God willing, this Sunday afternoon I’ll be installed as one of your pastors! It’s hard to believe we’ve already been in ministry together for more than three months, and the energy of this University town in fall has made the time fly. Thank you for your prayers and support as the Spirit leads us all in the soulful work of advocating for peace, justice, and inclusion, and engaging our University Mission anew.
We are in a rebuilding phase, with the excitement and challenges that come with seeking to re-envision a deeply contextual approach to campus ministries. So far, our incarnational ministry among UVA students has involved a lemonade stand on UVA’s first day of classes, a welcome dinner at Common Grounds, biweekly 20/30 CreW Wednesday Wind-Downs, many one-on-one coffee meetings with students, a Mac-n-Cheese-Off during Parents’ Weekend, creating a climate-justice-themed visual arts devotional for the 2019 UKirk Advent devotional (which you can download or subscribe to here), and the development of a new interfaith collaboration through United Ministries and Virginia Interfaith Coalition. Other long-term plans are in the works as well.
For the immediate future, we look forward to Friendsgiving dinner next week and hope you’ll help us provide a welcoming space at Common Grounds for students as they face the stress of exams. It’s not too early to sign up for a two-hour shift during Sunday, Dec. 8, through Monday, Dec. 16! If baking is your love language, you can bring cookies for Christmas Kick-Back on Dec. 8, from 1 to 2 p.m.
In addition to worship this Sunday morning, I hope you’re able to attend the installation service at 3 p.m. A mentor, former colleague, and friend to the Charlottesville community, Rev. Jay Sanderford will offer a reflection on how 2 Cor. 3:1–11 calls us to be a letter of Christ to the changing world around us. I look forward to how his insights will encourage us in our ministry together!