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He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (Colossians 1:15-20)

Brothers and sisters in Christ,

It is hard to believe how much of this semester has gone by already. We have had a very productive year so far, as our new ministry team has settled into their positions. Bible courses are going very well, and we have had far more freshmen men involved this year than in previous classes, which has been an immense blessing for our ministry. As students get busier leading up to finals, we pray that they would stay focused and continue to be involved in Bible courses even as it becomes more difficult with time constraints.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. (Col. 2:6-7)

In studying the book of Colossians with our students, we have seen that these two verses form the fundamental charge that Paul gives to the Colossians believers—to continue on in Christ. This charge from Paul is exactly what we desire for our students—that they, too, would continue on in Christ. It is for this end that we do everything that we are doing—our Bible Courses, one-on-one discipleship meetings, daily prayer meetings, and gathering together at both Encounter and TruThursday.

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As our Bible Courses study Paul’s letter to the Colossians this fall, we are reminded again and again of Paul’s joy in the Church. He loves God’s people! This is reflected in all of his letters, even to the Corinthians! His letter to the Philippians is often called the “Joy Letter,” because of his deep love for the recipients reflected in his joyful, hopeful epistle.

Dear Prayer Partners,

I hope this update finds you well! Thank you for praying for our requests last month — God has been answering student’s requests on the prayer board, our alumni panel was a big hit, and students have been taking next steps of faith since the fall retreat, particularly in the areas of seeking God.

Grace and peace from Palo Alto!

A common refrain that we hear about this point in the fall quarter is, “Sorry, I’m too busy this week!” or, “I don’t know if I can meet with everything I need to do.” And it’s true, the weeks prior to the end of the fall quarter are rough, and the students—especially the new freshmen—struggle to keep above the waters. Sometimes I’m tempted to break it to them that life doesn’t slow down after college either! But part of our calling as ministers on these campuses is not to compound the issue with more events and more obligation. Our calling is to point them to the One who sustains them, the One who is our very peace in the midst of the storm:

Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

What a privilege to know a God who enters into our storms and reaches out to us with a strong hand! Join us in prayer this season for the work on this campus:

  • Pray for strength and endurance as the students head into the final stretch of fall.
  • Pray for the upcoming Thanksgiving break, that they are refreshed and reconnect with family.
  • Pray for our ongoing Bible Courses, for community and fellowship to flourish through them.
  • Pray for our CU team at Stanford: Abigail, Garrett, Jim, Justin, and Susan.
  • Pray for Jesus to be lifted up throughout this campus through the words and loving actions of his many followers in Palo Alto!

We remain grateful for your prayers and your partnership.

In Christ,

Garrett Brown
Ministry Director
Christian Union Caritas

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Greetings from CU Vox,

We just started Week 6 of our ten-week term and our students have their mid-term exams behind them. We have 11 Bible Courses going this fall, all studying Colossians.

“And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:1,2

‘Keep it simple, stupid’ was something I had never heard before I took a preaching class at seminary. I’m not sure if it qualifies to be one of the true “great” preaching mantras, or leadership mantras, but it gets its point across. Dr. Haddon Robinson, my preaching professor, used to say to us homiletical plebes, things like, “If it’s foggy in the pulpit, it’s cloudy in the pews!”, or “If you can’t say it in 25 minutes, you won’t know how to say it in 45.”

Greetings from Cambridge!

"Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake.” 2 Corinthians 4:1-5

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As I am writing you, our students are just finishing their midterms and leaving for Fall Break. Though only halfway through the semester, we as a ministry, are celebrating God’s work in the lives of the students we minister to.