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Christian Union: The Magazine
August 23, 2021

CU Lumine Prepares for Fall Semester

By Kelly Parks, Staff Writer

Despite the challenges posed by conducting Bible courses and other events online or with strict social distancing guidelines this past academic year, CU Lumine, Christian Union’s ministry at Columbia, was full of prayer pods, evangelism workshops, and Bible courses - all of which took place online. While the ministry center was open for occasional one-on-one meetings and small groups of under nine participants, Zoom meetings were the primary way students connected with each other.

Lumine Cycle 5 photoDuring the 2020-21 academic year, CU Lumine held a wide range of prayer meetings via Zoom.

Both ministry faculty and students alike are looking forward to returning to a more “normal” fall semester with in-person gatherings. However, the hardships of the past year have given CU Lumine members a deeper understanding of the importance of prayer and seeking the Lord in the midst of ministry. While it appears that this upcoming semester will be filled with much rejoicing as students reunite with friends, student leaders are determined to stick to regular rhythms of prayer and fasting for the year of ministry ahead.

Bethel Adiele ’23, a student leader with CU Lumine, said. “Since we [students] have been away from our friends for a while, believers and non-believers alike, a lot of time will be spent reconnecting with people, trying to make up for what seems like lost time. While this is not a bad thing at all, we will need to make sure that the hype of new beginnings and the return to normal on campus does not distract us from the work of ministry and placing God first.”

CU Lumine’s leadership team recently engaged in thirty days of prayer and fasting to prepare for the semester ahead. Feven Negussie, a rising senior and student leader, said. “We engaged in a thirty-day fast out of a desire to see the leadership team seek God during this summer and to pray for the small groups that were held in July. We want all of the leaders to pray with us for Christian Union and for the small groups. All things start with humility and prayer.”

Negussie connected with Christian Union during COVID and has since grown close to the CU Lumine team.

“Before COVID, I was not at all familiar with Christian Union, but, ironically, COVID helped me warm up to the ministry from a distance and now I am very much involved,” she said. While Negussie enjoyed using apps such as Discord to stay connected with fellow students, she is "excited to finally be in person and meet so many new people to welcome them into our community."

"I am stoked for the retreats and the amazing events we are planning to host!” she said.

During the thirty-day fast, Adiele, Negussie, and others hopped on Zoom every day to pray over the coming season of ministry. 

“The Seeking God team has been working on starting small groups to allow space for individuals to develop deeper connections within CU Lumine while growing in faith. What better way to start such a project than to pray and fast, seeking God's heart about it?” said Adiele.

With small groups in mind, for each of the four weeks, students focused on a different topic including unity, small group leaders, small group members, and spiritual warfare.

“God honors our perseverance,” said Adiele. “It's been a challenge making it to Zoom everyday to pray. We know that God keeps His word; the challenge is, are we willing to keep ours?”

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