Students in field

Finlandia Fridays with Pastor Sarah Semmler Smith

September 3, 2021

This week on Finlandia Fridays, campus Pastor Sarah Semmler Smith joins Season 6 host, Jordan Shawhan, to speak about all that is happening this fall at the Chapel of St. Matthew. Semmler Smith talks about the resources, both spiritual and tangible, that she and St. Matt’s can provide as well as the ways for students to get involved or reach out to her anytime they are in need.

“In some ways, you can think of me as the spiritual support animal of campus,” Semmler Smith said. ” I am here to listen, to encourage, to tend to the spiritual climate of what Finlandia is.”

Finlandia is open and rooted in the ELCA faith. Semmler Smith carries these values of the ELCA to help guide students through their vocational journey, which aims to cultivate their identity and aspirations from a place of strength and self-acceptance.

Semmler Smith talks about the different resources available to students, through St. Matt’s, like Community Meals, a great place for students to get a free homecooked meal right on campus. The Table, a student-needs pantry that offers free basics to any and all Finlandia students, provides essentials like food, laundry detergent and even winter clothes. Semmler Smith also leads weekly spiritual and mindfulness sessions called Midday Mindfulness and Grace Hour. Individuals can join these sessions by following @FinnU_Faithlife. 

“I’m here as a support. My office is one of confidence. So if you need counseling, or just a listening ear or just a space, I hold space for students,” Semmler Smith said. “Please reach out, come and find me. Just drop by, my door is always open to you, to all of campus and I hope and would look forward to getting to know each one of you.”

Pastor Sarah can be reached at the Chapel of St. Matthew, by email at Sarah.Semmlersmith@finlandia.edu or on Instagram @FinnU_Fathlife.


Community Meals – (every Monday 7:15 – 8 p.m.)  Always homemade, always free. Served take-out style from the lower level of the Chapel.
Like to cook or need volunteer hours? Sign up to help prep the meal at the link below (or just show up at 6 any given week). https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904094BACA92AA5FB6-finlandia

The Table – (Mon – Fri, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.)  Finlandia’s Student Needs Pantry provides free basics to any/all Finlandia students. From laundry detergent to winter weather gear, frozen pizza to fresh fruit—it’s here for you, and it’s all free. Just sign in and take what you need, when you need it. Located in the lower level of the Chapel. (Open until 9 p.m. Mondays).

And for any who might hunger for community or spiritually:

Midday Mindfulness – (Tuesdays, 12:10 – 12:30 p.m.)  Move from scattered to centered with mindfulness practices geared to add focus, balance and peace to your week. In-person at the Chapel and also on Instagram Live @FinnU_Faithlife.

Grace Hour – (Mondays, 8:15 – 9 p.m.) An intentionally questioning, judgment-free, fluid faith fellowship for any/all who have a curiosity for the story of Jesus. In-person at the Chapel and also streaming on Instagram live @FinnU_Faithlife.

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