Grace Place Campus Ministry to celebrate new pastor

By Kia Clair

Grace Place Campus Ministry is hosting a celebration service to welcome in new pastor Amy Fallon at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the ministry.

Bishops, student leaders and board members from Grace Place will be present. The joint ministry is support by ELCA Lutherans and the Episcopal Church. Grace Place is directed towards NIU students but welcomes any community members in DeKalb.

Fallon has worked at a campus ministry in Connecticut for nine years. Prior to that, she worked at a church in northwest Ohio for three years.

“One of the things that we stress is come as you are, and we really mean that,” Fallon said. “We don’t say that just to wheel you in. People believe in different things and that’s what makes a good community…people with different believes learning and growing from each other.”

Harold Grafe, a retired Lutheran pastor and vice president of the Grace Place board, introduced Fallon to community members and other pastors.

“I got involved in Grace Place five years ago when the Cole Hall shooting took place,” Grafe said. “We all helped direct the crosses outside the ministry. Opposed to other churches who only had five crosses, we had six. The student that committed the crime was also a child of God.”

Grace Place has its regular service every week.

“On Wednesday we usually hang out for a while, and around 9 p.m. we have worship,” said Ali Pepper, a student leader at Grace Place and junior elementary major. “Everything is super comfortable because there’s couches, computers, a printer, and the Wi-Fi is better than the one on campus. I really enjoy coming here because it felt like I [have] been here more than once. It’s a great place to get studying done because it’s really quiet, unlike the library, which is always crowded.”

Grace Place has worked with other organizations at NIU and hosted its own events, including a blood drive and a middle school lock-in. Middle school students met at the church, went bowling and later spent a night in the Field House, according to Kristen Farley, a student leader at Grace Place and senior hospitality administration major.

“I [have] been coming here since high school because I grew up in DeKalb,” Farley said. “Its been a good place to come because it’s a close community and relaxing. I’m excited for the new pastor to get involved with NIU so people can see what Grace Place has to offer.”

There’s a strong worship life at Grace Place that allows people from the community to also be involved and ask questions about faith, according to Fallon.

“I’m looking forward to working with adults and college students,” Fallon said. “That’s really what I love. I’m definitely happy to be back on campus. It’s the best kind of ministry because that’s the time when students are figuring out where they want to be in life. I don’t think as myself as a teacher, but as a conversationalist. I don’t want to talk at them.”

The service will begin with a Holy Communion at 7 p.m. and will be different from the other Wednesday services because everything will be done backward, according to Fallon.

Home-cooked meals are provided. For more information, contact Amy Fallon at 815-756-7700 or [email protected].