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InterVarsity Grad & Faculty Ministries at NCSU & Meredith College: Update, September 2011

The 2011-12 school year is off to a fantastic start and lots of exciting things are afoot!

What’s happening?

  • GCF on the job at Habitat for Humanity.

    Since starting in April, I have raised 54% of my annual budget in pledges and donations, which means I am now able to work half-time for InterVarsity.  Thank you for your support!

  • The Graduate Christian Fellowship (GCF) has begun gathering weekly to pray and to study the Gospel of Matthew together.
  • Several new, enthusiastic graduate students have joined the ranks of GCF.  It is so great to see new faces!
  • The GCF has begun gathering monthly to serve our community with Habitat for Humanity and other local service initiatives.
  • The GCF has begun our monthly Food for Thought Dinners, where we share a meal and discuss readings from leading Christian thinkers on the implications of the gospel for our lives, our scholarship, and our professions.
  • I have begun helping with InterVarsity’s international student ministry at NCSU.  Roughly 60% of NCSU’s grad students come from overseas!
  • We have begun booking speakers and NC State faculty for a colloquium on Science and Faith for this Spring.

Things to pray for…

  • That I would raise the remainder of my budget soon and be able to devote more attention to the ministry.

    Our first GCF Food for Thought Dinner of the year.

  • That I would be able to devote more time and energy to the InterVarsity faculty group at NC State soon.
  • It is becoming clear that the GCF will probably need a larger place to meet before too long.  Pray that God will provide the right space.
  • That the Lord would guide us through this exciting season of growth and change.

September 5, 2011

Greetings all,

The school year is off to a fantastic start and lots of exciting things are afoot!   For starters, since April 15th, by the grace of God, more than $37,000 of support has been pledged or donated to my work with InterVarsity’s ministries to the graduate students and faculty at NC State and Meredith College.  Praise the Lord!  It has been a difficult road, as I have been working a second job in addition to getting the ministry rolling and, of course, fundraising ‘round-the-clock.  But God has been pulling together an amazing community of people to support our ministry and as of August 15th I have been working half-time as the new InterVarsity Grad and Faculty campus minister for NC State and Meredith College.  Thank you for being a part of this work!  We simply could not do this very strategically important work without your support.

Some of NCSU's newest grad students and me at the international student dinner.

There is so much going on that I would like to share with you, but this month I would like to focus our attention on the Graduate Christian Fellowship (GCF) at State and Meredith.  The GCF has begun its weekly Bible study and this year we will be working our way through the Gospel according to Matthew.   Many Christian graduate students find themselves disoriented and off-balance as they try to relate the highly sophisticated graduate-level understandings of the fields of study that they are developing to the comparatively less sophisticated understandings of the faith that they have acquired in their Sunday schools, churches and fellowships up to this point.  The GCF tries to redress that imbalance by engaging with the Scriptures with the same sort of rigor with which our students approach their respective fields, exploring the texts in their original languages and their historical contexts, thinking critically, and wrestling with the hard questions.  The fruit of this approach has been that students not only come away from these studies more firmly established in their faith, but they are also in a stronger position to bring the gospel to bear on their fields, the university, and the world.  Please pray that the Lord would bless our time in the Word together this year!

Educating for Shalom: Essays on Christian Higher Education by Nicholas Wolterstorff

The GCF has begun two exciting new initiatives, as well.  First, we have begun gathering monthly to work with Habitat for Humanity on several building projects in Wake County.  We are working not only to serve our communities, but also to cultivate habits of service “to the least of these” (Matt. 25:45) that will shape who we are and what we do for a lifetime.  Second, this semester we have begun gathering once a month for our Food for Thought Dinners, where we share a meal and discuss readings from leading Christian thinkers on the implications of the gospel for our scholarship, our work, and our world.  This month we will be discussing an essay by Nicholas  Wolterstorff, Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology at Yale University, entitled, “The World for Which We Educate.”  Wolterstorff sets before us the incredible needs of our contemporary world, and challenges Christian educators and students to think about how they might use, not only their hands, but also their gifts, education, and opportunities to serve “the least of these.”

In future newsletters I will tell you about our work with faculty and international students, our upcoming Spring colloquium on Faith and Science, and much, much more. To support my work with the grad students and faculty at State and Meredith just go to https://donate.intervarsity.org/donate/to/David_Williams

Thank you again for all of your support!

David

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NCSU Graduate Christian Fellowship

Hi! I'm David, the campus minister for InterVarsity's graduate and faculty ministries at NC State and Meredith College. I hope you'll join me as I learn to "practice resurrection" in the City of Oaks, in her universities, and in the wider world. You can contact me at dmwilliams83@gmail.com

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