And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. Luke 15:20
Concordia University Ann Arbor’s Campus Ministry is excited to announce the 2019-20 academic theme: Embrace(d).
This year’s theme is based on the parable of the prodigal son found in Luke chapter fifteen verse twenty, where Jesus tells of a sinful son who returns home to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him.
While Campus Pastor Randy Duncan led the team that decided on this year’s theme and its accompanying verse, he had the help and support of seven CUAA students he described as his “theme team.” The team met throughout the spring 2019 semester to discuss various chapters, verses, or parables that could be suitable for the school’s theme.
In between meetings, the team prayed about the choice of the theme. When they came back together, they talked about what they felt would tie their ideas together the best.
“We thought that having just the single word ‘Embrace(d)’ helps to create a powerful reminder that it all comes back to the fact that we are so loved by God,” shared Alex Elliott (’22), a member of the theme team. Elliott noted that this year’s team had observed that in recent years past, the academic theme has been more than one word, like 2018-19’s More Than Conquerors or 2017-18’s All Things New.
Elliott shared that after a few meetings, they narrowed their top choices down to four. The group went their separate ways and prayed about the options and how they would guide the upcoming academic year.
“When we all came back together after praying about it, we all had chosen the same one! Now that’s God,” said Elliott.
The theme team chose Embrace(d) not only because it is a daily reminder of how our God embraces us and loves us, but its also a reminder to embrace one another both on our campus and when we are away.
“Embrace(d) covers the idea of ‘wearing love’ and being love to the people around us. We do that because our God embraces and loves US,” said Elliott. “I felt so at peace throughout this processes knowing that God had His hand helping us to choose this theme.”
As children of God we are embraced by a merciful Father that loves us more than we can even comprehend. No matter our past mistakes or our current grievances, God still calls us his own and for that reason we are able to love and embrace others in the same way that He has embraced us.
Embrace(d): This one, powerful word is a simple reminder that regardless of our faults, God loves us and wants us to love others, too.
— Allie Milot ('21) is a student writer majoring in digital media design. Questions or concerns related to this article may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If this story has inspired you, why not explore how you can help further Concordia's mission through giving.