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Christian Union
October 14, 2015

Christian Union Hosts Senior Sendoff

harvard-senior-retreatAs the class of 2015 prepared to graduate, Don Weiss, Christian Union's ministry director at Harvard College, emphasized the need for seniors to keep Christ as their foundation in their new ventures.

"There's nothing that compares to being able to say 'It is well with my soul,'" Weiss told students during the ministry's gathering to honor seniors on May 1. "Your house is going to stand with Jesus underneath."

Weiss also told members of the class of 2015 to dedicate themselves to prayer and scriptural study as they embark upon new careers, adventures, or advanced studies.

"Study the Word and use it as a mirror to reveal things," said Weiss during the event in Yenching Auditorium. "Never forsake time in God's Word...Pursue God. Let nothing steal that away from you."

In addition to dedicating one of the ministry's weekly lectures to appreciating seniors, Christian Union's ministry at Harvard also hosted a conference for them in Upstate New York.

Some 51 seniors attended the getaway, which was held May 18 to 20 near picturesque Lake George in the Adirondack Mountains. Highlights of the event included two question-and-answer sessions and a talk from Christian Union Teaching Fellow Nick Nowalk on transitions.

"Going on senior retreat definitely helped solidify my confidence that God will provide during this time of uncertainty," said Jeffrey Edwards '15. The neurobiology concentrator from Texas plans to spend a year in Kenya, where he will conduct global health research, assist with a hospital in Kisuma, and apply to medical school.

While Edwards' aspirations will take him across the globe, the senior also expressed confidence that Harvard believers will remain close in the coming years. "We will remain in contact as a community, even when we are not in physical proximity, as we have been for the last four years," he said.

Haris Domond '15, a government major from Florida, echoed those comments.

"The conference helped me realize that there are practical steps I can take to help bolster my spiritual well-being when entering the workforce," said Domond, who plans to seek opportunities in Washington, D.C. and New York City.

"It also cemented the sadness I feel about leaving this community and my amazing brothers and sisters in Christ, all the while being excited for everybody's next steps."

Along those lines, the panel discussions covered topics including: selecting churches, plugging into Christian service, navigating romantic relationships, and tackling practical chores. Based upon input from recent alumni, the major takeaway points centered on techniques for new grads to immerse themselves in Christian communities as they relocate into new cities and roles.

Scott Crosby, director of New York City Christian Union, was on hand to offer his expertise to seniors. Crosby heads Christian Union's outreach to alumni and their peers in the Big Apple.

In addition, Harvard seniors set aside time to exchange handwritten notes with one another and to hold worship and intercessory prayer sessions. They also enjoyed recreational opportunities, including canoeing and hiking.

Ministry Fellow Branden Brooks described the conference as a bittersweet event. "We all love them so much and have invested so much time in them," Brooks said. "They had a last opportunity to get together, to be commissioned out, and to think through the issues of going out in the world."

Likewise, Ministry Fellow Teal McGarvey described the group's final lecture and subsequent conference as a "really sweet opportunity to wrap up what has been four years in the making."

While members of Christian Union's ministry team were saddened to watch the seniors graduate, they also took advantage of opportunities to offer appreciation for the personal and corporate victories that have become part of the group's legacy.

"It's really gratifying to see what the Lord has done," McGarvey said.