OUr team

We hope that all people who get involved at Common Ground become leaders in God's grand conspiracy of love and mercy.  Here are some of the people you will see doing various things around here.

  • Benjamin Morris - Pastor - he/him/his

    Ben serves as pastor here at Lutheran Campus Ministry and as Adjunct Professor of Theology at Viterbo University.  He is ordained in the Lutheran tradition (ELCA) and is passionate about serving alongside people of all backgrounds, and showing that the Gospel is more inclusive, reckless and wonderfully irresponsible than we could ever imagine.  When he is not out and about doing pastor stuff he can be found with his family (wife and two daughters), in the outdoors, canoeing, kayaking, climbing, backpacking, training for the American Birkebeiner #birkiefever,  tenkara fly fishing, hunting and really anything that is adventurous and goes well with a craft beer. He is also fallen down the rabbit hole on baking sourdough rye bread. He holds a BA in History, from Central Michigan University where he also ran on the track team.  His seminary education was completed at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, IA and he also spent a year studying at the Augustana Hochschule in Neuendettelsau, Germany. He is also a proud WFR (Wilderness First Responder) though hopes to never have to use the skills.   His two dogs are often with him at Common Ground and you can find out more about them below.

  • Faith Bartelt - Music Intern - she/her/hers

    Faith is a junior at Viterbo University pursuing a BFA Musical Theatre with minors in Arts Administration and Music. As a freshmen RA, employee of the Fine Arts Center, and involved member in the Viterbo production season, she is extremely excited to pursue and create art in a setting as amazing as Common Ground. Faith's love languages are peanut-butter and coffee dates, and she loves spending time in and around trees (yay nature!). Common Ground is a place she has come to love for it's intentional and inclusive community, open-heartedness, and service to La Crosse's college and local audience and she cannot wait to take on this new role of service. 

    This past summer she was a counselor at Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp in Colorado.

  • Sam Dobie - Social Media Intern - he/him/his

    Sam is a senior at UW-L and is from...well all over Minnesota.  He likes to spend time outdoors, and plays a mean cajon.  He also sported the most magnificent mullet in the midwest but tragically cut it off much to our great sadness. 

  • Rachel Getzinger - Music Intern - she/her/hers

    Rachel is a Senior at UW-L.  Like many around here she is very active in the outdoors.  She can play basically any instrument with strings, and if you hear a banjo at worship...that's here shredding on it.  

  • Kiera Grant - Music Intern - she/her/hers

    Kiera is a junior at UWL and is double majoring in statistics and psychology. She enjoys sports, funny movies, cooking, being outside, and spending time with the people she loves. She has spent the last two summers working at Sugar Creek Bible Camp in Ferryville, Wisconsin where she loves spending time on the Mississippi, hiking the bluffs, and teaching kids about Jesus. 

  • Maddie Teipner - Music Intern she/her/hers

    Maddie is a Senior at UW-L.  She has gone on many of our immersion trips, most recently to Thailand.  She is one of the folks who leads music on Sunday nights and is active in many other ways!

  • Kinsey Vrana - LCM Board- she/her/hers

    Kinsey is a Junior at UW-L from Marshfield.  She has been active with LCM since she started.  She serves as the student rep on the board of directors.  If you are a student with any questions or comments she is the human to contact.  

  • Arlo - Official Dog

    Arlo is a an Australian Cattle Dog, aka Red Heeler.  He is two years old and has lots of energy, like more than you can comprehend  So PLEASE come and take him for a walk or a run.  He has summited Rocky Mountain and black hills peaks, hiked the Superior Hiking Trail, and gone on more paddling trips than he can count

  • Edel - Official Retired Dog of Common Ground

    Edel is Ben's German Wirehaired Pointer Mix.  Born and raised on a reservation in Northern Minnesota she has grown up around people and in churches all over.  She accompanies Ben on most of his outdoor adventures and can even hold her own whitewater canoeing.  She used to be in the building all of the time but has recently entered into full time doggo retirement.  She shows up from time to time and though she cannot run marathons any morel, she does appreciate a good walk.