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June 22, 2020

The Voice in the Water

Miss America Contestant’s Faith Journey Includes God-Inspired Dream 


by francine barchett, cornell ’20

“Hey babe, you should get baptized.”

Synclair Gonzalez was ready to make her faith public. Her boyfriend’s voice, calm and reassuring, told her that now—the end of this church service—she should do it. So she went to the pool of shimmering water, letting the pastor guide her head under the rolling waves. But he kept her there…far too long. She felt herself flail, drowning.

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December 13, 2019

Designing Your Life

Dave Evans Lectures at Dyson School

By Zachary Lee, Cornell ’20 

 

In September, the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University hosted Stanford Professor and author Dave Evans, who spoke about how the application of design thinking can bring fulfillment and meaning. Evans, co-author of the New York Times’ bestseller, Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life,appeared as part of the Dyson Dean’s Distinguished Speaker Series.

 

Featuring his signature rapid-fire wit and humor, Evans lit up a full Statler Auditorium with anecdotes and constructive advice, speaking right to Cornell students’ penchant for problem solving and strategy. Even though he did not share specifically about his faith, an astute ear could catch allusions to Christianity. Evans previously wrote a companion to Designing Your Life that dives deeper into the themes of the book and examines their place within the Christian worldview.

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December 13, 2019

Research Fellow Exposes Abuse in Chinese Churches

She Could Not Look Away

By Francine Barchett, Cornell ’20

 

Dr. Mary Li Ma never expected to be a whistleblower against abuse in China’s churches. She hadn’t even encountered a Christian nor seen a Bible until fifteen years ago.

 

Life as Ma knew it began to unravel as she was studying at Cornell for her doctorate in sociology. Relationship after failed relationship rekindled memories of her own abusive father. Soon, her clear-cut academic trajectory, which had led her from China to Oxford and then all the way to Ithaca, started to take a downward spiral. Then depression flooded in, leading to months and months of utter hopelessness.

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December 2, 2019

Reaching Out to Freshmen

Ministry Fellows, Student Leaders Host Welcoming Campaign

In August, Christian Union at Cornell hosted its annual pre-retreat, a strategic event for students and ministry fellows in preparation of its three-week Freshman Welcoming Campaign at the beginning of the academic year.

At the retreat, students were reminded of the importance of being centered on the Gospel as the motive for all that they do. Ministry Fellow Jordan Cooper spoke on Romans 1:16, emphasizing that Jesus ought to have the highest priority in our lives. Ministry Fellow Liz Thomforde echoed the sentiment, and reiterated the importance of being mindful that Christ’s sacrifice is why we serve in our different roles within the ministry. Through prayer, worship, devotionals, large group discussions, and conversations around the campfire, the focus was on Jesus Christ, and how He is the ultimate reason for reaching out to freshmen and welcoming them to Cornell.

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November 11, 2019

Political Union Disinvites Speaker

Stewart Says She was Silenced Because of Religious Beliefs   

By Francine Barchett, Cornell ’20

 

Jannique Stewart, a pro-life advocate, was disinvited from speaking at Cornell Political Union this spring. In a Facebook post, Stewart, who was scheduled to appear in April, said her right to free speech was violated and the cancellation was due to her “outspoken beliefs regarding sexuality,” namely, that sex should be reserved for marriage, and her affirmation of marriage as a male-female relationship.

 

Cornell Political Union (CPU), which seeks to promote “discourse with those from both ends of the political spectrum” and discuss “today’s most pressing political issues,” invited Stewart to speak about pro-life issues.

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October 4, 2019

A Semester of Service-Minded Outreach

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.

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September 25, 2019

Solidarity with the Persecuted Church

Chesterton House Hosts Speaker from Open Doors

By Zachary Lee, Cornell ’20

 

Vaughn LeMoss, the vice president of Open Doors International, a non-profit organization that supports persecuted Christians in over 60 countries, was the featured speaker when the Chesterton House at Cornell hosted its Friday Conversation Series on April 19. The theme of the evening was “Solidarity with the Persecuted Church.” LeMoss exhorted the audience to use their college degrees and future influence to aid global missions. He weaved practical advice in between touching anecdotes from his testimony, all the while expanding the students’ vision of God’s kingdom.


LeMoss hit the ground running by demystifying the fallacy that missions work is set apart solely for those in vocational ministry or “super Christians.”

Solid2019

Open Doors International supports the persecuted church around the world. 


“You can serve the Lord in whatever capacity you’re in,” he said. “So often we say to ourselves, ‘I need to become a pastor first’ or ‘I should go to seminary.’ There is nothing wrong with those paths, but do not discount the place where God has you now.”

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June 17, 2019

Reach the Class of 2023

Your Gift by June 30 Will Share Gospel and Change Lives

donate nowPlease consider a special gift to Christian Union by June 30 to support the next Freshman Campaign. The Class of 2023 will be here before we know it!

The ministry will connect with freshmen before they even set foot on campus to welcome and warmly invite them into biblical studies, Christian community, and spiritual and leadership growth.

Your gift helps set lives on a new course!

june19

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June 1, 2019

Senate Chaplain Chief of Staff

Q and A with Lisa Schultz

Lisa Schultz is the Chief of Staff for United States Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black. She directs all of Chaplain Black’s programs and outreach to Senators, their families, and hundreds of Senate staff. Schultz has spent 15 years overseeing Capitol Hill-focused ministries, first as Director of Outreach for the D. James Kennedy Center for Christian Statesmanship and the last 11 years for the Senate Chaplain. Prior to her time serving on Capitol Hill, she lived as a missionary in Schladming, Austria, for seven years under the umbrella of Torchbearers International.

 

At Christian Union’s Nexus Student Conference in February, Schultz was a member of the law and government panel during the vocational breakout sessions.

 

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June 1, 2019

A Harvest of Righteousness

Susan Stover and Arthur Stella

He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 

- 2 Corinthians 9:10

 

Early in Susan Stover’s life, her parents, Bob and Joan Stover, sowed the seeds of generosity. “My parents’ faith journey had a tremendous impact on me,” Susan noted.

“My father became a Christian as a young man after serving in the Navy during World War II. His life reflected his personal belief that he needed to use his talents and resources in the Lord’s service.” After the war, Bob Stover began a temporary employment agency in San Francisco.

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June 1, 2019

Calling, Courage, and Christ

Nexus Attendees Challenged to Be Salt and Light in Marketplace

by tom campisi, managing editor



Have the courage to say yes—even when you are unsure of where it may lead.

That was one word of advice given to students by television and film producer D.T. Slouffman during the media and communications vocational panel at Christian Union’s Nexus Conference in February. The theme of the conference was “Courageous in the Ways of the Lord.”

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June 1, 2019

Courageous in the Ways of the Lord

Nexus Conference Inspires Students to Put Faith into Action

by catherine elvy, staff writer

 

The devotion and courage of King Jehoshaphat was remarkable. Although he had his flaws, the ancient leader worshipped God, readily obeyed spiritual commands, and boldly compelled the nation of Judah to seek the Lord.

Such practices dovetail with some of the key missions of Christian Union, a leadership development organization that encourages college students to honor the Lord, step out in faith, and change the world.

In February, Christian Union Founder and Chief Executive Officer Matt Bennett kicked off the ministry’s 2019 Nexus Conference by asking students to consider the dedication and leadership of Jehoshaphat, a descendent of King David.

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May 6, 2019

A Night of Glorious Praise

Local Ministries, Musicians Unite for Worthy ’19

By Grace Choi, Cornell ’22


Loud echoes of worship could be heard from Barnes Hall on Saturday, March 9, as a crowd gathered for Worthy ’19, a campus and community-wide effort that drew musicians, singers, artists, and performers from Cornell University, Ithaca College, local churches, and community organizations during the Lent season.

ANightofGloriousPraise

Jazz musician and visiting lecturer Joe Salzano organized the unique, multimedia worship night.


This year’s event, titled “Song of Salvation,” featured a mini-orchestra, a brass ensemble, members of Christian Union and Cru’s worship teams, and two of Cornell’s a cappella groups: Measureless A Cappella and Baraka Kwa Wimbo Gospel Ensemble. The event was sponsored by Campus On A Hill, Cornell Worship Workshop, and the Cornell Department of Music and was well attended by students. 

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May 5, 2019

Truth and Tolerance

Veritas Forum Features Volf, Dean of Students    

By Zachary Lee, Cornell ’20

 

In March, the Veritas Forum at Cornell University posed the question Can Truth and Tolerance Co-Exist?

 

Dr. Miroslav Volf, director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture, and Dr. Vijay Pendakur, Dean of Students at Cornell, addressed  that imposing inquiry, while Dr. Ludmilla Aristilde, an associate professor in the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, facilitated the discussion.

TruthandTolerance

Dr. Miroslav Volf, director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture (right), and Vijay Pendakur, Cornell Dean of Students, tackled the question of whether truth and tolerance can co-exist.

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March 14, 2019

Seeking God, Seeking Justice

Arce ’19 Has a Heart for Public Service

by catherine elvy, staff writer


A Cornell University senior is establishing the groundwork for a legal career centered around his passion for aiding refugees and immigrants.

“As a Christian, I’m called to love my neighbor and the marginalized,” said Chris Arce ’19.

Arce, who is actively involved with Christian Union at Cornell, plans to use his leadership talents and drive to pursue a career in the public sector. Arce serves as co-president of Cornell Interfaith Council, and has served as co-president of the Puerto Rican Students Association at Cornell and as vice president of Cornell Welcomes Refugees.

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October 5, 2018

The Abundant Life and Greek Life

Christian Union Students Serve in Sorority, Fraternity 

by francine barchett, cornell ’20

DavidCornellIn February, a Cornell fraternity made national headlines for a disturbing hazing incident that awarded points for sexual activity and simultaneously degraded women.

Negative press on fraternity and sorority culture is hardly a Cornell-specific phenomenon. It reinforces a long-enduring sentiment that Greek life and high ethical standards are mutually exclusive. However, for Alanna Staffin ’18, David Navadeh ’19, and Chris Arce ’19, that perception is far from the complete picture. They maintain that fraternity life has not drowned their Christian faith; it has grown it.

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June 24, 2018

2018 Conference Highlights

The Christian Union Cities Conference convened graduate students and diverse professionals, from recent graduates to seasoned pros, from across industries, to explore compelling ideas about faith and its relevance to every facet of our lives. Graduates of Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton and Yale explored their role in becoming Christian leaders. (2:26)

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May 14, 2018

A Spiritually Vibrant Nation

A Blessing To The World

Since 2002, Christian Union has worked to help bring sweeping spiritual change to America. We want to see the United States become a spiritually vibrant nation that blesses the world. (5:07)

Please consider giving a generous gift by June 30 to engage even more students with the gospel. Click here to donate today. 

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April 21, 2018

2018 Nexus Highlights

The Nexus 2018 theme of "Turn the World Upside Down" comes from Acts 17, when Christians were accused of turning the world upside down with the message of Jesus Christ. What does it mean to turn the world upside down with the Good News? In God’s "upside down" economy, Christ died so that we might live, the weak are strong, the poor are rich. How can we be a part of what God is doing today? These questions were at the heart of Nexus.

For one weekend, students worshiped and prayed together, heard from high-caliber speakers, experienced engaging breakout sessions, connected with one another in small groups, and built cross-campus ties around shared challenges and opportunities.

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March 12, 2018

SpokenWord Highlights from Nexus 2018

harvard spokenword 2018Over the last weekend in February, nearly 300 students, from Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, Stanford, and Yale, gathered in New Brunswick, New Jersey, for Christian Union's Nexus 2018 conference.

On Saturday night, a team from each school competed in the Christian Union SpokenWord competition that required teams to memorize and present any selection of scripture passages in a spoken word style. The presentations were powerful, creative, and inspiring. A highly energetic audience spurred each team on, and after jubilantly celebrating the top performances, performers and audience together broke into a playful dance party to cap off the joyous celebration of the power of God's Word! 

Watch the top three finalists, below, as revealed at Nexus 2018:

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