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

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  We here with InterVarsity’s Grad & Faculty Ministries at NC State and Meredith have so much to be thankful for this semester—not least, your generous support!

What’s happening?

  • Our monthly Food for Thought Dinners continue to be a rich time

    Since April, I have raised 65% of my annual budget in pledges and donations, and since August I have been working full-time for InterVarsity at half-pay.  Thank you for your support!

  • I have had several speaking engagements, been meeting regularly withGCF members, begun meeting with  international students.
  • The NC State Graduate Christian Fellowship (GCF) has been gathering weekly to pray and to study the Bible together.
  • The NC State GCF has been blessed to participate with the Duke and UNC’s GCFs in several events over the past semester.
  • The GCF has been gathering monthly to serve our community with Habitat for Humanity and other local service initiatives.
  • At our monthly Food for Thought Dinners we are engaging with writings by leading Christian thinkers on how to integrate our faith with our scholarship and all of life.
  • The NC State GCF will host and sponsor our first annual public colloquium this spring.  Our 2012 colloquium will be on held on April 12th at NC State University, on Biblical Faith in an Age of Science.  Author, speaker, and Old Testament scholar Dr. Peter Enns, formerly of the BioLogos Institute, will be keynote speaker.

Things to pray for…

GCF on the job at Habitat for Humanity

  • That I would raise the remainder of my budget soon and be able to devote more attention to the ministry.  I need to raise an additional 25% of my annual budget, $17,500, by December 15th to be able to minister on campus full-time.
  • That the Lord would bless our outreach efforts this spring.
  • That the Lord would guide us as we cast a vision for the future of the Grad & Faculty Ministries at NC State and Meredith.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

We here with InterVarsity’s Grad & Faculty Ministries at NC State and Meredith have so much to be thankful for this semester—not least, your generous support! Since April 15th, by the grace of God, more than $45,000 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!  Since August 15th I have been working fulltime at half-pay, building the Graduate Christian Fellowship (GCF) at NC State, participating in the InterVarsity Faculty Bible Study at NC State, and working to secure the remainder of my funding for the rest of this fiscal year.  Thank you for being a part of this vital Kingdom work!  We simply could not do this very strategically important ministry without your support.

There is so much going on that I would like to tell you, but this month I wanted to share with you something that University of Notre Dame historian Mark Noll said about our work in his most recent book, Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2011).  In his 1994 book, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans), Noll sounded a call for evangelicals to develop a full-fledged evangelical research university.  While that goal has not quite been met, Noll says there is now an evangelical research university of a sort out there.  He writes:

On April 12th the NC State GCF will host a colloquium on Faith and Science with Dr. Peter Enns

At pluralistic colleges and universities, campus ministries of many sorts also encourage evangelical spiritual life, without which there would be no evangelical intellectual life.  Especially with its major commitment to graduate and faculty ministry, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship has played an especially important role. By providing Christian nurture and networks for evangelical (and other) students and teachers who might otherwise feel isolated as believing scholars, the Grad-Faculty IVCF may be doing as much in its low-key way to improve evangelical intellectual life as any other ongoing national program.  Such local efforts, which are sponsored by other campus ministries as well, are particularly important for enhancing networking, which is now absolutely essential for Christian learning.  In the relative absence of comprehensive evangelical universities, one can almost say that informal networks are the evangelical research universities.  (p. 157, my italics)

If our vision for seeing “students and faculty transformed, campuses renewed, and world-changers developed” sounds grandiose and ambitious, that is because it is.  You and I are working to do nothing less than fill a university-sized hole in the life of the Church.

The Triangle GCFs at a recent lecture at Duke University

This coming spring semester is going to be vital to the accomplishment of our mission to Raleigh’s universities, as this is the time when we must cast our vision and prepare our student leaders for the next academic year and beyond.  To be able to devote my full attention to the ministry and serve full-time on campus next semester, I will need to raise an additional 25% of my annual budget, $17,500, by December 15th.  Included here is a business reply envelope in case you would like to make an additional end-of-the-year contribution to our work, or you can donate online at: 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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