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Christian Union: The Magazine
June 15, 2021

CU Nova’s Tru Thursday Refocuses Outreach Efforts

By Anne Kerhoulas, Staff Writer


Prior to the current academic year, a handful of zealous Princeton University student leaders were given the reigns of TruThursday, the African, African American, and Caribbean culture leadership lecture series at Christian Union Nova. The team transformed the weekly gathering into one of the most popular events in the ministry. 

TRU 7 Last Words Speakers. 1Tru Thursday hosted "The Seven Last Words of Christ" event in the spring semester.Isaac Bledsoe ‘23, one of the seven-person team, attributes the powerful year to a work of God, but also to the high-quality coaching that the team received. Former Ministry Fellow Kori Porter set the team up for success at the end of the spring 2020 semester. Beldsoe notes that they learned how to plan effectively while keeping their focus on ministering to others. 

Having built momentum in the spring of 2020 in spite of campus closing in March due to the pandemic, TruThursday transitioned to a virtual event and, for the first time ever, the team continued to host the weekly Leadership Lecture Series all summer. Putting on an event every week through the summer of 2020 was hard work, but it paid off by building community and preparing them for another virtual semester in the fall. 

Ministry team leader Andrew Hama ‘22 says, “Though we faced many challenges, the virtual format pushed us to think outside of the box and develop creative ideas for Tru. Additionally, a semester away from hectic campus life has allowed us to refocus our efforts on serving God, rather than just executing a list of tasks to keep Tru running.”

TruThursday has grown exponentially during the 2020-21 academic year, now gathering 40-50 students each week. Tru co-leader Fedjine Victor ‘22 believes that “God is trying to change the atmosphere of Princeton.”

“It's known to be such a fast-paced, self-absorbed place. But through Tru, God has given us the tools to make space for reflection, make space for ourselves, make space for community, and for fellowship and the Word. God, through TruThursday, helps us prioritize him. He reminds us of his grace, his mercy, and joy while in community, in worship.”

The academic year started with a bang as TruThursday offered a Zoom spoken word event that drew in a large crowd, including first-years. Dubbed “TruTalk,” the spoken word night featured student performers sharing a wide-range of artistic expressions. Bledsoe ‘23 says, “In a word, it was fire. I really don’t have any other way to describe it. The energy was crazy, the poems were masterful, the vibes were as great as you can get on Zoom.” 

In the fall semester, Tru hosted an Africa and African Diaspora worship night, inviting students from Christian Union ministries on other campuses. The event featured specialized music and songs from Ghana, Nigeria, America, and the Caribbean. There was also a rich time of sharing testimonies, creating a powerful evening for everyone in attendance. “God really has shown himself to be a God of the hills and the valleys in our lives, and hearing stories of people who are actively trying to trust God with everything is fantastic,” says Bledsoe ‘23.

One of the highlights of the spring semester was Tru's "Seven Last Words of Christ" Easter event, which featured seven student speakers. 

The TruThursday team has navigated leadership well by utilizing the Zoom platform for an optimal event. Victor ‘22 notes that they have been able to welcome a wider range of high-quality speakers who can give a talk from anywhere, but the team has also made a point to provide community connection by holding discussions in breakout groups after the message. “These have been a chance for us to let the Holy Spirit move us and truly take in the message to apply it to our lives.” 

Though any virtual event is challenging, the leadership team’s hard work has been incredibly effective, fostering relationships within the CU Nova community in spite of the distance. 

Hama ‘22 says, “The most exciting part by far has been the chance to see firsthand the uplifting effect of Tru meetings on the Christian Union Nova community. It’s been a blessing to see students so excited about fellowshipping in the Tru community, and we are encouraged by the stories of meaningful change in the lives of Tru attendees.” 

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