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CU Ministry Director Delivers Opening Prayer By Anne Kerhoulas Christian Union Martus Ministry Director Cory Lotspeich had the...
July 26, 2021

“CU Martus Made a Profound Impact”

By Emily Solomon, Penn ’21

Someone recently asked me the best way to find community when arriving on campus for the first time. I thought about this question a lot before I first came to Penn as well. Would I be able to find a Christian community at an Ivy League university? Would I be able to grow in my faith, or would secular thought extinguish it?

Emily and Martus Emily Solomon (front row, right) and CU Martus

During the first week on campus, one of my friends had told me about a dinner at Shake Shack hosted by Christian Union at Penn, and they said the words “free burgers,” and I said, “I’m in.” Walking into that Shake Shack dinner, I had no idea that I was about to meet friends that I would lean on throughout all four years at Penn. I am so grateful for the community fostered during the first days of New Student Orientation to my final days as a Penn student. And the most amazing part is I found lifelong friends through Christian Union at Penn (now known as CU Martus) that continue to encourage me to grow in my faith daily—even though we are no longer students.

One of the ways I believe this community was fostered was through the Brogram (where older students mentor younger students). When I first met my older Bro, I was intimidated by how cool she was. She loved Jesus with all her heart and was the light of every space she entered. But each week as we met up, our bond grew stronger. The structure of the Brogram brought us together, but the love of Christ fastened us together as lifelong sisters in Him. Then, the following two years, I was granted two younger bros who I love and cherish deeply and who teach me more about God’s character and faithfulness than I could have ever imagined.

Bible course was another tool the Lord used to strengthen my faith during my time with CU Martus. Throughout all four years, Bible course taught me how to examine scripture critically and rely on my community through prayer and reading the Bible. It became the base of how I learned to lead my Bible course when I was given a group of freshman girls to lead during my junior and senior years. Meeting with them every week, whether in-person or virtually, always taught me so much about the importance of community and standing firm on the Word of God. This foundation was especially important during COVID, when it seemed like the world was spinning out of control.

Finally, Christian Union gave me one lifelong friend in particular named Ethan Chaffee, who I will be marrying this summer! Both of us always remark how crucial the mentorship and community we received through Christian Union was for our relationship and will be for our marriage. Christian Union's impact on both of our lives is profound, and I am so grateful to the Lord that I decided to go to that Shake Shack dinner my freshman year.

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