On a Mission at New York University: Fall Update, part 1

Meeting with several leaders from the NYU Medical Student Christian Fellowship

Meeting with several leaders from the NYU Medical Student Christian Fellowship

The semester is winding down and God has been doing amazing things in InterVarsity’s four graduate and professional student chapters at NYU! Please join us by praying for the new students and for all of us as we try to finish the semester strong.

What a whirlwind the last few months have been!  After a July whistle-stop preaching tour at White Plains United Methodist Church and Holy Trinity Church in North Carolina (you can listenhere if you want), I packed up my stuff and moved up to Brooklyn on August 1st.  I have been going non-stop ever since.

Throughout August I met with the leadership teams of the four graduate and professional student fellowships here at NYU, preparing them to reach out to this fall’s incoming students.  I was blessed to spend a weekend in Ithaca with the student leaders from the NYU Christian Legal Fellowship praying over and planning the coming year’s ministry to the law school.  They have already carried out a fantastic outreach to new law students and are in a great position to bless the campus this year.  The leaders of the Medical Christian Fellowship (pictured above right), the Graduate Christian Fellowship, and the Christian Dental Association have also been hard at work welcoming incoming students.  The Christian Dental Association alone had more than 90 people sign up for our mailing list!  We are eager to see what God has in store for us this year here at NYU.  Please pray for us as we reach out to new graduate and professional students!

The Christian Legal Fellowship's outreach to first year law students (or "1Ls"), "Nacho Average Mixer: Lettuce Meat and Taco-Bout Law School!," was a huge success.  This was just the beginning of what has turned out to be an amazing semester

The Christian Legal Fellowship’s outreach to first year law students (or “1Ls”), “Nacho Average Mixer: Lettuce Meat and Taco-Bout Law School!,” was a huge success. This was just the beginning of what has turned out to be an amazing semester

God has been opening some amazing doors for us at the beginning of this semester.  First of all, I have been accepted to be a part of NYU’s chaplain affiliates program.  As an NYU chaplain affiliate I will have an incredible degree of access to the university, not least office space in the Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life (pictured below) and the opportunity to teach for-credit undergraduate courses through NYU’s Of Many Institute.  I hope to take advantage of the opportunity to teach here next year after I get settled into married life and life in New York.

Also, in partnership with the Catholic Center we have launched the NYU Theology on Tap, a group that meets to discuss the big questions and to engage the campus through conversational apologetics and witness.  Our first meeting was held this past Tuesday night in conjunction with a lecture at NYU by Reza Aslan, author of the controversial new bestseller, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.

Reza Aslan giving a talk at NYU before our first Theology On Tap meeting.

Reza Aslan giving a talk at NYU before our first Theology On Tap meeting.

After the lecture twelve students joined Father Austin Litke and me at the Half Pint Pub to debrief the lecture, discuss what we can and cannot know about “the historical Jesus,” and debate the nature of religious truth claims.  It was a great conversation.

The next Theology on Tap was on September 25th, in conjunction with a lecture here at NYU by Richard Dawkins, the world’s most prominent exponent of atheism and author of The God Delusion.  Dawkins essentially led a pep-rally for the so-called “New Atheism”—a form of pop rationalistic materialism that assumes that every question has a scientific answer and that religion is an irremediable evil that would be best expunged from society—rather than real lecture.  Afterward I and several students met at the Malt House to debrief the event and to talk about the complex relationship between modern science and the Christian faith.  Please pray for me as I work to equip the next generation of leaders to faithfully engage the challenges of the increasingly secular world that God is calling them to serve in.

Some of the Grad Christian Fellowship, meeting for this semester's first fellowship dinner and Bible study.  That little dinner circle represents future leaders in a variety of disciplines--chemistry, economics, history, political science, linguistics--from four nations.

Some of the Grad Christian Fellowship, meeting for this semester’s first fellowship dinner and Bible study. That little dinner circle represents future leaders in a variety of disciplines–chemistry, economics, history, political science, linguistics–from four nations.

Thank you for joining us in taking up this challenge, the challenge of the gospel. With your support I will be serving and equipping the culture-makers, idea-shapers, and world leaders of the next generation to use their gifts, opportunities, and educations for the up-building of God’s Kingdom and the advancement of God’s global mission.

Thank you for all of your prayers and support!  I am so blessed to have such an incredible community of fellow workers with me on this journey.

To those of you who have been partnering with me financially, I hope that you will continue as I enter this new phase of life and ministry in one of our country’s most challenging mission fields. If you are not currently a financial partner, the InterVarsity team and I would appreciate your prayerful consideration.  The budget to operate the ministries for the graduate, medical, dental, and law students at NYU requires support of approximately $6,600 per month from the Christian community.  Every contribution matters as we strive to meet the challenges ahead.  I hope that you will consider enrolling to support this ministry with a monthly, quarterly or annual contribution.   To help financially support my work with the Grad & Faculty Ministries at NYU and with the Emerging Scholars Network, you can just go to my donor webpage (here) or you can mail checks to:

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
P.O. Box 7895
Madison, WI   53707-7895

All checks should be made payable to InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and should indicate in the memo line that they are intended for the ministry of “David Williams at NYU.”

Thank you again for all of your prayers and support! 

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