Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I am writing to you today in the midst of our Freshman Campaign which we have been undertaking for just under two weeks. In this letter, I want to update you on our Pre-Retreat and Freshman Campaign and then share several specific prayer requests with you.
This year we held our Pre-Retreat from Sept. 4th-7th at the Tuscarora Inn and Conference Center in Mount Bethel, PA. As I mentioned in previous letters, Pre-Retreat is an important time in our ministry, because it sets the tone for the rest of the academic year. At this year’s Pre-Retreat, we focused in our times of teaching on the theme of identity. At Pre-Retreat, we also spent concerted times praying and planning for our Freshman Campaign. God was so faithful to us during this time. By his grace, students were encouraged and strengthened in their faith. God also used this Retreat to draw some new students into leadership roles in our ministry.
This year our Freshmen Campaign began on Wednesday, Sept. 12, the first day of classes at Princeton. On the 12th, we hosted our annual Open House. At this event, we had a large number of students express interest in getting involved in our ministry, including a number signing up for weekly Bible Courses. Then, on Friday, Sept. 14, we held our first Encounter, our weekly Leadership Lecture Series. It was a great night with over 100 students in attendance! At Encounter, James Fields delivered the first message in a kick-off series on the theme of discipleship. All told, it was an extremely encouraging night.
In addition to these events, we also hosted a number of other events reaching out specifically to freshmen. With these, it’s been a busy and productive stretch for us. These events have included Freshmen Dinners for freshmen interested in our ministry, a “Monday Night Football” night, a dinner for frosh women, a trip with frosh to the Yankees/Red Sox Game, and a tailgate party before the first Princeton Tigers Football home game. Staff and students have also been regularly meeting with students, seeking to form relationships with them and to bring them into our Christian community. Our ultimate goal is that all of these activities would be used by God to begin freshmen into deeper fellowship with Himself and members of His body.
Having this as our goal, we would ask that you would pray for us as we work towards this end. We know we are partnering with you to see many students transformed into Christ’s image. To this end, we have several specific prayer requests at this time:
Bible Course Enrollment
We are off to a good start in terms of Bible Course Enrollment having over 80 students indicating they are interested in joining a Bible Course. Ultimately, it is our goal to get roughly 30 more students to sign up for Bible Courses. Please pray that God would move in the hearts of students, so that we would meet this goal!
This year discipleship is a key focus in our ministry. We want to see students looking more and more like Christ. One way we encourage discipleship is through pairings of students who meet to encourage one another as believers. As a ministry, we are ambitiously seeking to see eighty percent of our ministry in discipleship pairs.
A Fresh Outpouring of God’s Spirit
I am repeating myself in asking for this, but this remains our greatest need. We desire to see spiritual reformation and renewal here at Princeton University. We know this will not happen apart from God’s Spirit.
Grace and peace,
Christian Union Teaching Fellow
Princeton Faith and Action
As a postscript, I thought I would mention God’s personal faithfulness to me and my wife. Since our last prayer letter, I have successfully defended my doctoral dissertation—I am now Dr. Ryan Reed.