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Christian Union
August 27, 2020
Where is Your Faith?; Valuing, Testing, and Weighing Prophecy; What Is the Holy Spirit's Role in Art?; "Success Addicts" Choose Being Special Over Being Happy; Selling Our Birthright for a Quiet Pew; Zooming In and more, in this issue of Christian Union's bi-monthly email brief.
 
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Dear friend in Christ,

Last week was unfortunately a brutal week for Christian Union. Due to budget shortfalls that are directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ministry was forced to eliminate the positions of nearly 30 out of 80 associates. The shortfall also led to the closing of several CU rented office spaces and other budget cutbacks.

The departing faculty and staff have faithfully served with the ministry in a wide variety of roles. We are grateful for their hard work and many contributions during their time at CU. Every department of the ministry was touched by the revenue shortfall, and while we know that many for-profit companies have gone through similar layoffs during this time (and some even more brutal), that fact doesn’t make this any easier. The ministry has taken several steps to do its best to help in the transition process for the departing faculty and staff members.

We rejoice that a ministry partner who heard of the ministry’s predicament has already decided to step up to fund the salaries for two of the positions that had been slated to be cut. This was an enormous blessing. If you are in a financial position to prayerfully consider doing something similar for one of Christian Union’s ministries, we would love to hear from you.

I am sharing this news with you to:

  • Ask you to pray for our dear friends and former colleagues who are now suddenly looking for a landing place and who are seeking God for direction in their search — that God would (in His lovingkindness and sovereign grace) open exactly the right doors for each of them as they pursue next steps;
  • Help you understand that the ministry has not been able to escape the impact and reach of the pandemic;
  • Ask you to continue to pray for the ministry during this difficult season.

Please also prayerfully consider financially supporting the important work of reaching students and professionals in strategic places with the Gospel. The ministry continues to operate its eleven ministries, but with a scaled-down workforce. This includes nine university ministries (Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Cornell, Columbia, Dartmouth, Brown, and Penn) as well as CU New York and CU Day and Night.

Our trust is firmly in our wonderful Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, during this time, and we look forward to ways He will bring about good, even in the face of what is a very difficult earthly reality.

We are reminded of Psalm 119:90: “Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth and it stands fast.”

Because He is good and our eyes are firmly set on Him, we will move forward with confidence and optimism, despite the very real loss and its impact both on our departing associates and on the ministry as a whole.

Yours in Christ,

Matt Bennett

P.S. If you are in a position to make a financial gift, please go here. If you’d like to talk to someone about making a major gift to fund positions to allow more students to be reached, please contact Cheryl Ennis Self, VP of Development, 703-535-8145.
 

Where is Your Faith?

By Tim Keller
From Gospel in Life YouTube
keller 01Dr. Tim Keller examines Luke 8:24-25 arguing that faith is a deliberate action we take. Not an automatic response, faith is something we get out and put into use — it is a gift we wield. So when we panic or are fearful and afraid, it is not necessarily a lack of faith, but an unwillingness to utilize the faith that we have.

Watch Now >
 

Valuing, Testing, and Weighing Prophecy

From Christian Union Day and Night
Some Christians today view prophecy, dreams and visions with suspicion or skepticism. Many lack experience receiving and evaluating prophetic words. Meanwhile, other Christians are quick to embrace anything “prophetic,” and may be quick to believe prophecies they hear without weighing and testing them biblically. As Christians, how are we to handle these topics?

Since its posting on June 25, 2020, more than 1.7 million people have watched a video describing the prophetic dreams of Dana Coverstone, pastor of a small Assemblies of God congregation in Burkesville, Kentucky. In the video, Coverstone gives stark warnings about events which are said to unfold in the coming months in the United States.

In this article, Christian Union Day and Night provides a guide to interpreting, weighing, and valuing prophecy.

Read More >
  

What Is the Holy Spirit's Role in Art?

By Sara Groves and W. David O. Taylor
From Christianity Today
art 03"We get to be co-celebrators with the audience. They say, ‘that song really helped me,’ and we get to say, ‘it helped me too’.” That idea lifted my head and was the beginning of my journey to find a better framework for inspiration and gifts; it created a separate space where creativity was the invitation, a collaboration with God.

Fuller Theological Seminary professor, David Taylor, and singer-songwriter, Sara Groves, discuss the work of the Holy Spirit in creative endeavors and how artists might grow in their theological understanding of how God is working through them and with them as they create.

Read Now >
  

"Success Addicts" Choose Being Special Over Being Happy

By David Brooks
From The Atlantic
Imagine reading a story titled “The Relentless Pursuit of Booze.” You would likely expect a depressing story about a person in a downward alcoholic spiral. Now imagine instead reading a story titled “The Relentless Pursuit of Success.” That would be an inspiring story, wouldn’t it?

Maybe—but maybe not. It might well be the story of someone whose never-ending quest for more and more success leaves them perpetually unsatisfied and incapable of happiness.

Read More >
  

Selling Our Birthright for a Quiet Pew

By  Sarah Dahl
From Comment

birthright 05"Each time we sprinkle a little one with some water and hear the words, “This is a child of the covenant,” we are confessing a profound spiritual equality with these inarticulate, helpless little beings.

Can that possibly be true? Are the investment banker sitting behind me, the software CEO a few seats over, the recovering alcoholic, the nonprofit lawyer, and my own twelve-year-old daughter existentially, before God, no different from the toddler our pastor is holding up to bless? Do each of them need this toddler in their lives as much as this little one needs her protective, caring adults? Well, yes, says baptism."

Sarah Dahl explores the power of baptism and the importance of children in the life of the church in this article from Comment.

Read Now > 
  

Zooming In

By Tom Campisi
From Christian Union
With most campuses gearing up for another semester of virtual classes, Christian Union ministries are prepared for the fall semester after adapting ministry functions to virutal formats. Though the end of the spring semester was jarring for students as they were sent home, many of the same struggles will endure through the fall as students fight zoom fatigue, lack in person connections, and struggle with anxiety over an uncertain future. This article from the Spring edition of Christian Union: The Magazine delves into the current reality of life and ministry on campus.

Read Now >

  

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Prayer Requests


UNIVERSITY  MINISTRIES
In light of the news shared above, please pray that the Lord would give our faculty and staff wisdom on how to best meet student needs despite now having smaller teams. With some but not all students returning to campus in the next month, please pray for the safety and health of our CU faculty, students, professors, and campus staff. Pray for Christian Union faculty to connect with incoming students while adhering to campus regulations, and pray that students would hunger for the truth of the Gospel and confess Jesus Christ as Lord.

CITY MINISTRIES
Please pray for wisdom as the New York City ministry continues to seek the best ways to minister amid the continuing challenges presented by COVID-19.

DAY & NIGHT

Seek God in September! CU Day and Night is inviting all Christians in America to pursue God fervently throughout the entire month of September. Our nation is in great need, and we as God’s people need to lead in repentance and prayer. Join us on your own, with your family, small group, and church family.

Talk Back

We would love to hear your thoughts and feedback about this newsletter or about any of the articles above. Please use this Contact Us form to share your thoughts >

 
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