Retreating and Advancing at NYU: Winter Update 2014

NYU GCF at Telos 14 with IV header

Despite two “polar vortexes,” weeks of temperatures in the teens, and getting more than four and half feet of snow, 2014 has gotten off to an amazing start for InterVarsity’s graduate and professional student ministries here at NYU. The last two months have been brimming with conferences and retreats as I traveled to St. Louis for IV’s National Staff Conference before going with the NYU Christian Legal Fellowship to the Catskills for the Christian Legal Society’s Northeast Regional Retreat, and then taking some of the NYU Graduate Christian Fellowship to the Telos ’14 conference in the Poconos.

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Some of the gang from the NYU Christian Legal Fellowship. Yes, that waterfall is frozen.

God has richly blessed each of these excursions, and each of the grad and professional student ministries in many ways this winter. With the Medical Student Christian Fellowship (pictured below left) we have begun a series of Bible studies exploring the difference the gospel makes to medical practice. Last month we looked at the Parable of the Good Samaritan and had a long, challenging conversation about social justice, health disparities, and God’s call for us to care for our most vulnerable neighbors. Over the next few months we will also be hearing from Christian doctors here in Manhattan about how their faith informs their lives and medical practices. Please pray that God would raise up a generation of faithful Christian doctors! Two weekends ago I had the pleasure of accompanying twenty law students from the NYU Christian Legal Fellowship to the Christian Legal Society’s Northeast Regional Retreat. Our students heard a series of fantastic talks on the challenge of being a faithful Christian lawyer and had opportunities to have fun and fellowship with other Christian law students from throughout the northeast.

The NYU Med Student Christian Fellowship

The NYU Med Student Christian Fellowship

This semester CLF has been exploring how God is calling them to serve in the legal academy and through legal practice. This past week I led the students through a study of Isaiah chapter 1 where the Lord urges the people of Judah not to make the mistake of thinking that God cares about only our private personal religiosity. In this text God calls Judah (and us) to “learn to do good, seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” Our God calls us to be not only a holy people, but also a people “who hunger and thirst for justice [dikaiosune],” (Matt 5:6)—justice for the weak, justice in our social institutions, and justice in our justice system—because He is not just holy but is also just. Next week we will look at Daniel 1-2 and the way to remain faithful in the halls of power. Pray that God would raise up a generation of Christian lawyers who will be voices for the voiceless, and defenders of the oppressed!

Leading a breakout session with the NYU grad students at Telos '14.

Leading a breakout session with the NYU grad students at Telos ’14.

Last weekend Alissa and I, along with our phenomenal volunteers John and Stina Dufour and intrepid Area Director Anna Lee-Winans, had the pleasure of taking eight NYU graduate students to the Telos ’14 retreat in the Poconos. Telos is InterVarsity’s conference for graduate students in New York, New Jersey, and eastern Pennsylvania. Our keynote speaker, Nancy Pedulla, cast a vision for transforming our culture through faithful Christian service in the university, perhaps our culture’s most formative and influential institution. We heard, too, from Christian faculty about their journeys in the academy and how they have navigated challenges there. It was a rich and powerful time, and we pray God uses it to fortify these students as they work to advance His Kingdom!

The NYU Christian Legal Fellowship's student band, "Cross Examined," leading worship for the Northeast Regional Christian Legal Society retreat.

The NYU Christian Legal Fellowship’s student band, “Cross Examined,” leading worship for the Northeast Regional Christian Legal Society retreat.

To all of my current supporters, thank you. Through your generosity God is graciously enabling us to make a difference in the futures of these students and of our world. I thank God for you daily. If you are not currently a donor, we need your help.  To maintain this ministry to the next generation of global leaders, we must maintain a budget of nearly $80,000 annually.  We are more than half way through our fiscal year and currently have only 70% of this years’ budget pledged.   Will you prayerfully consider supporting this strategic gospel mission by helping us to close this gap by making a special donation or by pledging to contribute $25-$200 monthly? You can support my work either by donating online at this link or by mailing checks made out to “InterVarsity/USA” for “The ministry of David Williams at NYU” to:

ATTN: Donation Services
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA PO Box 7895 Madison, WI 53791-9703

Every dollar donated supports my work and is greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for your prayers and support!

Blessings,

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Moderating a faculty panel discussion at Telos ’14.

The NYU Christian Legal Fellowship just being themselves.

The NYU Christian Legal Fellowship just being themselves.

Sarah Samuel and Jacquelyne Read sing "Nothing But The Blood of Jesus," in Sarah's native tongue or Urdu. Sarah comes to NYU from Pakistan where she participated in one of InterVarsity's sister ministries, the Pakistan Fellowship of Evangelical Students.  The students and faculty at Telos '14 donated more than $5,000 to support two campus ministers with the PFES. Praise God!

Sarah Samuel and Jacquelyne Read sing “Nothing But The Blood of Jesus,” in Sarah’s native tongue or Urdu. Sarah comes to NYU from Pakistan where she participated in one of InterVarsity’s sister ministries, the Pakistan Fellowship of Evangelical Students. The students and faculty at Telos ’14 donated more than $5,000 to support two campus ministers with the PFES. Praise God!

Mike Schutt, the national director for the Christian Legal Society's student ministries, leading a breakout session for Christian law students on being faithful in legal practice and in the legal academy. The NYU CLF students were blessed and challenged by Mike's message and our student leaders are currently reading his book Redeeming Law: Christian Calling and the Legal Profession (InterVarsity Press, 2007).

Mike Schutt, the national director for the Christian Legal Society’s student ministries, leading a breakout session for Christian law students on being faithful in legal practice and in the legal academy. The NYU CLF students were blessed and challenged by Mike’s message and our student leaders are currently reading his book Redeeming Law: Christian Calling and the Legal Profession (InterVarsity Press, 2007).

The NYU Christian Legal Fellowship and students from Brooklyn College Law School after a broom-ball game for the ages. The NYU CLF is providing a powerful witness as a vibrant Christian community within the law school. These students are already making a global impact and I know God will use them in incredible ways. Thank you for supporting them!

The NYU Christian Legal Fellowship and students from Brooklyn College Law School after a broom-ball game for the ages. The NYU CLF is providing a powerful witness as a vibrant Christian community within the law school. These students are already making a global impact and I know God will use them in incredible ways. Thank you for supporting them!

Please pray…

  • That God would supply the financial needs of our ministry.

  • That God would bless the efforts of the four graduate and professional student fellowships here at NYU.

  • That God would lead me to people who would be willing to serve our students as mentors in their various fields after they leave NYU.

  • That God would lead me to additional ministry partners in New York City.

 

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