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December 4, 2023

A Story of Character and Influence

Student Spotlight: Caroline Parente, '24, Brown University 

By Erin Conner 

Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness… she eateth not the bread of idleness… favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.- Proverbs 31: 25-30


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November 29, 2023

For Such a Time as This

A Devotional to Prepare Our Hearts for a New Year

By Dr. Marcus Buckley, Ministry Director at Christian Union Vita at Cornell

And they told Mordecai what Esther had said. Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”  Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him. -Esther 4:12-17

 

I was in high school when my journalism teacher, Mr. Ott, hit me with a hard truth: “bad news sells.” As something of an optimist, I was taken aback and ready to dispute this. Surely people would enjoy reading about pleasant, hopeful things more than grim, dreadful ones. “Bad news sells papers,” he repeated. “It’s always been that way, and it’ll always be that way.” 


I’m sad to admit all these years later that Mr. Ott was right. While newspapers may no longer be the media of choice, people flock to their favorite network, website, or social media platform to see the latest horrors that humans can inflict on one another. It’s easy to sit back and be discouraged, to throw our hands up helplessly and say, “What’s the point?”


It would be even easier to wonder: why are we here in this day and age? While there has always been suffering and tragedy, our awareness of it is greater than at any point in history. Why are we living in a time when so much bad news is readily accessible all of the time with alerts of disaster and loss literally waiting for us in our pockets? Wouldn’t it have been nice to live in another era when life was simpler and, dare we say it, easier?

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November 27, 2023

Seek the Prince of Peace

21-Day Fast for God's Purposes with Israel at War

By chuck hetzler, PhD, vice president of biblical theology 

 
Is Israel’s current war a sign of the end times? How should we, as Christians, think about the war? What can and should we do?

 

Christian Union is calling all American Christians to start the year with a 21-day fast, Tuesday, January 2, through Monday, January 22, 2024, to humble ourselves and seek God in light of the current events in the Middle East.

 

The upcoming CU National Fast is titled "Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace for All Nations." Christian Union faculty and staff will write devotionals based on Scripture, which will be sent to all signed-up participants by email each day of the fast. 

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November 19, 2023

Repent, for the Kingdom of God is Near

A Closer Look at Jesus' Call to Repentance

By Erin Conner 

Repentance is a beautiful word. It is the name of the road that leads out of darkness. It is the name of the road that leads to life. It is a Biblical concept that, depending on the type of church we grew up in or currently attend, may seem harsh, foreign, or antiquated. As a true follower of God, deep and ongoing repentance, the act of turning away from sin to wholeheartedly following the Lord, is a life-giving spiritual discipline. 

 

From a deep immersion into Scripture, we find that God never intended for repentance to be a spiritual discipline of the past. God never intended for his people to ignore His commands. In fact, Christ said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) He never intended His people to be “of the world,” obeying the world’s “commands” while neglecting His. (Romans 12:2) We find God never intended self-worship (or any other form of idolatry) to co-exist with the worship of God. From a deep immersion into Scripture, we also find that God never intended for people to go through the motions of repentance without a contrite heart.  

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November 2, 2023

They Will Know Us by Our Love

College Students Struggle as Israel-Hamas War Continues

By erin conner

 

"By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." -John 13:35

Many of our nation’s colleges and universities have been in a state of turmoil since the October 7 attacks against Israel. Christianity Today’s recent article by Emily Belz, “As Campus Threats Rise, College Ministries Look for Ways to Help,” takes a closer look at how Christian Union and other ministries are responding. 

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October 31, 2023

Space to Pray and Grow in the Lord

2023 Reopening of CU Vox's Ministry Office at Dartmouth

By Erin Conner

Tim Pillsbury, previously a local Associate Pastor with deep family roots at Dartmouth, started his new position as Ministry Director at CU Vox this spring. He had one task in mind: to create a space at Dartmouth to equip students to wholeheartedly seek God.

As Pillsbury began to prepare for CU Vox’s open house event on March 30, 2023, which was held a few days after the start of Dartmouth’s ten-week spring term, he decided the storage closet in the ministry center was not an effective use of space. “It seemed like such a waste to have this room devoted to storage when what students need is prayer,” he said. So, Pillsbury converted an empty storage closet into a vibrant prayer room filled with Bibles, books, instruments, and the elements of Communion.



During the open house, when students toured the rooms of the ministry office, they expressed the most excitement about having access to a space devoted for prayer. Francisca Fadairo, ‘25, decided that she and her friends would consistently use this room during the spring term, and they have.  “CU Vox has provided us with a space to pray for campus. We come here together to pray for a revival–  for people’s hearts to return to God,” Fadairo stated. 

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October 27, 2023

The Power of a Seeking God Lifestyle

Highlight: CU America member, Erika Lamara Garrett, LMFT  

By Erin Conner

 
“It was the fall that saved my life,” Erika Lamara Garrett explained. In January of 2020, at the age of 33, Garrett fell. The injuries she sustained from this fall confined her to a bed and made her dependent on others to perform basic daily activities. Despite the desperation of her circumstances while on bed rest, she sensed the Lord telling her, “Erika- you will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” 

 

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October 25, 2023

Stand Firm

By Rev. Jeffrey Walsh
Ministry Director, Christian Union Lux at Yale University
 

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand Firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God... – Ephesians 6:13-17

"Sergeant, I forgot my rifle in my room," one team leader radioed as we drove out of the front gate of our Iraqi-based compound in March 2004. Our mission: to carry out a covert assignment with a clandestine operations team from the National Security Agency. I was surprised when our team leader realized he had forgotten his rifle. We always ensured we had all the required equipment before starting any mission. However, I suggested that he find a solution, and we continued our journey without returning. This decision would be one of my life's worst decisions. Roughly three hours later, we would meet the enemy, and two people would die due to not bearing the most essential weapon in the arsenal.  

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October 24, 2023

United in Faith, Transformed by the Spirit

CU Fire Retreats Continue to Blaze Across America

By erin conner

 

“Once again CU Fire Retreats Delivered! Amazing!,” claimed one participant following the past Christian Union America Retreat held on October 13-14.  CU Fire Retreats are multi-site, two-day simulcast retreats focusing on spiritual strengthening through prayer, fasting, repentance, and seeking the Lord. CU Fire Retreats are a part of Christian Union America’s efforts to bring sweeping change to our nation for God’s glory through the development and connection of transformative Christian leaders.    

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October 24, 2023

Are the Miraculous Gifts for Today?

The Debate of Cessationism v. Continuationism 

By erin conner

 

Are the miraculous gifts for today? Dr. Michael Brown argues a compelling “yes” in his article entitled “The Reformed of the Lord Say No to Cessationism,” published on October 9 in Christianity Today.  

“The cessationist debate is back, although in some ways, it’s never left,” Brown writes, in light of the recently scheduled 2024 Cessationist Conference led, in part, by Pastor John MacArthur. This conference is timed to coincide with the release of the Cessationist movie, “bringing an age-old topic back to the forefront of trending conversations, especially among Reformed believers.” 

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October 1, 2023

A Journey Beyond Graduation

Christian Union America's Mentoring Program Launches Alumni Well

By christine foster

 

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.  - Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

For many Christians, the most challenging phase of life begins the moment they graduate from college. Robust discipleship, through which many students grew strong in college, suddenly disappears. The members of their Bible Course group scatter across the country and around the world. Young graduates suddenly find themselves in a new city, with a demanding job, and no home church. Christian Union’s Alumni Mentoring Program aims to smooth this time, by equipping these graduates with some support. The intention is to see these new alumni continue to network with other faithful people and grow into the full Christian leaders God intends for them to be.

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July 2, 2023

Quakers for Life

Prayerful Penn Students Are Making a Difference

By Anne Kerhoulas 


The following article was actually written in 2021, when the universities where Christian Union works were beginning to come out of the COVID lockdown.

 

While most college students spend their Saturday mornings sleeping in, recovering from a week of late nights and coursework, a group of students from Christian Union Martus at the University of Pennsylvania participate in sidewalk abortion ministry with Quakers For Life, a pro-life organization founded by Martus alumnus, Eric Hoover ’19.

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March 20, 2023

Easing the Post-Grad Transition

CU Mentoring Program Proves Edifying For Mentors and Mentees


By Terrance Moore and Paul Akere

Every spring, Christian Union offers every CUU graduate the opportunity to be paired with a mentor for a year-long mentorship program. The following is a Q and A with mentor Terrance Moore and mentee Paul Akere.

 

Terrance Moore, Harvard ’14, was a member of Harvard College Faith and Action, now called CU Gloria, and now works for Adobe on the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Team. Paul Akere, Columbia ’22, participated in CU Lumine and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in education at UVA.

 

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December 19, 2022

Introducing CU Society

A Network Helping Alumni Connect and Flourish

By Anne Kerhoulas

Christian Union has served undergraduate and graduate students at some of the most influential universities in the country for decades. But what happens to these students after they graduate? The transition from college to the working world is not only challenging on a personal level, but it is also one of the times individuals are more likely to walk away from their faith. 

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November 3, 2022

A Movement Bringing Spiritual Renewal

October CU Fire Retreat Elicits Powerful Responses As Holy Spirit Moves in Power

 

By Chuck Hetzler

“This was my first CU Fire Retreat. It's hard to put into words what I experienced this weekend.  I have been challenged to examine my walk with the Lord, to address areas where I am not walking in obedience. With regard to revival, I have a better understanding as to what is required of us collectively and myself individually.  This is a new beginning for me. I don't think I will ever be the same again. The teachings were the most memorable part for me but our small group discussions and prayer times were also wonderful.”

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October 17, 2022

CU Gloria Prepared Alumna For A Life of Faith

How One Alumna Learned To See The Lord In All Things 


By Kate Lucky, Harvard ’15

In college, I spent many mornings talking about stories: analyzing characters and structures and metaphors, voicing my ideas about plot and motif. At the end of these classes, we closed our novels and ventured out into the cold. I was an English concentrator. 

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September 19, 2022

Christian Union America Seeks To Bring Nationwide Transformation

Fasting, Bible Studies, Mentorship, Retreats, and More Will Be Available Through CU America


By Tom Campisi

Christian Union recently announced the formation of CU America, which will focus on inspiring, encouraging, and networking adults across the country to wholeheartedly seek the Lord, repent of sins, grow bold in their faith, and pray diligently for national revival.
 

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August 29, 2022

Princeton Alumnus Experiences Spiritual Healing to Overcome Addiction

How a Struggle with Addiction Led a Princeton Alum to Rediscover Faith and Launch Multiple Enterprises

By Chris Lumry 

Chris Lumry

New experiences of God and my own creativity arrived unexpectedly in a season of hopelessness and dissatisfaction shortly after finishing my MBA at Harvard. The day after the 2016 Super Bowl, I blacked out after drinking by myself and woke up around midnight on a street corner in San Francisco. 


Life took a sudden, undeserved turn for the better. 

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August 22, 2022

Introducing CU America

A Letter from Founder and CEO Matt Bennett

Christian Union is entering its third decade of ministry; praise God and thanks to you! I thank God for the lives that have been changed and the honor the Lord has received over the past twenty years. 

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July 22, 2022

‘The God Hypothesis’ - CU Nova Hosts Lecture by Dr. Stephen Meyer

Event Engages, Challenges Princeton Students

By Leah Smith, Princeton ’20

In the spring semester, Christian Union NOVA at Princeton University hosted a lecture with Dr. Stephen C. Meyer, director of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture in Seattle. Meyer, who received his Ph.D. in the philosophy of science from the University of Cambridge, helped students—both Christians and seekers—understand particular attributes of God: His creation, His omniscience, and His centrality to the story of the natural world.

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