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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Hey. My name is Caden and I'm from the Chicagoland area.  I'm currently going into my 3rd year at NMU.  I'm a multimedia production major with a double minor in journalism and criminal justice. For as...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

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LGBTQ2S+ People of Faith Coffee Hour creates conversation and community

Joleigh Martinez
Joleigh Martinez/NW

The Student Equity and Engagement Center (SEEC) and Sacred Space Campus Ministry are hosting an LGBTQ2S+ People of Faith Coffee Hour Wednesday, Sept. 20.

The groups will meet outside the SEEC office located in the Hedgcock Building prior to the event at 1 p.m.

The coffee hour welcomes all people of faith, regardless of religion or denomination, to engage in cross-cultural conversations, said Sonny Pilto, an active member of Sacred Space Campus Ministry and programming assistant at the SEEC.  

“This space isn’t meant to convert anybody, it’s meant to inform and engage in conversation in hopes of opening people up to having these types of conversations,” Pilto said. 

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This conversation is the bridging of the LGBTQ2S+ community and faith communities.

“It starts with acknowledging that lots of LGBTQ2S+ people have religious trauma,” Pilto said. “The church, as an institution, has harmed people and we cannot move forward without acknowledging that.”

Sacred Space was just recently named this academic year, but has always been around NMU. The group is a community of students from a variety of denominations including Lutheran, Episcopal and Methodist that meet at Common Grounds Coffee House in Marquette, where the group hosts Sunday night dinners.  

“You don’t have to be religious to go there. You don’t have to be Christian to go there. It’s just a free open space,” Pilto said. 

After beginning college at NMU, Pilto struggled to find a church in the area where they felt they belonged.

“I was seeking a faith community and people that I could exist as my whole self around,”  Pilto said. “I had to go to all of these different churches every Sunday and see if I liked it or not, and then learn that it was not for me, and then have to do it all over again – and that was really tiring.”

Then Pilto found what is now known as Sacred Space a year ago, after a friend involved with Campus Ministry asked them to come to an event.

“Once I found Sacred Space, I was like ‘Oh, this is the place,’” Pilto said. “Being able to work with them and be able to do things within my identity, and I can see all of these different perspectives all at the same time. Those are the types of conversations that really get my brain buzzing and excited.”

The Sacred Space community is all about love, light, and making people feel seen, heard and understood, Pilto said. 

“No matter who you are, or where you come from, or what you’ve done, or what you haven’t done, you deserve community,” Pilto said. “People deserve to have people that they can rely on and can laugh with and can have deep conversation, and there is no harm in creating more spaces like that.”

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About the Contributors
Ryley Wilcox
Ryley Wilcox, News Editor
I found my passion for journalism during my sophomore year of college, writing articles here and there for the North Wind. Since joining the staff this past semester as the news writer, I have been able to learn more about writing and collect some new passions from the stories I have covered. I have always been a learner who was curious to know more about everything and figure out how things worked, which I have been able to do in my time at the North Wind. In my remaining time in college and on staff, I cannot wait to learn even more and find some new passions along the way.
Joleigh Martinez
Joleigh Martinez, Graphic designer
Hello! My name is Joleigh Martinez, I have been happily working for the North Wind since Sophomore year of my NMU career. I am majoring in Native American Studies and double minoring in Construction systems and Art and Design. I am a graphic designer for the North Wind visuals. I appreciate the environment our staff creates and hope to see this team succeed further in life knowing how hard and beautifully they work! I love being a barn/chicken lady, I enjoy playing tennis, and am very excited to graduate and kickstart life outside of college.