Community of Fellowship Continues to Thrive on College Campus during COVID

The Coalition for Christian Outreach: There Are Good News Stories to Share

December 14, 2020

PITTSBURGH—The Coalition for Christian Outreach (CCO) calls college students to serve Jesus Christ with their entire lives. The CCO ministry has developed a community of fellowship between the CCO staff and students, by:

·       Sharing the Gospel with students and developing passionate disciples of Jesus Christ;

·       Serving together with the church and inviting students into the lives of local congregations; and

·       Providing students with a vision for serving Jesus Christ in their studies, jobs, communities and families.

CCO has many good news stories to share from various college campuses that demonstrate how the community of fellowship continues to thrive. Below is a sampling of just a few.

At the start of the fall semester at the University of South Carolina (Columbia, SC), ministry staff were concerned by the number of COVID cases that were reported on campus and by the limited room capacities. According to Jonathan Furst, campus ministry staff, “The plan was to meet in small groups outdoors as much as possible. Now, as the semester is concluding, CCO staff has hosted more than ‘100 COVID individually packaged meals’ (thanks to an incredible volunteer), warmed ourselves around 20 bonfires, laughed, played games, prayed, discussed the Bible and talked about what it means to be a Christian in the 21st century. Churches may be closed, but the Church is not. God is not bound, and His Kingdom will endure.”

During the fall semester at Anne Arundel Community College (Arnold, MD), campus ministry held a Bible study on the life of Joseph. Said Stephen Manyara, campus ministry staff, “Joseph was a man who had a series of events happen to him that he was not in control of, but he remained faithful to God and was able to be used sovereignly by Him in the midst of very difficult circumstances. We believe this is the situation we are all in right now. So we are encouraging students and ourselves to remain faithful and remember that God is over this crazy time and is working things out to His good and perfect desired end.” The ministry also hosted COVID safe movie and discussion nights, tea times, tennis, presidential debate watches and paint nights.

At their weekly “Multicultural Dinner,” campus ministry staff at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA) have been studying each chapter of the four-part Gospel narrative—Creation, Fall, Redemption, Restoration—to talk about their own journeys and experiences with our ethnic identities. Every week, they gather outside to eat a physically distanced BYO dinner. “After getting to know one another ‘around the table’ (aka on steps under a glass awning), we move inside to recap the four chapters and talk about the implications of this very good news in all of our lives,” said Kylie and Nicholas Garrety, campus ministry staff. “One student told us, ‘The MC Dinner is a beautiful community of believers willing to ask the hard questions and engage in meaningful conversations about what the multicultural church truly looks like. I’m continually drawn back because it is a wonderful space to learn about other people’s ethnic experiences and how that intersects with the Gospel.’”

The college and university campus is the most strategic mission field in the world, with only 2% of students being reached with the Gospel. CCO partners with local church congregations to help students feel a sense of belonging. A community is formed between the CCO staff and students, who are invited into the lives of local congregations. Through this community of fellowship, CCO is able to minister to the students in a life-changing way.

###

To interview Dan Dupee or for more information about Coalition for Christian Outreach, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Nick DiFazio, 610.584.1096, ext. 104, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.