We are now in full swing this semester, and it's hard to believe how quickly this year is flying by. This is the busiest time of the year for us and this year feels even more so. We kicked off the fall with our normal blitz week, which felt amazing since the Covid restrictions from the past two years have prevented us from doing all our normal activities. Unfortunately our dodgeball tournament did get rained out, but other than that we had a super successful start to the school year. Mavis, our newest puppy, was a new and beloved addition to many of the blitz week events, helping to add a bit more charisma to our team.
Some highlights of blitz week:
Our pancake nights were a huge success as always.
Our student leaders rocked it, it‘s the busiest week of the year and can be truly exhausting and they just kept up all week.
We had 249 people for our first church service of the semester.
Another one of our bigger events of the year is Fall Getaway. It’s Friday evening all day Saturday event that we have a few weeks into the semester. We headed to a camp about three hours Northeast on Friday evening. We kicked off the weekend with our first session at 9:00pm, which I know is really late for most people but not to these college kids. Many of the people who came wound up staying up until 4:00am or later. I think they are crazy but I know at one point in my life I was doing that too. As always I love getting to share a student's experience instead of my own to give an idea of how we are reaching the students here at UC. Below is Myla's experience from fall getaway, she is currently a freshman so this was her very first Fall Getaway.
"Fall getaway was the first time I have been a student at a church function in a long time. It was amazing to see how much a large group of people were able to care about and interact with so many students that they’ve never met before, or who have only been there for a short time. During this weekend, I was able to meet with people from all of the other life groups, including Buffalo, and hear testimonies and words of encouragement and words from Jesus through the kind words and fun games that I was able to share with everyone. I was even able to meet and grow with my own life group, and have more personal connections with people I honestly didn’t always make the effort to try and socialize with on my Wednesday nights.
Fall retreat was an incredible experience with the people, board games, Olympics, and other social events, but it was honestly just amazing that I was able to take a whole 24 hours out of my crazy college life and give it all to God. Retreats have always been a kind of spiritual discipline for me, and the fact that I got to be in nature, fellowship, and in solitude at multiple points during this trip was a true blessing. I thoroughly enjoyed the sessions and worship, even though I hardly knew the songs. I loved the devotional time just to sit and pray and worship God alone in my car. And I loved being with my life group, even though it was cold, and we didn’t win the olympics. We made an awesome chant and dominated at gaga ball. Honestly I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend my weekend, and I am so thankful for all of the opportunities I had to learn and keep learning because of the retreat:)" -Myla Bishop
"I believe that serving is an important mark of a Christian. In the Bible, we can point to numerous examples of servitude in Jesus’ ministry and times Christians are being called to follow His example. Matthew 5:14-16 says, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put in on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven.” It is important to me to serve others so that they can see a reflection of our Savior. Serve Dayton was an excellent opportunity to intentionally dedicate a dedicate a day to serving. A team and I were sent to Miami Valley Women’s Center to help with the needs of the building and the grounds, which included carpet cleaning, cleaning the bathrooms, weed picking, leaf raking, prayer, and more. It was great to be surrounded by other Christians who sought out opportunities to help; we even surpassed the checklist of tasks they had for us! The light of Christ shined as the work was done by joyful hearts, and the effects of that work will help the center welcome in women in need of pregnancy care in Dayton!" -Katie Slayman
Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers, and generous giving.