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Christian Union: The Magazine

Cultural Engagement


December 2, 2019

The Glory of Uganda

Summer Trip Is a Blessing for Students 

Winston Churchill once called the East African nation of Uganda a fairytale, saying, “You climb up a railway instead of a beanstalk, and at the end there is a wonderful new world.” However, with the insurgence of the despotic regime of Idi Amin in the 1970s, the fairytale turned into a nightmare, and decades later, the region is still recovering from the aftermath of war and the devastation of HIV/AIDS. 

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December 2, 2019

A Heart for Justice

Richmond ’18 Is a 1L at Harvard Law School 

A Harvard College and Christian Union alumna plans to integrate her  passions for faith and justice by pursuing a career in law. In August, Molly Richmond ’18 entered Harvard Law School with a sense of a calling to become a public interest lawyer.

 

But first, Richmond paused to share her heart for justice by serving as a keynote speaker for the Christian youth conference she co-founded in 2013. In June, Richmond explained a biblical view of justice during The Micah Conference, an annual student-led event affiliated with her high school, Boston Trinity Academy.

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December 2, 2019

Serving the Student Body

Drummond ’20 Is Executive Vice President at Stanford

by tom campisi, managing editor
 

For the last two years, Isaiah Drummond has served as the vice president of Caritas, Christian Union’s ministry to students at Stanford University. Drummond, a mechanical engineering major, helped build the ministry, along with other students when it launched in the fall of 2016.

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August 15, 2019

Healing the Land in Fiji

by sarah camp


“…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
 

– 2 Chronicles 7: 13, 14

One small hand slipped into mine. A second stealthy hand claimed my other hand. The young girls tugged me along the dirt path through the village, between small homes. Prayers and songs drifted from doorways. Cell phones served as our flashlights, guiding mysteps only; the girls were sure-footed as they pulled and nudged me along. From the sky, heavy with darkness, stars erupted. They dangled so seemingly low amid the lengthwise haze of the Milky Way I wondered if I might disentangle a hand, reach up, and snatch one, just one, drop it my pocket, to remember a sacred night in Vunibao, Fiji.

 

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August 15, 2019

“Courageous in the Ways of the Lord”

Cities Conference Features James K.A. Smith, Vince Vitale

by catherine elvy, staff writer
 
At the Christian Union Cities Conference, scholar James K.A. Smith challenged young professionals to reflect upon whether they are pursuing faithful service or self-serving aggrandizement. Ambitions can propel believers to fulfill spiritual callings or throttle them into idolatrous practices, he said.

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August 15, 2019

God Is at Work

Students, Christian Union Faculty Appreciate Ministry Center 

by tom campisi


When the Christian Union Center at Columbia University was dedicated last fall, the ministry’s Founder and CEO, Matt Bennett, said “generations of influential students, faculty, and alumni will be emboldened and equipped to carry revival and cultural reformation to the university and the world.”

The impact of the building was felt immediately; the consensus among the ministry’s faculty was that “God is at work in the new ministry center.” Within a few days, Christian Union was able to engage more new students than in the previous year of ministry. At the close of the recent academic year, Ministry Fellow Ava Ligh said the Christian Union Center was a blessing that enabled students to experience a greater sense of community and provided a wonderful place to seek the Lord, study the Word, and grow together. 

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August 15, 2019

Huddle Up

Ministry Director Mentors Penn Football Players 

by catherine elvy, staff writer

Since fall 2017, Christian Union Ministry Director Tucker Else has been steadily gaining ground in his outreach to Quaker athletes, especially to members of the football team. Given their hectic training and academic schedules, Else offers flexible discipleship sessions to players.


“Time is such a commodity,” said Else. “It’s pretty easy for these guys to live and sleep football and academics.”

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August 15, 2019

Crossing Borders

Rodarte ’19 Challenges Classmates to Be Change Agents

by tom campisi, managing editor


In her Class Day speech, senior Patricia Rodarte encouraged fellow Brown University graduates to go beyond borders.

Rodarte, a native of El Paso, Texas, grew up less than a mile from the Rio Grande, which marks the boundary between the United States and Mexico. She opened her speech by talking about the shared culture and interdependent ancestry and economies of El Paso and its “sister city,” Ciudad Juarez, Mexico—despite being separated by a 10-foot-tall fence. 

“There is a constant movement of people across their ports of entry…” she said. “Crossing borders is central to my region’s identity.”

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August 15, 2019

The Equality Act Poses an Unprecedented Threat to Religious Freedom

Q and A with Andrew Walker

Andrew T. Walker is the Senior Fellow in Christian Ethics and Director of Research at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. He is also an Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics and Apologetics at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. The author of God and the Transgender Debate, as well as editor for The Gospel for Life Series,Walker resides in Franklin, Tennessee with his wife and three daughters.

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August 15, 2019

What Is Religious Freedom?

by robert p. george

When the U.S. Congress passed the International Religious Freedom Act in 1998, it recognized that religious liberty and the freedom of conscience are in the front rank of the essential human rights whose protection, in every country, merits the solicitude of the United States in its foreign policy. Therefore, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, of which I served as chair in 2013, was created by the act to monitor the state of these precious rights around the world.

 

But why is religious freedom so essential? Why does it merit such heightened concern by citizens and policymakers alike? In order to answer those questions, we should begin with a still more basic question. What is religion?

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August 12, 2019

It Takes a Village

Mendonsa ’19 Inspires Stanford Students to Serve

by eileen scott, contributing writer
 

Emily Mendonsa is a servant leader who is both “tenacious” and “tender,” according to Susan Brown, a Bible course leader with Caritas, Christian Union’s ministry to Stanford students.

Ever since she was a teenager, Mendonsa has had a passion for ministering to vulnerable and impoverished children through Naomi’s Village in Kenya, a ministry founded by her family. At Stanford, Mendonsa, who graduated in June, was active in Bible courses and responsible for recruiting fellow students to serve at Naomi’s Village on summer trips.

She credits her relationship with Susan Brown and the ministry’s rigorous Bible courses with providing structure as she pursued God during college. She and Brown met every week for two years and talked about everything from Bible course content to theological issues she faced in classes.

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June 1, 2019

God of the Subway

The Great Experiment in the Big Apple  


by whit hazelton

On Thursday, March 7, a small group of Christians took on a “Joshua Faith Challenge” that would stretch their faith and inject new energy into their walk with Jesus. As part of The Great Experiment, a ten-day spiritual challenge to seek God for revival, participants were asked to pray and ask God to show them something they could do to put their faith into works. It was to be something specific, concrete, bold, and out of the ordinary—something that would require courageous faith in God (Joshua 1:8, 9). In response to the challenge, a number of the five thousand Great Experiment participants came up with creative evangelism plans for their faith challenge.

 

For his Joshua Faith Challenge, Christian Union Founder and CEO Matt Bennett met up with six friends to take the Gospel to the New York City subway! Asking for prayer in advance of the big day, Matt wrote: “I’ve never done such a thing and am a little nervous, but also excited to see what God will do!”

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June 1, 2019

Principles of Christian Leadership

Harvard Law, Kennedy School Students Study Nehemiah

by catherine elvy, staff writer

The account of Nehemiah offers timeless lessons in spiritual and practical leadership. God raised up the Jewish official for a strategic mission, pointing to the role of providence in the form of human managers.

Those were some of the themes that emerged during a recent series from Christian Union’s ministry at Harvard Law School. During the spring term, the ministry offered an in-depth study on the book of Nehemiah to students from Harvard Law School (HLS) and the John F. Kennedy School of Government. “These young adults are in a position to become our leaders in the next generation,” said Justin Yim, Christian Union’s ministry director at Harvard Law School. 

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June 1, 2019

Revisiting the Sabbath, One Sunday at a Time

Students Step out to Lead Prayer Meetings

by francine barchett, cornell ’20
 

God entrusts His precious seconds, minutes, and hours to each of us. But how can we best use them? This semester two Cornellians who are active in Christian Union prioritized one day each week as God’s day. In those twenty-four hours, they rested from their studies, engaged in fellowship with other believers, and spearheaded an initiative to untangle what biblical rest and the Sabbath really mean.

Meet Klaudia Kokoszka and Alanna Staffin. Kokoszka is a junior economics and government transfer from Rutgers University and a relatively new Christian. In one short year, she has undergone a transformation; the Lord has given her an insatiable desire to understand His Word and share its love-infused message. Staffin, a leader with Christian Union’s ministry, is a graduating dairy science major.

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June 1, 2019

The Captain of Bulldog Baseball

Whiteman ’19 Has Draft Aspirations

by catherine elvy, staff writer


As captain of Yale University’s baseball team, Simon Whiteman is grateful for the opportunities his position has afforded him to add new chapters to the team’s rich history. Especially memorable have been the recent events that contributed to a “really big fall for our program,” said Whiteman ’19.

 

In late November, the team was in the spotlight as the nation mourned the death of one of its former captains, President George H.W. Bush, ’48. Weeks earlier, Yale baseball alumnus Mike Elias ’06 was named as the executive vice president and general manager of the Baltimore Orioles.

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June 1, 2019

Calling, Courage, and Christ

Nexus Attendees Challenged to Be Salt and Light in Marketplace

by tom campisi, managing editor



Have the courage to say yes—even when you are unsure of where it may lead.

That was one word of advice given to students by television and film producer D.T. Slouffman during the media and communications vocational panel at Christian Union’s Nexus Conference in February. The theme of the conference was “Courageous in the Ways of the Lord.”

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May 12, 2019

A Collegiate Day of Prayer

Princeton Christians Intercede with Students Across the Nation 

By Jon Garaffa, Princeton ’20

 

On February 28, students from Princeton University participated in the Collegiate Day of Prayer. Held annually on the last Thursday of February, the Collegiate Day of Prayer organization seeks to impact the next generation spiritually, encouraging all to pray for the students at our nation’s campuses.

 

Participating ministries at Princeton included: Princeton Christian Fellowship, Worship House, Manna Christian Fellowship, and Christian Union. Each ministry adopted a residential college, which is Princeton’s system for housing and dining for underclassmen. Then, they prayed for the students of that college. This model of praying for specific institutions also mirrors the overall model of the nationwide initiative, where entire campuses are adopted by organizations and individuals.

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May 10, 2019

Partnering with Pastors

Croston ’81 Is a National Director for Lifeway Resources 

By Catherine Elvy, Staff Writer

 

PartneringwPastorsUniversity of Pennsylvania alumnus is using his dynamic ministerial skills to help pastors thrive as they meet the needs of African-American congregants.

Mark Croston ’81 serves as national director for Black and Western Church Partnerships of LifeWay Christian Resources. The Tennessee-based organization ranks among the world’s top Christian resource providers, though it recently announced plans to shift from brick and mortar stores to online operations. LifeWay, the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, continues to stock major retailers with inspirational materials.'

In 2013, Croston left a lengthy pastoral career to join the LifeWay team, where he heads efforts to support and resource African-American churches.  

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May 8, 2019

Honoring Elizabeth Anscombe

Symposium Explores Arguments for Virtue, Chastity, and Sexual Ethics

By Catherine Elvy, Staff Writer

 

The Harvard Anscombe Society recently paid tribute to the the remarkable contributions of its namesake while celebrating the 100th anniversary of her birth.

In March, about 50 students, alumni, and other associates attended the 2019 Harvard Anscombe Symposium to honor the life of British intellect Gertrude Elizabeth Anscombe. At the gathering on March 16 in Adams House, participants explored Anscombe’s writings on the philosophy of mind, action, and intention, plus her modern arguments on behalf of virtue, chastity, and sexual ethics.

HonoringElizabethAnscombe

In March, the Harvard Anscombe Society celebrated the 100th anniversary of the birth of its namesake.

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May 7, 2019

Celebrating Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood

Esteemed TV Host Gave ’02 Commencement Address 

By Catherine Elvy, Staff Writer

 

For nearly 35 years, Fred Rogers invited young viewers to be part of his neighborhood.

An upcoming film from Sony Pictures will take a closer look at the kindness behind the life of the beloved children’s television host who attended Dartmouth College for two years before transferring to Rollins College. Dartmouth awarded Rogers an honorary degree in 2002 when he gave the commencement address.

MRogers

An upcoming film from Sony Pictures will highlight the life of Fred Rogers, the iconic children’s television host. 

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