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Dear friends,

It was over twenty-five years ago, but I still remember moving in my freshman year of college and wondering “now what?!”. We just witnessed thousands of first year Cornellians move in last week and by the looks on their faces they’re thinking much the same thing. We’re doing our best to answer their “now what?!” with “come and be a part of our Christ-centered community . . .”.

And they’re responding! This is a direct answer to prayer. This summer, we (you and I and many others) have been praying that many from the class of 2022 would come to our first-month events and see what a warm Christian community on campus looks like. Friendships between freshmen and our upperclassmen are already beginning to form, which is both an answer to prayer as well as a testimony to the faithful, loving character of our returning students.

Speaking of which, we really need to give thanks to God for our returning students. Over the summer, as well as during pre-retreat last week, they have been praying over the incoming class and planning a full suite of freshmen outreach events that are now in full swing. When I say “full suite” I mean it – we’re talking dozens of creative, fun events over a four-week span from August 17 to Sept 16 – events like midnight picnic, go-karting, lemonade picnic, Cascadilla gorge hike, Waffle Frolic lunch, scavenger hunt, and much more. They are an amazing group of students, having sacrificed oodles of time, energy, and personal comfort for the sake of loving this new class well.

How can you pray for us? Here are a few ways:

Please pray that we would continue to attract first-year, transfer, and returning students to our community, especially during this crucial first month when their commitment to a new group is more likely to be long-lasting and at its strongest.

Please pray that many first-year students would feel compelled to come to our introductory Bible course meeting next Thursday. Pray that their nerves wouldn’t get the best of them, but instead that they would recognize the supreme importance of studying scripture in community and make that a top priority in their lives.

Please pray for our returning students, that they would carry out the study-life balance well and receive much grace and strength from God for their studies as they care both for their believing and unbelieving friends.

Finally, would you pray for (now former) ministry director Jim Thomforde who recently returned to a career in financial management? Jim is the founding director of our ministry here at Cornell and he and his wife Liz have faithfully and lovingly served this community over the past six years. Join us in giving thanks to God for Jim and pray for him as he begins his new work. Pray for our staff – ministry fellow Carrie Jussely, intern Hannah Dorpfeld, administrative assistant Liz Thomforde, (New! Starting Sept 3) ministry fellow Jordan Cooper, and myself, the new ministry director. God has built an amazing team here, and we give Him thanks for that.

We also thank you for your prayers, love and partnership in ministry.

Yours in the gospel,

Geoff Sackett
Ministry Fellow
Christian Union at Cornell 

Please note: if you would like to receive regular updates on how to pray for Christian Union's work at Cornell, please email prayer@christianunion.org.