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The Importance of Campus Chaplains: Reflections on Attending the Installation Service of Rev. Samuel Kinsman

ABC Rochester/Genesee Region is one of the founding partners of Genesee Area Campus Ministries and as such, it was with pleasure that I attended the installation service of the (not-quite-so-new) GACM Protestant Chaplain, Rev. Sam Kinsman, on November 12th at the Interfaith Chapel, University of Rochester.


Campus ministry is critical for young adults moving through a time of intense transition. As we know, many young adults have little or no experience of church as their parents (and in many cases, grandparents) had already begun to move away from institutional church years ago. What experience they do have of church is often distilled through very particular lenses and, frankly folks, doesn't always show us church folk in the best light. And yet these young adults are still seeking, still spiritually hungry, still looking for a faithful community. Campus ministry meets students where they are and offers a safe holding space for them as they grow and change through these formative years. I have been pleased to get to know Sam over these last few months and know that GACM's campus ministry is in excellent hands!



I didn't get a picture of Sam at the event has he was busy with so many people at the time, but I'm including his official photo (left). I had the pleasure of attending the installation with Evann Hasenauer, CRCDS student (and oh, yeah, my daughter, with me and J.D. in the center photo), who has had some lengthy coffee conversations with Sam about campus ministry and potential future collaborations. And to what to our wondering eyes did appear but Rev. Julius D. Jackson, pastor of United Church of Pittsford (right), who was the guest preacher for the event.


Sam has served as chaplain for a little over a year but scheduling the installation had to take a number of factors into account so it was a little later than typical. Because he's had time to build relationships with students, though, there was some wonderful student participation in the service. Sam's creativity and joy in his ministry shone through clearly. He serves full-time as chaplain at University of Rochester and at Rochester Institute of Technology. He's developing some really intriguing initiatives around ministry of play that you really need to ask him about!


Sam is ordained in the UCC tradition and is available for pulpit supply (he's on our list). He'd love to be invited to your church to talk about campus ministry and/or to preach. You can contact our region office at office@abcrgr.org for the most current pulpit supply list. For information about Genesee Area Campus Ministries, click here.

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