October Update: Cultivating Christ-Centered Communities at NYU

The 2014-2015 academic year is off to a great start as we have been welcoming new students, launching new Bible studies, and forging new friendships in  NYU’s graduate and professional schools.

Dear friends,
Thank you so much for your continued prayers and support for our ministry to the graduate and professional students at NYU.
IMG_0795God has been so good to us this September in our outreach efforts.
The Medical Student  Christian Fellowship at NYU started the year by hosting a mixer for first year medical students (pictured above right) which Alissa and I followed up with a dinner hosted in our home (pictured below). We have had the pleasure of connecting with seven new NYU med students and we hope to connect with more as the semester continues. Because all of our current student leaders will begin their rotations this December, I ask that you pray for the Lord to inspire some of these new students to step-up and take on the leadership of the group next semester.

GCF DUMBO Picnic 2014I am thrilled to report that the Graduate Christian Fellowship has nearly tripled in size since last spring as we have launched a new Bible study (primarily for PhD students in medically related fields like neuroscience and genetics) on Monday nights, started a women’s Bible study meeting on Wednesday afternoons (led by my supervisor, Anna Lee-Winans), and moved our main Bible study back to Thursday evenings (a much better night for most grad students’ schedules). We kicked off the semester by taking new graduate students out for a dinner at Bareburger during welcome week (pictured below right) and then hosting a picnic at Brooklyn Bridge Park the next weekend (above left). We have been very grateful to see the grad students bonding as a group and forming friendships that will be integral to their Christian formation during their time at NYU and beyond.

The Christian Legal Fellowship has also gotten off to a great start, welcoming new law students from all around the world into our community. Week by week about thirty five law students gather in this fellowship to explore how God is calling them to serve in the legal academy and through legal practice.

These four fellowships are truly an international crowd—with students from China, Brazil, Turkey, Finland, Puerto Rico, Russia, the UK, and Vietnam to name but a few—pursuing advanced degrees in a wide range of fields—economics, social work, finance, law, medicine, dentistry, history, neuroscience, genetics, chemistry, and international relations, again, to name but a few.

As you can imagine, I have gotten quite used to never being the smartest or most interesting person in the room! It is such a privilege to get to walk alongside of these students as they prepare to go out and do great things in the world, and to help them to discern how God is calling them to use their gifts for the advancement of His Kingdom.

Alissa and I hosting several new med students in our apartment. Hospitality is the heart of student ministry and Alissa is amazing at it.

Each of these fellowships serves as an incubator for spiritual growth, deepening friendships, and clarifying callings as week by week more students gather to share their stories, connecting them with the story of the gospel. This year I am leading all four fellowships in a study of Luke’s Gospel focusing particularly on the question of what Jesus’ call to discipleship means for our various vocations.

Please pray for us this fall as I continue to try to balance ministering to students on campus and raising financial support for the ministry. Alissa and I have been very blessed to make some new friendships with people in the city who share our vision for preparing the next generation of leaders for Kingdom service.

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.

At the first CMDA-Dental Student Christian Fellowship meeting of the year our president,4th year dental student Ogie Sabageh, shares some reflections.

If you are not yet  a supporter, we need your help.  We still need to raise roughly half ($41,000) of our overall budget for this 2014-2015 fiscal year, ending June 30th. Will you prayerfully consider supporting this strategic gospel mission by helping us to close this gap by making a special donation or, if you are not a monthly donor already, by pledging to contribute $50-$200 monthly?

You can support our ministry 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!



Alissa and I have begun developing a community of support for the ministry at NYU by hosting “Jeffersonian Dinners.” At these dinners we gather small groups of people to grapple with the big questions about how cultures change, how ideas have consequences, and how we can make a difference. These dinners have been a great way of introducing people to our vision and mission. Email me if you or someone you know would like to participate!

I have also had the privilege of speaking at three churches here in New York over the last two months: Trinity Presbyterian Church in Rye, Trinity Presbyterian in the River Towns, and the Taiwanese Christian Union Church in Queens. It has been wonderful to begin developing friendships with these communities as we work to sink our roots here in New York. Pray for us to have more opportunities like these and please email me if you would like for me to speak at your church!

Last week Stephanie Zanowic, the president of the Graduate Christian Fellowship, organized an incredible event here at NYU, bringing together Brian Krzanich the CEO of Intel and Michael Posner, the co-director of the Center for Business & Human Rights for a conversation on the the way Intel is taking seriously their corporate social responsibility and addressing the problem of conflict minerals.  I am so proud to be working with world-changers like Stephanie!


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.

You can now watch a video of last spring’s Veritas Forum on YouTube. Here is the link. It was a great conversation with an NYU and a Princeton professor on the relationship between faith and science.

We had a great time and a great crowd at our first Christian Legal Fellowship meeting of the school year. Pray for these new 1Ls and LLMs as they settle in here at NYU!

Copyright © 2014 InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, All rights reserved.



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