The pastors and elders who are in charge of helping to start a new campus ministry at Rowan this fall are actively and prayerfully considering several candidates for this position. Which is a good time to consider a few thoughts about calling, because we don’t consider our work to be one in which we “hire” someone to be the campus minister at Rowan; we consider our job to be one in which we call him to it.
Summer is a time when many students return home, reconnect with their families, and take a break from classes. Sometimes students will pick up part time jobs or internships, or even stay on campus for summer studies.
One thing that’s easy to neglect during the summer is your relationship with God. During these summer days, remember to thank God for getting you through the past two semesters, take some time to reignite your love for him and relationship with him–or if you’re new to walking with God, then take some time to get into a local Bible study at a good church near where you live.
Along these lines, Solomon, at the end of his life, issued this reminder to young people:
“Remember your Creator in the days of your youth…” (Ecclesiastes 12:1)
He’s reflecting, at the end of his life, on wasted years that can’t be recovered, and the importance of putting God first while its still easy, when you still can. As we read the larger context, you can’t help but notice the sense of urgency in the warning that comes from the famous Preacher.
The time you invest in your relationship with God over the summer will pay back huge dividends when you return to school in the fall. So while you enjoy these summer days, make a point to build your summer around the God who has made you for Himself, and who is writing an amazing story for your future through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Photo credit: KKART at Deviant art: 5 bracket HDR, blended| Minolta 5D| Sigma 28-90 Macro| Dynatran Tripod| Lightroom, Photoshop. Photomatix, PhotoFilter. See more on his website: jdebordphoto.com all work copyrighted 2009 John De Bord.
(Guest Post by David Green, Area Coordinator, RUF Northeast)
We’re hoping to start a PCA campus ministry at Rowan University in 2017. Reformed University Fellowship is the campus ministry of the PCA, but you may be wondering, “What does an RUF ministry look like?” I’m glad you asked! RUF is many things.
We are an evangelistic ministry. Through preaching, in Bible studies, in one-to-one meetings, RUF ministers call unbelievers to place their trust in Jesus. They also equip and encourage students in the work of evangelism.
We are a discipleship ministry. RUF ministers help students grow in the grace of Christ, and put that into practice by serving others. We look for Christian students and help them to mature in their faith.
RUF is a counseling ministry. We help students process the tough issues they face today, such as authority, sexual identity, self-image, career direction, etc.
RUF is an apologetic ministry. We confront the idols of our culture and show how they fail to deliver on their promise of fulfillment.
RUF is a diaconal ministry. Campus ministers and students are alert and engaged in helping the hurting on campus, in the community, and around the world.
What this all adds up to is that RUF is a pastoral ministry. We engage in evangelism and discipleship and counseling and apologetics and service because our men are pastors to the campus. As a parish pastor ministers to the needs of the whole community, RUF ministers are pastors to the whole campus. This is why we only hire ordained ministers. I did unordained ministry for 18 years, and I am convinced that they were very spiritually fruitful years. But RUF’s ministers come with seminary training and the calling of a presbytery, which provides them with the resources to have a greater impact on campus.
Doesn’t it sound exciting to think of such a ministry on Rowan University? In our next newsletter, I will address the form this ministry would take.
Here on the Rowan RUF team, we are closely connected to Mercy Hill, a church that meets just minutes north of Rowan University. This Sunday (Sept. 20) is a special day for Mercy Hill– our fifth anniversary as a church! We’ll be sharing a lot of stories about how we’ve been blessed at the Hill.
This is a perfect day for any new visitors to come and learn about Mercy Hill. We’re even having lunch.
Join us! We’ll have a group leaving from the student center circle at 9:30 am on Sunday. I’ll be there to drive. Come & check out our special event! Contact me at email@example.com if you have any questions.
So September is here, the leaves are slowly turning, and classes are starting up again at Rowan. A beautiful time of year; as one poet has said:
From the trees
Dusk-green, and murmuring inward melodies,
No leaf drops yet; only our evenings swoon.
Well, at least I think South Jersey is poetic. But as we hit the books again… are we deluding ourselves? Why are we bothering to learn? In your college studies, have you ever felt like King Solomon, who, as he sought his learning without God, wrote,
[This is] meaningless! Meaningless!
Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”?
Much study wearies the body. (Ecc. 1:1, 10; 12:12)
Universities often ignore our questions. What’s the point in learning? Is there meaning behind it? Let me boil it down to this: as we study the world more deeply in college, are we staring into an abyss of meaninglessness atoms and cold thought– or a beautiful secret of joy? The Rowan RUF team is committed to help you work through these questions, providing support to help you see the joy, God himself, that all the liberal arts, sciences, and subjects reveal. We want to see your relationships flourish in joy. And we want to connect you with local churches that can bless your time at Rowan.
I believe that the purpose of education is to live according to reality. Solomon knew that school without God is ultimately meaningless. Until we reckon with God, knowledge seems disappointing and joy is just a fleeting shadow. But we’re called to face these questions and seek God. We’re here to help.
I particularly love to talk about how all the subjects at Rowan University are related to Christ. Just send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll help you in any way I can. Phil H, Brent K., and Polly H. are pretty cool as well.
We hope that you are able to join us for worship on Sunday, September 6. Following worship at Mercy Hill–whether you can come to worship or not–our second year intern, Brett, will be meeting any student who is interested in joining us for “lunch and discussion” at 1pm at Little Beefs (121 N. High St., Glassboro NJ 08028) Lunch is on us, and he will lead a conversation about what was preached in the sermon that morning. Our church is scheduled to study the end of the Song of Solomon together. Hope you can come!
Pastor Brent, Brett, Rick and Polly, and myself were really blessed to meet so may students on Friday. It was so hot, we were glad we brought so much water! Then when it started to rain is when things really cooled off.
A big thank you to everyone who came out to the Rowan vendor fair, and a special blessing on the first year students. We really do hope that God can use us to bless and encourage you as students this semester.
As a reminder, our worship service begins at 10am on Sunday, and starting on September 13, Brett or someone will be on the student center “circle” on 322 from 9:20-9:30am on Sunday for anyone who needs a ride.
Also stay tuned to hear more about our fall calendar of events on campus. Here are some things we’re thinking about: a men’s and women’s Bible study, a fall cookout (with ultimate frisbee and some other games), and a winter Christmas caroling event in town.