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February 15, 2024

Public Declarations of Faith Start the New Year  

By erin conner, writer and communications associate  

"...Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). 

A new year brings hope for new beginnings, and at Brown University, the start of the year brought forth a celebration of new life in Jesus Christ. Christian Union Libertas at Brown celebrated the baptisms of two students, Matteo Sredzinski and Layla Lynch, this January. 

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Baptism is a public confession of faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, in his death as the atonement of humanity's sins, and in his resurrection as a promise of eternal life. In water baptism, a believer is submerged to demonstrate the washing away of sin. Baptism is a symbolic surrender of one's life to the Lord, being raised up out of the water into new life, power, and purpose in Him. Baptism is a demonstration of faith for those who have been "born again." Jesus taught, as recorded in Scripture," no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again" (John 3:3).

These student baptisms are emblematic of what is going on through Christian Union at Brown, by God's grace. The Lord is moving in students' lives, igniting a passion to make public confessions of faith in the midst of a highly secular culture. New life is taking root, growing, and testifying to the goodness of God, and the student leadership at Christian Union Libertas desires to see the power of God poured out even more in the upcoming semesters at their school. 

William Cardone, '24, President of CU Libertas, as well as Zach Pryor, '26, outreach team leader, attended the baptismal celebration at a local church near the school in support of Sredzinski. Pryor served as a freshman welcomer in August, meeting Sredzinki at an event that CU Libertas hosted on the Main Green.

Sheri Casali, the ministry fellow for CU Libertas, says, "What is very special about this is that Matteo will now be joining our outreach team and hopefully serving as a freshman welcomer next year!" The students who Christian Union reaches want to lead and reach others with the life-giving message of Christ. 

Cardone, who transferred to Brown as a sophomore from Northwestern after much prayerful consideration, quickly got involved in CU Libertas because he loved what he saw in the ministry and because of the powerful support and leadership coaching it provides. Cardone, who currently leads a freshman Bible Course, is gifted to serve both members of the Body of Christ and those outside the Body through his leadership, discernment, compassion, energy, and wisdom. Spearheading outreach initiatives with Pryor and a strong executive team, events such as the recent "Pancakes and Prayer Event," which kicked off the first weekend of the semester, was well attended, doubling the number of students who attended last semester. Christian Union Libertas is growing as the entire CU leadership team at Brown has a heart to help others draw closer to God. 

Christian Union Libertas students are being equipped for such work, in part, by attending events such as the February winter retreat weekend, which was held this year with Harvard students in Massachusetts. Winter weekend retreats are powerful events that provide students across all nine undergraduate schools where Christian Union serves with dedicated time to allow God's Spirit to purify their hearts, to renew their minds, and to equip them with all they need for kingdom work in their spheres of influence. 

Whether witnessing baptisms, flipping pancakes, or attending a winter retreat, the student leaders at CU Libertas are seeing the kingdom of God come; they are seeing God bring new life through Christ to those around them. 

May this work of transforming lives and culture for God's glory continue through these students' beautiful devotion and through our prayerful support. 



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