Submitted by Hannah Kellinger
Senior, Montana State University, Billings, Montana
Editor's note: We will be running a weekly series highlighting students in the Mountain Sky Conference in preparation of United Methodist Student Day on Nov. 25. Today's story features Hannah Kellinger of Montana State University in Billings, Montana.
My name is Hannah Kellinger and I am 23 years old. I am currently a senior at Montana State University - Billings, and will begin my student teaching semester in the spring. I will graduate in May of 2019. I have been involved in United Campus Ministries at MSUB since the fall of 2014 and served as the president from the spring of 2016 until the spring of 2018. In addition, I served as the student representative on the UCM Board of Directors from early 2017 until present.
My faith journey has been a rocky road. I was born into the Community of Christ and was later baptized as a member of that church at the age of 11. After a falling-out between my parents and several other members of the church, my family made the decision to leave the church when I was 15. From that time until I met Pastor Rob Kirby at MSUB in the fall of 2014 at the age of 19, I did not attend church once.
During that time, I felt very disconnected from God and wondered if I’d ever attend church again. UCM and Pastor Rob provided me a way to reintegrate myself with the christian church worldview and reconfirmed my faith as a disciple of Christ. While I still do not attend church in a traditional sense, I feel more connected to my Christian faith than ever.
UCM has been an amazing experience throughout my college years. It has provided me a safe space to examine, question, and expand my faith through bible studies and table talks. It has provided a way to meet new and different people outside my comfort zone. It has also created a way to build lasting friendships with those individuals.
I enjoy going to weekly coffee meetings as a chance to catch up with other UCM members and take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday college life. My favorite part about being involved in UCM is that there is always a pastor available to answer questions about faith-based problems, as well as a network of other supportive students.
United Methodist Student Day is Nov. 25. Gifts to the United Methodist Student Day offering help deserving United Methodist students continue their education and their faith journeys as they strive to make a difference in the world and discern what God has called them to do. Learn more and download resources at www.umcgiving.org/DownloadUMSD.