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Christian Union: The Magazine
February 18, 2022

CU New York Hosts Transformative Retreats, Conferences, and Salons

By Tom Campisi, Managing Editor

Christian Union Fire is rapidly spreading, especially in New York City; Karen Hetzler, assistant ministry director of Christian Union New York, said CU Fire retreats are impacting alumni of influential universities and other Christian professionals in the Big Apple by drawing them closer to the Lord and increasing their desire to fast, pray, repent of sins, and live out a seeking God lifestyle.

New York City Manhattan midtown at sunset with Brooklyn Bridge.

CU Fire retreats, presented at various locations across the country by Christian Union Day and Night, are designed for the rejuvenation and inspiration of Christians. The retreats include prayer, worship, Bible reading, biblical messages, listening to God, Christian friendship, and fasting until dinner. CU Fire is led by local hosts and by CU Day and Night leadership through online videos and an online event app.

In addition to CU Fire retreats, Christian Union New York also hosts Gospel Of The Kingdom Conferences, forums, and salons, in addition to one-on-one mentorship. On February 11 and 12, Christian New York hosted the Gospel Of The Kingdom Conference in Manhattan with Ken Fish, founder of Orbis Ministries. The theme of the salon was “Expounding on the 3 of the 9 Gifts of the Spirit.” On December 15, Social commentator Eric Metaxas, author of recently-released Is Atheism Dead?, was the guest speaker at CU New York’s salon.

Regarding CU Fire, Kimberly L. Robinson, the Regional Chair for Black Alumni at Dartmouth, called the retreat “transformative.” In the fall, Robinson was invited through a prayer partner she met at a Christian Union New York event.

“We, Christians, speak of being born again. I feel as if, during that weekend, I was almost born for the third time,” she said. “[Christian Union Founder and CEO] Matt Bennett’s teaching on fasting and prayer completely changed my way of thinking about my devotional life. Despite being seminary trained, I always thought of fasting as being an optional part of the Christian life. It is not. It is, rather, a biblical expectation that believers will fast and pray on a regular, consistent basis.”

The spiritual momentum from CU Fire propelled Robinson into a deeper, richer, prayer life.

“After the retreat, I embarked on a ten-day prayer vigil that I learned about during the weekend where I prayed diligently between midnight and 3 a.m.,” She said. “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, physically and spiritually, but I was desperate enough to do it. I went to God like the persistent widow and He had compassion on me. So many blessings have flowed out to me after drawing so near to God.”

Olga Statz, the chairperson of the Christian Union New York board, said CU Fire “raised my spiritual temperature and sharpened my senses.”

”I am now looking to God to do the extraordinary in the lives of those around me through earnest prayer,” said Statz.

Elizabeth Broussard, another New Yorker, said CU Fire, “was a weekend of stepping into God’s presence, remembering His kindness and heart for restoration, and being absolutely humbled by how He speaks to me so personally.”

These are just a few of the examples of the renewal that is happening at the four CU Fire events hosted by Christian Union Day and Night each year.

“As Christians obey the call of God and the Biblical patterns laid out in the Old Testament Scriptures of festivals and feasts to gather the people of God to seek Him fervently for extended periods of time, the Spirit has sent fresh fire,” Hetzler said. “They have been renewed and restored to deep satisfaction in the Lord, encountered by Him; a sense of returning to that for which we were designed! Our spiritual fountains have been renewed and can be renewed together every few months.”

RELATED: Want to go deeper in your faith? Click here to receive a free download of Christian Union’s "Seeking God Lifestyle” Bible Course Manual.