BLM #RWKSSpiritMonth

Join us tonight at 5pm and meet Kendra and learn about Young Adults in Global Mission - ELCA! YAGM is a transformative year of service in an international context. Send us a message to get the Zoom info.

Join us on Wednesday night for bible study! We’ll probably talk about this guy. 🥖 🍷

tonight, tonight - come see friendly faces, learn about the book of Esther, and do something NOT for school. 🐺 Send a message to get the Zoom info! #APlaceToBelong

#BreonnaTaylor #sayhername

grilled cheese + tomato soup = almost fall 🍁

Shanah tovah um’tukah to our Jewish siblings, especially UNM Hillel! 🍎🍯

Today is Rosh Hashana! Shanah tovah um’tukah.

(which means “May you have a good and sweet new year.”)

Image from

It’s a beautiful day in Burque! 🌞 Come hang out with Pastor Bre 11am to 1pm - outdoor office hours! Get some hand sanitizer, a sticker, or a mask if you need one. Stay safe, Lobos! 🐺

Join us this Sunday night at 6pm at Luther House for our community meal before the week starts. We will be cooking and eating outside, so you can stay and eat at a safe distance or grab and go if you’ve got to run! 🍽

Prayer of the Farm Workers’ Struggle

Show me the suffering of the most miserable;
So I will know my people’s plight.

Free me to pray for others;
For you are present in every person.

Help me to take responsibility for my own life;
So that I can be free at last.

Grant me courage to serve others;
For in service there is true life.

Give me honesty and patience;
So that I can work with other workers.

Bring forth song and celebration;
So that the spirit will be alive among us.

Let the spirit flourish and grow;
So we will never tire of the struggle.

Let us remember those who have died for justice;
For they have given us life.

Help us love even those who hate us;
So we can change the world.

- Written by Cesar E. Chavez, UFW Founder (1927-1993)

UNM COVID-19 testing site allows for targeted testing

Check out this rapid COVID-19 testing site for UNM students right down the street from Luther House UNM & CNM! 🐺 It’s free for students, but an appointment is needed.

UNM’s COVID-19 dashboard with daily updates is here: A parking lot on the University of New Mexico’s Central Campus has been partially turned into a COVID-19 testing site for students. “This is a preventative measure as part of our Bring Back the Pack initiative,” said Byron Piatt, the UNM Emergency...

Join Pastor Bre tomorrow from 11am-1pm outside on the front lawn of Luther House for safe and friendly office hours. There will be free hand sanitizer and reusable masks if you want some. You will also find an empty seat available for praying together, chatting about life, asking weird theological questions, and anything else that comes up!

[Weekly check-in & bible study tonight at 5pm - send a message if you need the Zoom information!]

Join Pastor Bre tomorrow from 11am-1pm outside on the front lawn of Luther House for safe and friendly office hours. There will be free hand sanitizer and reusable masks if you want some. You will also find an empty seat available for praying together, chatting about life, asking weird theological questions, and anything else that comes up!

[Weekly check-in & bible study tonight at 5pm - send a message if you need the Zoom information!]

We give thanks for Pastor Earlean Miller, the first woman of African descent ordained by Lutherans in North America, and all the faithful Black women, Indigenous women, and women of color who serve as deacons and pastors in our Lutheran tradition.

Today we celebrate the Rev. Earlean Miller, who on this day in 1979 became the first African American Lutheran woman to be ordained in all of North America!

Continue the celebration by visiting

Join us online tomorrow at 5pm for Luther House online! We’ll catch up on summer adventures and brainstorm for this semester. Send Pastor Bre a message if you need the Zoom link.

Meet Pastor Bre! She has been at Luther House for 2.5 years and is excited to jump into the 2020-2021 academic year at UNM and CNM. Swipe to learn more about her! #GreenOrRed 🌶 @ Luther House UNM & CNM

Calling all UNM and CNM students!

We know this is NOT how you planned your college days looking - but wherever you are doing school from this year, Luther House is a place for you to belong.

Sign up for our community email list to get connected to all the ways we will will be “together” this year. Link below ⬇️

We blessed these three Luther House community members on their way to new adventures in this strange summer of pandemic, who took their masks off for a quick photo!

L to R, Kehinde is off to begin his PhD program in Memphis, Fernanda is moving out of the house with her own car, and Jaén is beginning his journey in seminary. We shared a physically distanced meal outside and wore masks in fellowship and care for each other.

We hope to have more gatherings like this as long as the weather is beautiful in Albuquerque! #YouAreWelcomeHere #WearAMask

Wear a mask! 😷

The Fifth Commandment
You shall not commit murder.

What does this mean?
(See graphic by Rebecca Grate.)

International students have always been and are now a critical portion of our community at Luther House. We will work to make UNM a safe and advocating place for every student who comes to learn as a Lobo. 🐺

Here's what you need to know right now if you're an international Lobo intending to study in the US during Fall 2020. For more detailed steps and direct links ➡️ You are welcome at UNM and you are an important member of our community.

Luther House: How is it July?!

Luther House: How is it July?! -

We praise God for our LGBTQIA+ students, community members, and friends. We give thanks for the UNM LGBTQ Resource Center for their advocacy and service to the whole UNM community. 🏳️‍🌈 Luther House is a Reconciling In Christ community which means we have made a public commitment to welcome, include and celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) people in partnership with ReconcilingWorks.

"The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection therefore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer."

General Order No. 3
read by Major General Gordon Granger
June 19, 1865, Galveston, TX

Today we honor our ancestors as we reflect on their collective resiliency,strength, and beauty that runs through our blood. Happy Juneteenth ✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿#BlackatUNM #Juneteenth

En vivo: la Corte Suprema mantiene vigente el programa DACA que ampara a miles de jóvenes inmigrantes

We give thanks for all Dreamers! #HomeIsHere Miles de jóvenes que llegaron sin documentos siendo menores de edad a EEUU están amparados de la deportación por la orden ejecutiva DACA firmada por el expresidente Barack Obama en 2012. El gobierno de Donald Trump puso fin al programa en septiembre de 2017 y dejó a cerca de 700,000 jóvenes en ...

Join Lutherans across the Rocky Mountain Synod for a service of Prayer, Repentance, and Lament tonight at 5pm.

We gather to commemorate the martyrs known as the Emanuel 9, who were killed by a white supremacist was raised in an ELCA congregation.

A Service of Prayer and Repentance for the Emanuel 9 will take place at 5:00pm. The order of service is linked in the comments below.

Commemoration of the Emanuel Nine: A People of Faith and a Pathway to Healing

June 17th marks five years since nine people were killed while in Bible Study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina:

Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton,
Mrs. Cynthia Graham Hurd,
Mrs. Susie J. Jackson,
Mrs. Ethel Lee Lance,
Rev. DePayne Vontrease Middleton,
Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney,
Mr. Tywanza Kibwe Diop Sanders,
Rev. Daniel Lee Simmons, Sr., and
Mrs. Myra Singleton Quarles Thompson.

At the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, a resolution was adopted, which designates June 17th as a commemoration of the martyrdom of the Emanuel 9. In commemoration, ADLA National President and ELCA Director for Campus Ministry Rev. Lamont Anthony Wells hosted a conversation with Rev. Dr. Miriam J. Burnett.

A Conversation with ADLA National President Rev. Lamont Wells and Rev. Dr. Miriam Burnett, Medical Director of the International Health Commission of the AME...

Luther House: A June Update

Luther House: A June Update -

Buying a bunch of anti-racism books for young adults from Black-owned bookshops. (Use this form to request a book if you are a young adult: #BlackoutBestsellerlist #Blackpublishingpower ✊🏾✊🏿✊🏽

Get Anti-Racism Books in the hands of Young Adults! #blacklivesmatter

We remember our brother, George Floyd.

A reflection from Pastor Ingrid, who serves Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis, as they tend to their city's needs: How will we tend this fire?

We speak his name: George Floyd.

As I was finishing a conversation with a NY Times reporter yesterday, a man approached me carrying a lantern. He introduced himself as Brian Dragonfly, an employee from MIGIZI, an organization that is (was) located across the alley from the church. MIGIZI was founded in the 70s with a goal of countering misrepresentations and inaccuracies about Native people in the media. In addition its communications work, it also focuses on Native youth empowerment.

MIGIZI’s building survived the first night of unrest in the neighborhood. The second night, members of AIM—The American Indian Movement—were on site, monitoring activity around the building, but no amount of goodwill could stop the fire that spread from a neighboring building. Their building, completed late last year, and many of its contents were destroyed.

Brian Dragonfly said that when he arrived to assess the situation, he found that the building was still burning. “I decided to capture the fire,” he said, holding up his lantern. He wondered if Holy Trinity would tend the fire with MIGIZI until they could rebuild. He thought that the flame—the fire—might bring some comfort to his community.

In we went to the sanctuary. Brian set the lantern on the altar. I ran to find a candle. We shared the fire—and along with it the trauma of the preceding days, the conviction that not all that was destroyed is to be mourned, and the hope that this ashy moment in our neighborhood’s life will be an opportunity for new life. MIGIZI shared on Facebook: “Despite the flames, we as a community burn brighter…We look forward to showing our resilience once again.”

After the reporter and I walked Brian down to what was left of MIGIZI’s building, I returned to the flame in the sanctuary and decided that I needed to bring it home for the night. (I’m more than a little fire conscious right now.) I tended the flame last night; congregants will take over this sacred responsibility today. When I got up before sunrise to check the flame, this poem from Joy Harjo, the country’s poet laureate and member of the Mvskoke Nation, came to mind:


Remember the sky that you were born under,
know each of the star's stories.
Remember the moon, know who she is.
Remember the sun's birth at dawn, that is the
strongest point of time. Remember sundown
and the giving away to night.
Remember your birth, how your mother struggled
to give you form and breath. You are evidence of
her life, and her mother's, and hers.
Remember your father. He is your life, also.
Remember the earth whose skin you are:
red earth, black earth, yellow earth, white earth
brown earth, we are earth.
Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their
tribes, their families, their histories, too. Talk to them,
listen to them. They are alive poems.
Remember the wind. Remember her voice. She knows the
origin of this universe.
Remember you are all people and all people
are you.
Remember you are this universe and this
universe is you.
Remember all is in motion, is growing, is you.
Remember language comes from this.
Remember the dance language is, that life is.

With tenderness,
Pastor Ingrid

Listen to Harjo read this poem here:

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