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Christian Union: The Magazine
October 22, 2021

CU Libertas Helps Students Plug in During Welcoming Campaign

By Tom Campisi, Managing Editor


One-on-one meetings over coffee, family-style dinners, and a weekly prayer breakfast—they are all on the menu as CU Libertas at Brown University continues to connect with students in the fall semester.

1 pancakes BrownCU Libertas is hosting "Pancakes and Prayer" on Thursday mornings.

Matt Woodard, Christian Union’s ministry director at Brown, said the recent Freshman Welcoming Campaign was a success, not only with first-year students but also among sophomores. After not being able to meet much on campus last year due to COVID-19 restrictions, Woodard, Ministry Fellow Sheri Casali, and student leaders welcomed students with open arms and an array of events.

“The last few weeks have been such a blessing for the team here at Brown. For the first time in two years, we’ve been able to welcome freshmen to campus. We have been able to greet many of these students face-to-face, hosting them for meals at the Judson Center and grabbing coffee on Thayer Street,” Woodard said.

“Additionally, we’ve been able to connect with a number of sophomores who weren’t in-person last fall. These students desire to be a part of Christian community; they’re eager to pray together, desperate to see the Lord move on campus, and, perhaps more than at any point in recent memory, motivated for the work of evangelism and outreach.”

Casali noted that the freshmen were very encouraged to find a ministry on campus and excited to plug in. The ministry fellow was blessed to receive a message on Instagram from a sibling of a Brown student who was welcomed by CU Libertas.

“Her sister said the family was praying that the freshman would find God in college,” Casali said.

“For the freshmen that have connected with our ministry over the last month, we are praying that they will see and know the Lord’s goodness, stay committed to Christian community, and stay strong in the face of inevitable temptations,” Woodard said.

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One of the early highlights for CU Libertas was the first of its Sunday evening, monthly family-style dinners at its Adoniram Judson Minister Center. Student leaders invited friends—Christians and non-Christians—to enjoy a meal of pasta and meatballs, which was followed by a time of prayer.

“Students were grateful to have a home-cooked meal instead of eating in the dining halls or ordering take-out,” said Casali. “We showed them the love of Christ. They are looking forward to coming back each month.”

In addition to the weekly meals at Judson, students will have an opportunity to gather there for “Pancakes and Prayer,” a weekly Thursday morning gathering that was organized by the CU Libertas student executive team. The first Pancakes and Prayer was led by Will Cardone ’24, who shared a devotional from Psalm 116, commenting how God inclines His ear to hear us each day. 

CU Libertas’ Bible courses have officially begun and will be hosted there as well.

“Students are settling into their course schedules, and there’s a semblance of normality that has been missing for far too long!” Woodard said. “Our leaders are also planning a number of evangelistic events over the semester.”

“We had expectant hope that this year would be off to a great start,” Casali said. “The Lord has paved the way and students are fervently engaged in Bible courses, events, and evangelistic outreach.  We continue to be encouraged by their steadfast faith.”

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