A Brief Interlude from Chaplain Michael D. Costello

July 2, 2015

Today’s ODJ post comes from our chaplain, Rev. Michael D. Costello. Michael is an alumnus of Lutheran Summer Music (93’, 94’, 95, 96’), was an intern (98’ and 00’), and previously served as chaplain (10’).

Question: What are some of the goals you hope to accomplish in the spiritual community at LSM this summer?

As chaplain I hope that I am proclaiming the Good News of God in Jesus Christ and that the students are hearing that proclamation clearly through hymn singing, morning and evening prayer liturgies, preaching, and the mutual discussion that takes place among peers in dorm devotions. I want students to realize that their first vocation is the one that was given them in Holy Baptism; that is, they are children of God, a calling that supersedes all other callings in life. I think that these students realize that everything they do, particularly with regard to their craft as musicians, is to God’s glory. And what better what to communicate the Gospel than through music?

Question: What are some of the challenges you face as a spiritual leader in an environment where people are from so many backgrounds?

Answer: While students worship in different ways in their home congregations, they form a unique community during these four weeks. Students serve in a variety of capacities, from crucifer and usher to assisting minister and lector. Everyone is invited to take ownership in our worship life. While it is certainly true that we have a student body from so many backgrounds, most of them are coming from churches from within the Lutheran tradition. Thus, the challenges are overcome by what we share in common: the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Question: As chaplain, what is one of your favorite parts of LSM?

Without a doubt my favorite thing about LSM is when we gather for Evening Prayer. There is something about closing the day with chanting, praying, singing hymns, and hearing the Word of God that puts everything else into perspective.

Question: How has LSM changed from when you were a student?

I really cannot believe how little the schedule has changed over the years. The primary difference, I think, is that more of the bumps in the road seem to be ironed out. Students are given more intentional recreation time and are encouraged to take care of themselves. I am incredibly impressed with how well the staff at Lutheran Summer Music balances the three primary priorities of Lutheran Faith, Excellent Music, and Intentional Community. These three intersect beautifully at LSM. What a wonderful model for living the rest of our lives!