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MLC graduates 170

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt Martin Luther College students celebrate outside after the graduation and assignment ceremony Saturday.

NEW ULM — Martin Luther College (MLC) held its graduation ceremony on campus and in-person, Saturday.

The graduates of MLC are trained to meet the ministry needs of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). As part of the ceremony, the graduates received an assignment to WELS-affiliated institutes around the country.

The graduation sermon was given by MLC President Rich Gurgel. He praised the graduating students for the choice of class verses; Ephesians 3: 7-9. In the verses, the Apostle Paul writes “Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ.”

Gurgel explained that Paul was continually aware of his shortcomings and remembered his past as a man who once persecuted early Christians. Paul has been confident of his moral superiority until encountering God on the road to Damascus.

As these students were preparing to take on their calls at new ministry assignments Gurgel warned the graduates that “few things are worse for Christ’s Church than when public ministers think of themselves as God’s gift to the ministry. He warned of the dangers of believing Christianity is a political agenda by the morally superior to rule over the morally inferior. He said it was this thinking that originally led Pharisee Paul to hate Christ’s name and those who bore it.

“God’s kingdom is a kingdom of sinners forever learning the sobering depth of their own hearts’ wickedness while simultaneously learning the far deeper, boundless riches of God’s mercy in Christ,” Gurgel said. “To be called into public ministry in God’s kingdom is a gift by boundless grace. It’s also the privilege to let your mouth, and whole life, speak of boundless grace.”

This spring, 170 students took part in the graduation ceremony. Of those graduates, 21 completed an MLC master’s program. Some of the students graduated in Winter but were only able to walk in the graduation ceremony this spring as COVID restriction relaxed.

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