ELCA Campus Ministry staff recently gathered for our National Staff Gathering at the University of Maryland. It was a wonderful event to celebrate our ministry among students, faculty and staff at college and university campuses across the country on behalf of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
At the closing banquet, Pastor Chris Heavner was named the recipient of the “2016 Joseph Sittler Award for Excellence in Writing”. Named in honor of this good friend of campus ministry, the Joseph Sittler Award recognizes those who have used the written word to interpret the work of campus ministry to the broader church.
As the Lutheran Campus Pastor at Clemson University, Pastor Heavner is recognized by his colleagues and the people he serves for his special ability to communicate the good news of the Gospel through the written word. An excerpt from his nomination follows:
In a world of clever soundbites; easy and quick jargon; and a saturation mentality in regard to social media, Chris has consistently spoken to his students, alumni, interested parties and the world at large on a daily basis about his and their shared faith. Each morning upon opening one’s INBOX – there it is! -‘Monday Devotion’, ‘Tuesday Devotion’, ‘Wednesday Devotion’, Thursday Devotion’, and ‘Friday Devotion’. In a Keillor-esque mash-up of North Carolina drawl, NASCAR lingo, and a lifetime of living in the Word, Chris tells it like it is. His humility and good humor invade your day, every day, and I (and hundreds, maybe thousands) am grateful for the daily inspiration and information. Chris’ use of technology to communicate the Good News to a wide audience is, hopefully, an inspiration to those just beginning their LCM experience.
I can’t say that Chris’ contribution to the body of written communication has been particularly scholarly, or that there are always deeply theological undertones to what he writes . . . however, it is always there, and it is always welcome, if not needed or availed upon that day. For this reason, I believe Pastor Chris Heavner deserves our thanks and appreciation for his faithful and consistent witness to the community of the Church through the written word.
We hope you will join us in congratulating Pastor Chris Heavner as the recipient of Lutheran Campus Ministry’s “2016 Joseph Sittler Award for Excellence in Writing”.