University Episcopal Community: Responding to an Epidemic of Loneliness

Dan White, Board Member, UEC

University Episcopal Community: Responding to an Epidemic of Loneliness

The University Episcopal Community (UEC) is a Minneapolis-based campus ministry focused on responding to an epidemic of loneliness in young people. Covid-19 has only exacerbated what colleges, mental health professionals, and young people know to be true—technology and the fast pace of modern life have enabled more connectivity, but connection and community are often missing.

UEC’s response to the epidemic of loneliness is building a Community of Communities where students and young adults co-create spaces of belonging, motivated by our faith. Every year we try to meet 30 recent high school graduates. Can you help us reach this goal of 30 by connecting us with young people from your faith community?

Every connection starts with a conversation—we don’t want a list of emails, we want an opportunity to meet young people via phone, Zoom or (best-case!) in-person over coffee. When we meet with young people from your faith community we’re looking to hear their story, welcome them to campus & share some (no strings attached) opportunities to check out UEC. Whether we see folks once a week or once a semester, they belong to UEC. Here’s a brief description of our five communities:

  • Sunday Gatherings: Sundays at 4:30 pm we gather to share stories and meals around the altar table and the dinner table. Excellent music. Space for silence and contemplation. Dinners feel like wandering into that place where everyone knows your name and is excited to see you.
  • Paid(!) Small Group Internships: Up to 18 young adults from across the USA are selected for a semester-long internship where they learn how to build community through storytelling and hosting small events. Training happens over zoom & small groups happen in the local context.
  • 417 House  Up to seven young people live in intentional community in a large duplex near the Minneapolis campus of the U of M.  During the school year they host a free meal every other week that’s a major community builder. Always looking for potential roommates.
  • Convivio:  Led by Johnny Cabrera, Convivio is a community for Latino students and young adults. Every month students gather for dinner, community-building and to hear from a Latino community leader. Convivio was lucky to have Bishop Loya speak in December.
  • Black Excellence Spiritual Collective (BESC):  Led by Louis Tillman, BESC is building a Black-led community focused on faith, cultural wellness and mental health.

Connect here:
UEC Website -
Steve Mullaney, Executive Director -
Rev. Gretchen Roeck, Priest Associate -
Johnny Cabrera, Convivio Director -
Louis Tillman, BESC Director -