Christian Union Hosts Three Engaging Events
During the spring semester, Christian Union’s ministry at Cornell organized three different outreach events in an effort to serve the community and further God’s kingdom in big and small ways.
In March, the ministry hosted a screening of the documentary Liberated: The New Sexual Revolution to spark a conversation on the dangers of the hookup culture. A panel discussion and Q and A session followed.
Multiple outreach events throughout the spring semester reached Cornell’s campus in big and small ways for the kingdom of Christ.
“One of the biggest issues plaguing our campuses, and the broader culture, is the false view of sex which treats people as objects for personal pleasure, rather than as people created in the image of God to be loved,” said Christian Union Ministry Fellow Jordan Cooper. “Liberated gave us the opportunity to speak about worth and identity in relation to the sexualization of our culture.”
Amanuel Sahilu ’22 commented, “Liberated made me realize how systemic the problem of the hook-up culture is…I’d seen it around me, of course, but I was never convicted about it this deeply.”
The night initiated raw, honest, and convicting conversations on the real harms of the hookup culture, as panelists shared their observations and experiences of the damage it inflicts. The event’s platform was used not only to decry the pervasive hookup culture, but also to emphasize the redemptive love and forgiveness that is found in Jesus.
In May, Christian Union hosted its spring “Grill Me for Grilled Cheese” outreach. Students across campus were invited to text in a question about spirituality, Christianity, or God in return for an answer to their question and a grilled Nutella or cheese sandwich delivered by Christian Union team members. The event set a new record for the ministry at Cornell; over 500 sandwiches were delivered to locations on and around the school’s campus. Most of the texts came from students who responded to memes posted on a Facebook page, “Cornell: Any Person, Any Meme.”
The demand was so high that the event ended one hour earlier than expected due to a lack of sandwich ingredients. However, several volunteers stayed close to the computers answering every question until G4G finally concluded at 2 am.
The night was full of challenges, joy, and great reward. Caroline Hinrichs ’22 admitted that, at first, she was apprehensive because she had little experience sharing the Gospel, but she sensed God’s presence in every encounter. Benjamin Hopkins ’22 added, “Grill Me for Grilled Cheese was one of the most rewarding things I did this semester. Having deep conversations about Christianity with non-believers is not something I was used to, but [this event] allowed me to do that and helped me grow as a Christian.”
Student exec team members David Navadeh ’19 and Ji-ho Lee ’21 both commented on what makes the event so special.
The outreach “allows us to clear up misconceptions about Christianity in an unobtrusive way,” Navadeh stated. “It’s wonderful to run into folks on campus whom we met through [the event], and even more joyous to hear how this outreach event has impacted their lives.”
“Serving and loving strangers on our campus, vulnerably sharing the power and goodness of Christ to others, and creating friendships with other people in the ministry—it’s a process that offers an incomparable joy,” said Lee. “But, like every other worthy thing that we can do as hands and feet of the Church, it’s impossible without the strength, power, and victorious freedom that is offered by the Cross. Remembering, celebrating, and sharing that is what makes Grill Me for Grilled Cheese such a special thing.”
At the beginning of the semester, Christian Union’s student-run outreach team organized a bi-weekly “Mocha Monday” that offered free coffee, tea, and hot chocolate to students passing through the lobby of Albert R. Mann Library. Many students came to grab a quick beverage in between classes and stayed to have conversations about topics, including, but not limited to, Ithaca’s awful weather, the dread of finals or prelim season, and the theology behind the crucifixion. Gigi Wong ’22 stated, “Serving people coffee and [other] drinks and having conversations about God put me a bit out of my comfort zone, which I really appreciated!”
Several students also took copies of Mere Christianity, the Gospel of John, or The Case for Christ, which were made available at every Mocha Monday.
Amy Crouch ’22 loved Mocha Mondays because they were an “opportunity to bless others in so many different ways.” Ministry Fellow Jordan Cooper echoed this sentiment, stating that it was “a great opportunity to share the love of Christ on campus in a simple act of giving.”