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Christian Union: The Magazine
November 2, 2023

College Students Struggle as Israel-Hamas War Continues

By erin conner

 

"By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." -John 13:35

Many of our nation’s colleges and universities have been in a state of turmoil since the October 7 attacks against Israel. Christianity Today’s recent article by Emily Belz, “As Campus Threats Rise, College Ministries Look for Ways to Help,” takes a closer look at how Christian Union and other ministries are responding. 

October 31, 2023

2023 Reopening of CU Vox's Ministry Office at Dartmouth

By Erin Conner

Tim Pillsbury, previously a local Associate Pastor with deep family roots at Dartmouth, started his new position as Ministry Director at CU Vox this spring. He had one task in mind: to create a space at Dartmouth to equip students to wholeheartedly seek God.

As Pillsbury began to prepare for CU Vox’s open house event on March 30, 2023, which was held a few days after the start of Dartmouth’s ten-week spring term, he decided the storage closet in the ministry center was not an effective use of space. “It seemed like such a waste to have this room devoted to storage when what students need is prayer,” he said. So, Pillsbury converted an empty storage closet into a vibrant prayer room filled with Bibles, books, instruments, and the elements of Communion.



During the open house, when students toured the rooms of the ministry office, they expressed the most excitement about having access to a space devoted for prayer. Francisca Fadairo, ‘25, decided that she and her friends would consistently use this room during the spring term, and they have.  “CU Vox has provided us with a space to pray for campus. We come here together to pray for a revival–  for people’s hearts to return to God,” Fadairo stated. 

October 27, 2023

Highlight: CU America member, Erika Lamara Garrett, LMFT  

By Erin Conner

 
“It was the fall that saved my life,” Erika Lamara Garrett explained. In January of 2020, at the age of 33, Garrett fell. The injuries she sustained from this fall confined her to a bed and made her dependent on others to perform basic daily activities. Despite the desperation of her circumstances while on bed rest, she sensed the Lord telling her, “Erika- you will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” 

 

October 27, 2023

School of Public Health at Brown Helps to Host Drag Performance

By erin conner

 
The emblematic statement that introduces the School of Public Health’s page on Brown University’s website reads, “Standing at the forefront of today's most important public health issues, Brown is spearheading vital initiatives that will shape the future of the field.” 

 

On October 20-21, 2023, the School of Public Health at Brown University helped to host an event entitled “Decolonize Drag with Professor Kareem Khubchandani.” The poster advertising this event for students shows the professor lying down in a provocative manner. 

October 25, 2023
By Rev. Jeffrey Walsh
Ministry Director, Christian Union Lux at Yale University
 

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand Firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God... – Ephesians 6:13-17

"Sergeant, I forgot my rifle in my room," one team leader radioed as we drove out of the front gate of our Iraqi-based compound in March 2004. Our mission: to carry out a covert assignment with a clandestine operations team from the National Security Agency. I was surprised when our team leader realized he had forgotten his rifle. We always ensured we had all the required equipment before starting any mission. However, I suggested that he find a solution, and we continued our journey without returning. This decision would be one of my life's worst decisions. Roughly three hours later, we would meet the enemy, and two people would die due to not bearing the most essential weapon in the arsenal.  

October 24, 2023

CU Fire Retreats Continue to Blaze Across America

By erin conner

 

“Once again CU Fire Retreats Delivered! Amazing!,” claimed one participant following the past Christian Union America Retreat held on October 13-14.  CU Fire Retreats are multi-site, two-day simulcast retreats focusing on spiritual strengthening through prayer, fasting, repentance, and seeking the Lord. CU Fire Retreats are a part of Christian Union America’s efforts to bring sweeping change to our nation for God’s glory through the development and connection of transformative Christian leaders.    

October 24, 2023

The Debate of Cessationism v. Continuationism 

By erin conner

 

Are the miraculous gifts for today? Dr. Michael Brown argues a compelling “yes” in his article entitled “The Reformed of the Lord Say No to Cessationism,” published on October 9 in Christianity Today.  

“The cessationist debate is back, although in some ways, it’s never left,” Brown writes, in light of the recently scheduled 2024 Cessationist Conference led, in part, by Pastor John MacArthur. This conference is timed to coincide with the release of the Cessationist movie, “bringing an age-old topic back to the forefront of trending conversations, especially among Reformed believers.” 

October 15, 2023

Student Spotlight: Senior Reflects on Her Faith Journey at Princeton

By erin conner

 

Cynthia Makachi, a public and international affairs major and a member of the executive team at Christian Union Nova, describes her faith journey at Princeton by saying, “divine intervention is evident in my life." From accepting her offer to Princeton three years ago to sitting beside a stranger three weeks ago, God has shown up in powerful ways during her academic career. 

October 15, 2023

The 2023 CU Rise Campaign

By erin conner

 

From deeply rigorous Bible courses, intellectually engaging lecture speakers, vibrant worship and prayer events, experienced and Spirit-led faculty, powerful one-on-one discipleship, to leadership training and development, Christian Union's university ministry has much to offer Christian students at the schools where they serve. These ministry programs are deepening the faith of the students involved, but also equipping them to lead others toward life in Christ.

The 2023 CU Rise Campaign is just one example of this. 

 

October 12, 2023
Dear CU Lumine Cornerstone Partners and friends of the ministry,

God is using your prayers to help grow the ministry at CU Lumine and develop future Christian leaders to transform culture for God’s glory!

CU Lumine’s first year campaign is producing great fruit! It was a hot day for the student activity fair, but we invited many first year students to join us. We held a powerful retreat for our freshman welcomers and have started Bible Courses and events, in which we are experiencing the growth and transformative power of God. In fact, we kicked off the term with 60+ students at our first Leadership Lecture Series event.

October 12, 2023
Dear CU Libertas Cornerstone Partners and friends of the ministry,

“For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ. Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” - Colossians 2:5-7

Here at CU Libertas we are abounding in thankfulness for the extraordinary ways God answered your prayers for our freshman campaign!  For the last four weeks we have welcomed new faces and shared meals with a plethora of wonderful first year students. Each student shared stories of their journey with Jesus, how he has won over their hearts and changed their lives for the better. Students shared how grateful they were to find a robust Christian community on campus. Through the many fruitful interactions and conversations, we rejoiced in knowing the Lord was answering our many petitions for an overflow of hearts seeking to know Him here at Brown.

October 12, 2023
Dear CU Vita Cornerstone Partners and friends of the ministry,

I am so excited to give you an update regarding Christian Union Vita! We are praising God for the incredible things He has been doing during the first few weeks of classes here on the campus of Cornell University!

Our Freshman Welcoming Campaign was a tremendous success, with hundreds of meetings between our faculty, current students, and incoming first-years. We enrolled 40 freshmen in our Bible courses–20 men and 20 women! Several of our new first-years are already stepping into leadership roles and contributing greatly to the work of making Jesus the most talked about name on campus. In addition to adding a healthy number of freshmen, we have also added many other students of all years throughout this period, leading us to a total Bible Course enrollment of over 100 students! Many of these transfers and upperclassmen also feel the Lord calling them to step up and take greater responsibility in the work of the Great Commission, giving us even more to celebrate. The Lord is so faithful!

October 12, 2023
Dear CU Vox Cornerstone Partners and friends of the ministry,

First, I must thank each and every one of you for your prayers during our campaign to welcome the '27s to campus.  We truly appreciate it and felt your love continuously.  And by the grace of God each student at Dartmouth will feel the effect of them as well through our ministry.  Because of us, and because of you, the gospel is going forth!  Our CU Vox students, even students new to the ministry, describe our group and space as a “safe haven” from the craziness and frequent Godlessness of college life.  It is the rarest of students that can exist as a bold, healthy Christian without a Godly community to encourage and strengthen them.  CU Vox is that community at Dartmouth.

October 12, 2023
Dear CU Gloria Cornerstone Partners and friends of the ministry,

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,  since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven.” - Colossians 1: 3-5

We are grateful to have had a good start to the semester for CU Gloria at Harvard. Our student leaders came back from Pre-Retreat inspired and motivated to welcome the new Freshman class of 2027, and that’s exactly what they did. Through pizza parties, hangouts, weekly Church visits, Friday night Doxas and movie nights, our students befriended the new class of freshmen and welcomed them into Christian community.

October 12, 2023
Dear CU Nova Cornerstone Partners and friends of the ministry,

God is using your prayers to help grow the ministry at CU Nova and develop future Christian leaders. Thank you!

CU Nova held a successful freshmen welcoming campaign and pre-retreat. With the semester now underway, our freshmen men’s Bible Course groups agreed to meet for a fellowship lunch every week and an hour of confession and prayer before BC, as well as commitments to times of fasting. Our women’s Bible Courses are also thriving under Qwynn’s leadership and the student leaders. We have over 40 freshmen enrolled in Bible Course this semester! I’m so blessed to see our students earnestly desire to seek the Lord and grow in their walk with him!

October 12, 2023
Dear CU Caritas Cornerstone Partners and friends of the ministry,

Thank you for your prayers for CU Caritas at Stanford! We are seeing much fruit from our freshman welcoming campaign! In addition to supporting our student leaders in distributing over 500 welcome bags to freshmen, Susan, our women’s ministry fellow, and I have been holding many one-on-one meetings with students to get to know them, to pray for them, and to invite them to join Bible Courses and ministry events.

October 12, 2023
Dear CU Martus Cornerstone Partners and friends of the ministry,

Greetings from CU Martus! I pray this finds you well.

We are well into the fall semester, and there are two main updates: 1) we now have a Women’s Ministry Fellow, and 2) current update on the Freshman Welcoming Campaign.

I am very pleased to welcome Maima Badio to our team at CU Martus. Maima was born in Liberia, West Africa. Her experience living as a refugee in Ghana, before immigrating to the United States, fuels her passion for working with students and families. She earned her BA in Economics and International Affairs at The George Washington University. She later earned her MA in School Psychology from the University of Delaware.

October 12, 2023
Dear Cornerstone Partners and friends of CU Lux,

I trust this email finds you well and filled with the joy of the Lord.  As we step into the vibrant colors of October, thank you for your unwavering support, which continues to fuel the transformative work of our ministry.  Your intercession and collaborative spirit remain the bedrock of our life-changing work, and it is with great excitement that we share some recent milestones along with specific prayer requests for the upcoming month.

October 12, 2023
Christian Union New York thanks God upon every remembrance of you. Thank you for continuing to bring our plans and needs before the Lord. True shepherds realize that we are merely undershepherds of the Good Shepherd. Thank you for joining CU New York to inquire of Him first and seek His heart, will, strategy, help, and favor. Let’s collectively bring the following needs to the throne of grace.

October 11, 2023
By chuck hetzler
 

The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.  – Acts 17:10-11

The Bible says that the Bereans were “more noble” than the Thessalonians because they were eager to hear what Paul and Silas had to say. They did not quickly take offense to the concept of a suffering Savior, crucified as a criminal, and raised from death to life as the victorious Son of God. They did not consider it inconceivable that God could fulfill thousands of years of prophecies in this God-Man, Jesus of Nazareth. Some people today can be quickly triggered when hearing unfamiliar messages, but such a reaction is ignoble and immature. We should be able to hear different views and then patiently weigh and test them through the Scriptures, just as the Bereans did.