In connection with the Spring concert on May 17, 1996 Pastor Vance Fossum, chairman of the Board of Regents for Immanuel Lutheran College, delivered the message for the dedication of the new building. For space considerations what follows is an abbreviated version of his remarks.
Dear Friends — students, faculty, alumni, guests, and especially the Building Committee:
Dedication brings success. And who knows more about the dedication that brings success than our Lord Jesus Christ?
. . . Recall the twelve-year-old Jesus in the Jerusalem temple. His parents had been anxiously looking for Him. They found Him “sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions.” What a serious and dedicated student Jesus was! Perhaps many of our own ILC students are planning to hide out on campus when their parents leave this weekend, because they want to spend a few more days conversing with the profs in the classroom!
Doubtful, isn’t it? Yet there is no doubt that our Lord’s success was due to a very special kind of dedication, which He expressed in this answer to His parents: “Don’t you know that I must be about my Father’s business?” We are talking about OUTCOME-BASED DEDICATION.
Many of you have heard of Outcome-Based Education, especially if you are from Minnesota. Outcome-Based Education is chiefly about “measuring” — measuring what a student knows and what he can do with that knowledge. OBE has rather complex practical applications. “Outcome-Based dedication,” on the other hand, is something we all recognize. It’s the way we live our lives. We dedicate ourselves to the attaining of outcomes or objectives which we consider to be worthy of our devotion.
. . . Early in the history of the CLC Immanuel Lutheran College was dedicated to the glory of God. By the grace of our God, for more than three decades the ILC faculty and administration, its planning and building committees as well as the members of the CLC, have dedicated themselves to performing the Father’s business at Immanuel — the business of preparing pastors, teachers, and lay people to proclaim the good news of our redemption.
Our CLC Conventions in 1988 and 1990 prayerfully resolved to add another building to our campus. Much preliminary work was done by the first Building Committee reporting to the 1992 Convention. Another committee was appointed to oversee the planning and building of a dining and commons area attached to this Fieldhouse. Lyle Trulin, Tom Beekman, Ken Parrigan, Jim Pelzl, Steve Leinberger, and John Lau went to work on what we today call “The ILC Commons.”
In 1988 the Long Range Planning Committee had identified the following critical needs: 1) a larger dining area with approximate student lavatory facilities; 2) more accessible food-storage areas with better ventilation; 3) more sanitary food preparation areas; 4) a larger waiting area for students in the food line during inclement weather; 5) an adequate area for large crowds to gather after special campus activities; 6) an easily supervised co-ed commons area for our students; and 7) better access for vendor delivery vehicles.
. . . Hundreds of man-hours were dedicated by this committee to the complex ILC Commons project. They humbly received numerous comments from others, both complimentary and critical. And — can you believe it? — they still asked for the input of their CLC brethren!
. . . We give thanks to God for their dedication to the work of providing the best possible facility for the dining and social gathering of our ILC students of the Word. Indeed, the members of our Building Committee were about their Father’s business. It was His glory they sought.
This evening we ask ourselves: “Now that we have an ILC Commons, what do we do with it? . . . With joyful and thankful hearts we dedicate the ILC Commons to the glory of our Savior God! This means that we dedicate our use of this building to His glory. For God is never pleased with mere lifeless buildings.
What does it mean that we dedicate our use of the ILC Commons to the glory of God? It means that you who are the students, faculty, and staff of Immanuel are promising that all language, behavior, and work in this building will bring not shame but glory to our heavenly Father. The same applies to the rest of us who enter the Commons.
And further — if we are dedicating the new building to the glory of God, then we are rededicating ourselves to the task of paying for it from the wealth He has given us. More than $400,000 is still needed in offerings. We will need to remind one another that this is not “the business of ILC.” Nor do we dedicate ourselves to ILC. This is part of our “Father’s business.” His great mercies in Christ Jesus beg us to dedicate ourselves as living sacrifices to Him (Rom. 12:1).
. . . Jesus promised: “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” He is ever present in His gospel to help us base our dedication to the Father’s business on the blessed end and OUTCOME of it all! Our ascended Lord promised: “In My Father’s house are many permanent dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3).
Such a glorious and eternal outcome is worthy of our total dedication to our Father’s business every day of our earthly lives. I know you agree. So help us, Lord Jesus. Amen.
–Pastor Vance Fossum
ILC Board of Regents