Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be ...

Upcoming Events & Announcements

Isaiah 43 & SummerBASIC!

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are Mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
Since you are precious and honored in My sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
Do not be afraid, for I am with you.

[Isaiah 43: 2,4,5]

No matter what your plans are for the summer---whether you are studying abroad or working at a camp or going home or traveling for an internship or staying here in the Cedar Valley---don't forget that you have a Great God who is going with you. He is a God who is not just at BASIC or Life Groups or Sunday mornings, but wherever you are going----His love, joy, presence, and peace is already there. What a beautiful promise that we have to hold onto this summer and beyond! 

What's Happening?

Although the academic year is coming to a close, BASIC will continue to provide a variety of opportunities to stay plugged into this community this summer!

  • SummerBASIC // See graphic below. // Follow BASIC on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook for more details in the future!
  • BASIC in Waverly once before the school year ends! // May 18 // 211 W. Bremer, Waverly, IA. 
    7:00pm: FREE supper & fellowship.
    8:00pm: Get a glimpse of our worship community with music, teaching, prayer, and a student testimony!
    9:00pm: Conversation and questions with Jesse, Rachel and Carter for anyone who is interested!
  • Life Groups // starting May 22 // Sign up here!
    Lindsay McDonald: Thursdays at 6:30pm // 3709 Knoll Ridge Drive (Food Provided) // GIRLS
    Andrea Pingel: Mondays at 6:30pm // 2201 Thunder Ridge Blvd Apartment 5A (Food Provided) // GIRLS
    Tate Offenburger: Thursdays at 6:30pm // Orchard Hill Church Prayer Room (Food Provided) // GUYS
  • Join us for Sunday morning services at Orchard Hill Church and Nazareth Lutheran Church!

(Click on any of the following graphics to learn more about BASIC Happenings!)


Wartburg BASIC


Church Servies ohc.naz 1


What is Prayer?

Prayer is fulfilling. Prayer is powerful. Prayer is important.

Prayer is forgotten.

The God we worship spoke, and created light. That’s AWESOME. He breathed, and created over 100 octillion (that’s a 1 with 29 zeros) stars. That’s AWESOME. All of creation, every person, mind, and personality, He intricately, specifically, and creatively designed. That’s AWESOME. So much of who He is is too complex for our minds to ever understand. That’s AWESOME. Everything about the God we serve and worship is holy, incomprehensible, and truly AWESOME. Oh, and by the way, that same God, He deeply desires to talk to you.

Stop. This part is essential. If that last paragraph didn’t really resonate with you, go back, read it again. Spend a minute trying to understand why an all-powerful God would want anything to do with us, the broken followers. His love for us never fails to amaze me. Spend as much time as you need here to get amazed.

He’s amazed you? Cool. Let’s talk prayer.

He loves when we pray. He knows how good it is for us. When we pray, we are communicating with all three-in-one members of that perfect trinity (another incomprehensible characteristic of God that amazes me). In spending time expressing our thoughts with God, and listening for His response, we get to experience and learn about the heart of the Father, feel the grace of the Prince of Peace, and receive and experience the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. They’re all incredibly important, but the last part is the most exciting and fulfilling to me. The Holy Spirit is essentially how God moves in and through people, it’s how Jesus led His followers, after ascending to be seated at the right hand of the Father. Experiencing more of the presence of the Holy Spirit allows us to grow. The Fruits of the Spirit abound (Galatians 5:22-23) and we are empowered. The book of Acts is full of examples of the Holy Spirit fulfilling the apostles’ desire for growth and empowering them to act. (See Acts 4:23-31 specifically.) Prayer is fulfilling.

His promises never fail and His promises about prayer are not exceptions. The Word says so much about prayer. I’ll paraphrase a few; you should look them up, though. 1 John 5:14-15, He hears everything we ask of Him. Matthew 7:7, ask in accordance with His will, and you shall receive. Matthew 21:22, ask for miracles with faith, and you shall receive. Luke 11:13, ask for the Holy Spirit, and receive Him. I have seen miracles: medical, spiritual, and missional. Miracles are not old news. God acting in amazing ways for us is not just something we hear about in Bible stories. He STILL hears us. He STILL answers our prayers, big and small. Prayer is powerful.

He calls us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), because prayer is an important part of the battle. Spiritual warfare is not a secret (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Light and darkness are constantly fighting for power both on Earth and above it. Therefore, it is essential to serve and bring the Kingdom of God to Earth. We know the light wins in the end, we’ve received an invitation to fight for the winning side, and there are REAL PEOPLE on Earth that need our help escaping the darkness. Serving God and bringing the Kingdom looks different for everyone, but there is one common weapon that every soldier in God’s army possesses, and that’s prayer. Our prayers have the POWER to bring the light!! (See the above paragraph.) What an opportunity God has given us to FIGHT FOR HIM! Prayer is important.

The High King of Heaven longs to hear from us. We cannot let prayer be forgotten.

Payson VandeLune
UNI Freshman


What's Happening?

Unity Prayer, TOMORROW:

  • 8am - 5pm // Lawther Field // Join us in rain or shine as we create a culture of unity and prayer between the students from all across campus here at UNI, including those from any or no campus ministry. Various prayer opportunities, including foot washing at 3pm will be offered! Contact Payson Vandelune at if you have any questions!
  • **LOCATION CHANGE** 6pm - 8pm // Heartland Vineyard Church, 1405 Greenhill Rd, Cedar Falls, IA 50613 // Come end the evening with us as we worship our Father and engage in prayer as a unified community of brothers and sisters in Christ! If you need a ride, click on this link. Vans will leave from the parking lot outside of Gilchrist at 5:15 pm!

Picnic on the Porch, TODAY:

  • 6pm // 604 W. Seerley, Cedar Falls // Free food and fellowship!


  • 8pm // Lang Hall // Ben Fienup, one of BASIC’s Student Leaders, will finish us up in the MarkItUp series! All are welcome!

Worship Night, THIS Sunday:

  • 6:00pm - 10:00pm // 3211 Titan Trail, Waterloo, IA 50701 // Annie Byrne, Val Mancini-Nichols and the Momentum Ministries Team will be joining us for a night of Presence, Power and Pursuit of Jesus. We have no plans except to show up and Encounter the real authentic Glory of God!

Living Room Worship, THIS Sunday:

  • 7:00pm - 8:30pm // Big House right next to Orchard Hill Church // There will be laid-back acoustic worship music and prayer. Come late, leave early, or stay the whole hour. We hope this can be a time of rest and restoration before end of the year, finals, and summer craziness. Bring a friend!

Join an Improv Team!

  • Lamppost Theater’s vision is to form a faith-based team that can grow into a tight-knit community that serves through doing creative, quality improv. Two audition/workshops will be held at Lampost Theater on May 12 & 13 at 7:00pm. No experience is necessary. Auditioners must be 18 or older. If anybody wants to come just to enjoy the workshop and mess around & play games, that is also encouraged! Ideally, the team will practice once a week (we'll find a time that works for everybody) and eventually do shows once a month at Lampost, for starters!

 Click on any of the following graphics to learn more about BASIC happenings! 


picnic on the porch Slide

Mark it up


Living Room Worship location Slide




Easter is a time for celebrating. Celebrating the resurrection. Celebrating God's love for us. Celebrating family.

But what if I don't feel like celebrating?

If I'm being honest, I haven't really felt God's presence this semester. There have been a lot of dark days and sometimes my emotions get the best of me. Some days my only success is getting out of bed and making it to class or work. Some weeks I only make it to church or BASIC because I know it's what's expected of me. Celebrate? How can I celebrate a God who feels so far away?

Maybe it's not about a feeling though. Maybe it's about learning to celebrate the little joys and seeing God in the everyday ordinary things.

The sun is shining. Celebrate!

I had coffee with a friend. Celebrate!

Someone said something that made me laugh. Celebrate!

My favorite song played on the radio. Celebrate!

We are His. He loves us. So much that he sent his son to die for us.


He is good. Even if it doesn't feel like it. He is good.


As the semester finishes up, these next few weeks are going to be stressful and crazy busy. It’s going to be easy to push God to the side or forget to praise Him. So let’s try to focus on the little things that we can celebrate through the mess of exams, projects, papers, and group work. Celebrate the opportunity to be at a wonderful college. Celebrate the relationships that are built through group projects. Celebrate the conclusion of a year of growth.

What can you celebrate right now?

{Psalm 47:1 Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.}

Brianna Busemann
UNI Junior


What's Happening?

ATTENTION: there are a lot of announcements. But, that just means there are a lot of things worth CELEBRATING... right?


  • FIRST, head on over to Nazareth Lutheran Church (7401 University Ave) at 6:30pm for FREE FOOD including: brats, hotdogs, chips, potato salad, watermelon, and dessert.

  • SECOND, bring your Bibles to BASIC at Lang at 8pm as Chassidi Martin from Harvest Vineyard continues our Mark It Up series. John The Gentile will even make an appearance doing some worship through music and spoken word!

  • THIRD, some special friends from Jamaica are here to share with us during Stories from the Seats about their work with Deaf Can Coffee.

  • FOURTH, head back over to Nazareth for Thrift Store Prom for our last AfterBasic of the year! Wear your most recent thrift store finds as there will be a dance, open gym, photo booth, raffles, and more!


  • Stressed, busy, overwhelmed? Come get some free food, people! Orchard Hill Church will be hosting a Picnic Party after the 10:45am service on April 23. The meal will include BBQ chicken sandwiches, jerk chicken sandwiches, potato salad, pasta salad, baked beans, coleslaw, chips, pickle wrap drip, buffalo chicken dip, Reuben dip, bagel dip, corn salsa dip, taco dip and scotcheroos and pop! #celebrate


  • Before our last BASIC of the year (Thursday, April 27), come join us at Picnic on the Porch at 604 Seerley! Food and fellowship will begin at 6:00pm. All are welcome!

  • Need some time & space to get away from studying before Finals Week? Living Room Worship will provide a space for you to sing / sit / dance / stand / and be in community from 7 - 8:15pm on Sunday, April 30 in the Big House right next to Orchard Hill Church. Open to everyone!

Click on the graphics below for more details about these next couple of EXCITING weeks!


Mark it up

CCCD Jamaica USA Visit


Free College Age Lunch April picnic party

picnic on the porch Slide

Living Room Worship location Slide


who are your "garden friends"?

gardens are sacred places. places where the breaking (of the dirt), the planting (of the seed), the growing (of the roots), and the blooming (of the flower) happens.

it’s also the place where Jesus chose to spend His last night before being betrayed, whipped, beaten, and killed.


as Holy Week approaches (next week, people!) i am reminded of the importance of Maundy Thursday (the Last Supper) and Good Friday (the Crucifixion), but i always seem to glance over the moments that happened in between---including this story of Jesus spending time in the Garden of Gethsemane. (Mark 14:32-42)

Jesus and His disciples go to the garden after supper and Jesus asks His disciples to stay awake and pray for Him. Jesus then goes off by Himself and prays to His Father in solitude pleading “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. remove this cup from Me. yet not what I will, but what You will." (Mark 14:36) Jesus knew that there was no other way. all of the dirty, broken sin was going to have to go into His own heart. in this moment in this garden, Jesus had to make the decision to trust His Heavenly Father and choose to suffer and die for all people.

woah x2.

but, the story doesn’t end with Jesus sweating blood as He made this decision that would change  e v e r y t h i n g. this is the point in the story where i usually get frustrated as heck because Jesus goes back to His disciples AND THEY ARE SLEEPING. are. you. kidding. me. these are the people that were suppose to PRAY for JESUS. instead, they fall asleep and they failed Jesus when He needed them most.

it wasn’t until a couple months ago when i attended a conference led by tiger mcluen that i heard the term “garden friends”.

you see, yes the disciples may have fallen asleep. but, what if we instead focus on the fact that these were the people that Jesus asked to come with Him in His darkest moment. (Mark 14:32-33)

Jesus simply needed His friends to come with Him. to be with Him. to sit with Him in the broken. to share the moment of His deepest suffering.

Jesus' “garden friends” weren’t crucial because of what they did or didn’t do in the garden. Jesus had built relationships with these people for three years----from fishing to teaching to traveling to weddings to funerals to celebrations. what was vital was that they were  t h e r e  and  p r e s e n t  when He needed them most.

the power of presence has been evident in my life too. whether that was when i called up my garden friend, josh, to come and be with me, when i was alone in the hospital in the middle of st. paul, mn and merely needed his presence in order to be brutally honest with the pain of loneliness (& kidney stones) that i had just experienced. or in high school when i felt numb to Him completely and linda, my youth leader, invited me over to cook supper and simply being in her house made Him seem alive. or this fall when no words were spoken but silence was enough to shed tears as sara sat across from me in sidecar. or even just last week when i was worshiping at BASIC and depression overwhelmed but mercedes’ hand on my back brought shivers of His needed peace & presence.

Jesus knew that this moment in the Garden of Gethsemane was holy and sacred. He knew that He needed to be in solitude with the Father and yet be in the presence of His disciples, His garden friends.

woah x3

so.. what does that look like for you? how are you in solitude with the Heavenly Father? who are you garden friends? who are the people who come with you in your darkest moments and simply sit and stay? and who are you a garden friend for?

take some time to be still and know God this Holy Week. take some time to think about who your garden friends are and then thank them---text them, write them a letter, give them a tight squeeze---for the ways that they allowed God to use their presence in your life.

lastly, remind your garden friends that they are special people because they meet us right where we are at----in the breaking (of the walls), the planting (of the Truth), the growing (of the community), and the blooming (of deeper intimacy with our Father).


Kristin Sauerbrei
UNI Junior


What's Happening?

  • Mark It UP: Sara Rockow will be leading us through Mark 8 this Thursday at 8:00pm in Lang Hall! Bring your Bible (or get one at BASIC) and be ready to write, highlight, circle, and #markitup.

  • Are you a high schooler or do you know a high schooler in the area? A free meal will be provided for all HS students at 6:30pm this Thursday at 604 W Seerley. After a yummy meal, come on over to BASIC and get a glimpse of what this college ministry is all about! #blessmodel #eat

  • The Gospel Mime will be performed on Wednesday, April 12th at 7:00pm at the brand new Orchard Hill Church building in Grundy Center. What an awesome opportunity to visually experience the Story of Jesus during Holy Week! Friends, family, and community members are all welcome. (Free admission!) Click the graphic below for more details.

  • NEXT Thursday, don’t come to Lang! Instead, at 7:00pm go to Orchard Hill Church (3900 Orchard Hill Drive, Cedar Falls) for a student-led Maundy Thursday service as five students in our community will be sharing their stories. #blessmodel #stories

  • Easter Services: Check out the graphic below on details for the Good Friday and Easter Services happening at both Orchard Hill Church and Nazareth Lutheran Church next weekend! Email if you need a ride.

  • Wartburg students are invited to the Waverly Campus Office (211 W. Bremer) space on Tuesday, April 18th from 5pm - midnight for a space to study (or hangout!) in the middle of finals week. Wifi, coffee, food, snacks, couches and community will all be included. #BeOrange

  • Want to serve others in a great way by simply getting rid of your old shoes? Check out the graphic below on more information about #AdoptBabyTrautman Shoe Drive. Drop of locations include BASIC on Thursday night at Shull Hall. Contact Eliot Clough at 712-371-9285 if you have any questions! #blessmodel #serve

Click on any of the following graphics to learn more about BASIC happenings!

Mark it up


Gospel Mime: 7:00pm, April 12th in Grundy Center. Click here for event details!


Join us for Easter Services With Thursday and friday events

Wartburg finals study night



Something Had to Change

Jesus was someone who I didn’t really know for a long time. All I knew was what I heard at church on Sunday in that little Presbyterian church in small town Iowa. I knew the call and response, I knew the hymns, and I knew that there were some great people in this congregation who were in the same spot I was in. So I figured I was doing everything right. I prayed every night, listened to worship music every now and then, and had the occasional conversation about faith with my parents. I sincerely thought that was it for me.

That changed pretty quickly my freshman year of college. I had an old friend invite me to another college ministry in the area and, upon arriving, I was shocked at what faith could do. I saw people raising their hands in the air praising our Lord and savior, I saw the raw emotion in people’s faces. I clearly remember thinking “Wow, Jesus can really do this for people?”

Following this eye-opening experience, I continued to foster this new found faith and pursue God with all I had. I was reading the Bible daily, changing old, sinful habits, and got baptized. I was earning God’s love.

But, that was the problem. I felt I had to earn it. I felt I had to fit in with the ways of this community in order to earn God’s love. Fit this mold set by the church and live up to a certain standard in order to be “right” with God.

Luckily, due to some of the closest people to me, I came to the realization that this was not right. This was not me. This was not who God is. God’s love is everlasting, eternal, and absolutely unconditional.

Despite knowing this, I am a very logical thinking person. I like to question things. When things don’t go well and continue to slide further and further down hill, I doubt.

Unfortunately, I also struggle when things are going really well, like right now. I have two great jobs, school’s going well (Dean’s List last semester thank you very much), and my girlfriend came back from studying abroad. I tend to think that if things are going well, why do I need to pursue God? He’s already doing great things for me, why do I need to pray right now? Why do I need to dive into scripture outside of BASIC, church, and small group? I’m doing fine on my own.

Something had to change.

In meeting with my small group leader, he asked me, “What did you do before that brought you closer to God?” And that one little statement right there, brought me closer to God. The switch flipped. I didn’t feel as though it was something I had to do anymore. I remembered it was something I wanted to do. It wasn’t something to be earned, or even found. It was something that was always present. God was and is waiting on us to be with Him, and to be present in His love.

Those times reading scripture, singing my heart out during worship, and praying to my Lord and Savior were things I used to actively pursue. Because God’s love breaks every chain, it fills our needs that this world just can’t fill, it finds us, even in our darkest times and places. It is the one thing that will meet us wherever we are and can make us whole again. We can open our hearts to Jesus and feel completely and utterly embraced by Him.

So, what I guess I’m trying to say here, brothers and sisters in Christ, is that you can always come back to God. Because God never left. Despite the doubt, despite the questioning, despite the sin that was in all of us from the very start. Jesus wants you. And He wants all of you.

I challenge you to take that questioning, that doubt, and dive deeper. Read the scripture, and don’t just take it for what it’s worth, study, ask the questions, and keep on pursuing God. Because He is always pursuing you. (Hebrews 4:16)

Eliot Clough
UNI Sophomore


What's Happening?

  • How did you see God at work over Spring Break? Whether you spent time in Jamaica, Des Moines, Sidecar, Haiti, Florida or your hometown...we are opening the floor at BASIC (8pm, Thursday, Lang Hall) to hear stories of how Jesus was movin’ in your life this past week!

  • Want to know more about how God has uniquely wired you? Let’s talk about your strengths, spiritual gifts, passions, narrative and calling. Go to (or click the graphic below!) to register for the Grow Seminar that will take place on Saturday, April 1st from 9:00am to 12:00pm at Nazareth Lutheran Church! No cost and free brunch! Questions? Contact Enrique Ochoa or Jenny Nelson at 319-266-7589.
  • NEXT Thursday (March 30), afterBASIC: Hawaiian Party @ Lutheran Student Center until 11pm. Come enjoy Moana the movie, hula, limbo, games, and smoothies! All are welcome!

  • Jesus + Community is not only on Thursday nights! Join us for worship on Sunday mornings at Orchard Hill Church or Nazareth Lutheran Church. Click on the graphic below for more details.

(Click on any of the following graphics to learn more about BASIC happenings!)

Spring Break Mission 2017 open mic

grow graphic march 2017


Church Servies ohc.naz 1



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