This Month in Ministry: 

We had a special fellowship meeting! Instead of our Thursday night fellowship, this past Saturday we invited all the students' parents to come out and join us for the meeting! We wanted to give them a chance to see what their student has been involved in and to hear from them encouraging things they've seen in their students life. One of the parents shared about how meaningful it was during last year when the shutdown was happening to see the small group and the 1-1s still continue to meet and share life and do ministry during the pandemic, even if sometimes it had to be virtually. The difference it made on their student's spiritual and emotional wellbeing during that time was so encouraging to them and it was exciting for us to hear a story of how the efforts to keep the community going during that time impacted people. Praise God that we were able to continue on in ministry despite the shutdowns and restrictions! After the service we got to go have dinner and get to know some of the families more, which was a special and encouraging time. 

  Here's a snapshot from that night:


A Peek into a Weekly Meeting: 

A big part of my job is meeting weekly with students, as you might expect from a campus minister's schedule :). It's a time where we get to plan their next small group, talk through ways to approach trying to minister to non christian students they're meeting with and try to bring them into community and relationship with Jesus. It's also a time for us to pray, talk through their relationship with God, study scripture together and share about what they're dealing with. Anyways this week, we read through 1 Thessalonians a few times over the week. When we came together, we read about some of the context and background from a commentary on the book and read the book aloud again. This reading aloud of a letter from start to finish mimics how the original hearers would've engaged with the letter, and it helps so much to track the whole message of the book. Then we talked about what God communicated through Paul to the church in Thessalonica. What was that church dealing with from what we can tell? How did Paul minister to them? What parallels to what our community or culture deals with do we see? What might God want us to learn about those things as we reflect on this book? It's a favorite approach of mine, I love reading through a book together and immersing ourselves in it for a week. These smaller books are packed full of thought provoking and challenging truths of God, and reading them multiple times in a short amount of time makes things stick and helps engage with the text more thoroughly. 

Seminary: 

Speaking of 1 Thessalonians, I'm starting a new seminary course with some of the other staff. It's called Paul's 4 short letters: 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Philippians and Colossians. I'm knee deep in the reading and will soon be doing the lecture portion for a couple of weeks starting at the end of May. I'm excited, loving learning this content so far, and looking at ways to utilize it in ministry already. Thankful for this opportunity, and if you could pray that the transition back to doing classwork goes smoothly I would appreciate it! That's all for this month! Thank you again so so much for your continued support and prayer. It allows me to be on the campus and doing all of this day in and day out. 

Much Love, 
Ryan

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