Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Living Purposefully - Katy

Hello Fellowship!

As March and housing sign ups rapidly approach, and the phrase "intentional housing" sweeps through the fellowship, I wanted to add new something to the conversation. While I believe more strongly than most that it matters who with and where you chose to live next year, even more important than that is how you chose to live in your current resident this year. No sense in moving across campus to reach such and such a dorm, when you never bother to care for the dorm where you live currently. Please do keep praying and thinking about where God would like to use you next year, but for this semester, try some of the following tips, and walk in Jesus' footsteps of living with the people you are reaching out to.

Tip 1. Do you have a door on your room? (I bet you do!) Make sure to print the Large Group flyer that is sent out weekly and post it on your door. Go the extra step and ask your RD for permission to put it on the bulletin boards around your dorm. If you live on the first floor, consider putting up IV advertisements in your window.

Tip 2. Another door suggestion. Keep it open!! While obviously if your h- core studying, sleeping, changing etc… you will want your privacy, but when you’re just chilling in your room, try leaving your door open. It might feel weird for a while, but it gives an open invitation to your hall mates to pop in, say hi, and chat. Unless you are all about door to door evangelism, it’s from these casual interactions that relationships will be formed, and opportunities to share the gospel arise.

Tip 3. Oh! Be careful little ears what you hear. Now that you have your door open during your chill time, people will probably be able to hear the music you’re chilling to (or in my case; singing, very very loudly.) Think about how the music we listen to/ belt out in the shower reflects your life, your faith and your God. This does not mean you can only listen to praise and worship, or even Christian music. (Both work. I’ve gotten the opportunity to share the Gospel with an acquaintance because she asked me about a worship song I was singing when I was washing my hands after going to the bathroom. I’ve also shared the Gospel with two friends when I was in high school illustrating different biblical truths with Bright Eye’s quotes. (Coincidentally, that conversation also happened in a bathroom....)) Point is, that nothing is not spiritual, and the music we listen to needs to reflect that. If you are listening to music that you know God isn’t down with, cut it out.

Tip 4. Assoxinate!! If your building does assoxination or another building wide game, participate! You will get to know people, have fun, and support your res life staff.

Tip 5. Go to programs your RA offers. Even if no one else goes, your RA needs Jesus too, and s/he will love you for coming out!

Tip 6. Do you have international students on your hall? Its never too late to start a friendship with them. Stop and chat with them, offer to correct an English paper, have them teach you something from home. (Or try to teach you… I still have no idea how to play that Korean tile game (Go Stop) even after watching them for an hour or so.) If your hyphenated nationality is the same as theirs (aka they are Korean international students, and you are Korean-American) use your hyphenatedness to its fullest!! I don’t really know what that might look like, but my guess is that you have something unique to offer them being a part of both cultures.

Tip 7. Happy Holidays!! For 3$ at Wal-Mart you can buy enough holiday themed lollipops/ nerds/ pixy stix/ what have you for every one on your hall. Buy some and go to door handing them out. You’ll get to familiarize your self with your hall mates, and a permanent reputation for being “nice.” (Nicenice isn’t straight up evangelsim, but it is a good first step.)

Tip 8. Next time your at Wal-Mart, invest (don’t steal from the dinning hall!!) in some bowls, forks/ chopsticks, salt& pepper, and easy mac and cup ramon. Next time your chilling with your door open, and you over hear a hall mate complaining “Im SOOOO hungry right now!” stick you head out and say, “Hey, ________________, I just over heard you say you were hungry. I’ve got some easy mac and cup noodles if you want some.” Lots of times they will say yes, and then you have an insta conversation the 3 minuets it takes to cook the food. Even if they think your weird for asking, it’s the “nice” weird, which sounds like a pretty good description for a Christian to have. It was over easy mac my freshman year that I got to share my faith with my pledging neighbors.

Tip 9. Next time you’re at Wal-Mart, invest in a soup cup or two, and a couple cans of Cambell’s soup. Next time your chilling in your room with the door open and hear your hall mate’s nasty cough, you can heat them up/ bring them soup. If you wanted to go the extra mile, you can buy the little packs of tissues and or cough drops at Wal-Mart or the dollar store and give them those too. They will love knowing you care! (Even if again, they think you’re a little weird.)

Tip 10. Next time you do laundry, bring some reading down with you and stay with your stuff. Not only is this a good idea in light of past cases of laundry room vandalism, but others who stick around too are usually up for conversations, and you can meet people who live on different floors.

Try these out, talk to your hitches about what your doing or if you have more ideas, and if something cool happens, post it as a comment!

Much Love

-Katy McFadden, Out Reach Coordinator

what is a HTCH and what does that have to do with me?

hi guys, tammy here.

for those of you who missed our town hall meeting on valentine's day, here's a chunk of what we talked about:

imagine if all the IVCF members were uprooted and disappeared from the binghamton university campus.

do you think anyone would miss our presence on campus?

the things we've been doing on campus have been great. we've begun to see the lives of our fellow classmates, roommates, floormates, and other people on campus slowly (and sometimes quickly) transform.

but are our transformed lives making an impact on this campus? because if they aren't, then how can God use us to renew the campus?

most of you know that there has been a huge community-focused movement in IVCF. we're beginning to see a glimpse of the possible and potential opportunities God has for us to make an impact through the community we live in.

no one can make decisions for you. i'm not just talking about big decisions like whether or not you should transfer, where you should live next year, or what classes you should take. i'm talking about the attitude you have in making those big decisions, as well as the smaller, every-day decisions.

so when it comes down to making those decisions (both big and small), we're asking you to do two "i's":

take initiative.
and be intentional.

my pastor described the definition of "initiative" this way: you're aware of the needs around you and you care enough to do something about them. neither of those things can be without the other. you can be aware of the needs around you but not care enough to do something about it (i call that apathy...not one of my favorite things in the world), and you can care a lot about needs enough to do something about it, but may not necessarily be aware of what needs need to be fulfilled.

so take initiative. if you care enough about needs to do something about it, find out what the needs are. if you're aware and know what needs are around you, find a way to do something about it. God is constantly working and constantly moving in and through people and circumstances. He's got a plan and you're huge part of it.

so be intentional about your decisions. if you believe God has a purpose for your life, live like you believe it! take initiative with purprose and pure intentions.

imagine what God can do if we all take initiative and live intentionally in obedience to Him?

so what do "HTCHs" have to do with all of this? this hospitality team community ministry provides a huge opportunity where you could put into practice taking initiative and living intentionally.

HTCH = hospitality team community head.

they are the ones in charge of the hospitality environment of their community. they are the leaders in creating an inviting, welcoming, fun, and interesting environment for people to encounter God and build relationships.

but without followers, there are no leaders. these HTCHs understand and taken on the challenge of taking the initiative and living intentionally. and they could use your help in doing the same as they organize and plan events and activities such as community dinners and follow-up for their community.

so who are these HTCHs?

newing = sara ito smito011@hotmail.co.jp
dickinson = michelle an man1@binghamton.edu
ciw = rachel goldberg lostmiaminut@gmail.com
mountainview = may wu hwu4@binghamton.edu
off-campus = wesley yee wyee1@binghamton.edu

if you would like to help be the followers that these leaders need or just have more questions about your specific community, drop them an email and let them know.

susquehanna, hillside, and hinman currently do not have HTCHs. if you would like to help start up community activities or get involved somehow in these communities, email binghamtonivcf@gmail.com for more information.

if you are a small group leader, you are highly encouraged to actively participate and work with the HTCH in the community you are currently serving.

if you are a small group member, you are highly encouraged to attend the small group in your community.

if you attend a small group in a different community because of schedule conflicts, you are highly encouraged to stay active in the community you live in, although you are welcome to participate in your small group's community activities (if you have the time) in addition to your own living community's activities.

don't be surprised if you get an email from your HTCH quite soon!
if you have any other questions, leave a comment or email binghamtonivcf@gmail.com.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A message from the Small Group Coordinators

Transcript of the small group plug, spoken at large group on February 6, 2009:

Hello InterVarsity. My name is Matthew John Tuttle and I am the current Small Group Coordinator. My other, taller and more Chinese half is sitting over there, you may know him as Michael Leung. I know him as BFF. I am super excited to be able to stand before you today and talk about one of my favorite things ever. Small Group.

Father Matt just talked about the importance of Bible Study- something that’s vital for our growth as Christians and necessary if we really want to know who this God we worship is. Fr. Matt just explained to us that Scripture is God. It's God-breathed, and it equips us for every good work. In essence, we cannot live up to the name of “Christian” without understanding first who God is and what He’s done. Some of you are looking at me and shaking your head, saying, “Oh yeah, I just read the entire Old Testament last night. For fun. In Greek.” I don’t know. Some of us have grasped the concept of Scripture necessity. But for a lot of us, myself included, Scripture is not NEAR as high of a priority as it should be.

Just this week, I read WAY more than I cared to on subjects that aren’t nearly as life changing. Such subjects covered were Major Problems in Asian American History, psychoanalysis, and single subject research design. Was it interesting? Maybe. Am I a changed person? Hayyyyyck no. But the Bible isn’t like that. The Bible is God’s Word, it has eternal relevance, it speaks to all humankind, in every age and in every culture. If I spent half as much time reading the Bible this week as I did trying to figure out German grammar or whatever I was studying, well, I can’t even imagine what that’d look like.

Michael and I have done a lot of planning and praying and debating when it came to what we should do with small groups. We believe that small groups are the backbone of this fellowship. Large group is the face, what everyone sees, but small groups is what gives the fellowship structure, provides stability, and, in the same way the backbone houses the spine, small group facilitates one of the strongest venues of communication with our Heavenly Father. That’s why Mike and I believe that small groups is a huge deal; that’s why I’m standing before you today and asking you to participate in epicenter of radical life transformation and campus renewal.

After a lot of discussion and administrative tasks I don’t necessarily excel at, Mike and I, working with the E-Board, organized small groups in such a way that one is provided in every community. If you count Susquehanna and Hillside as one community. Sorry. We thought: How amazing would it be if we didn’t have to walk all the way across campus to attend our small group? Or—how great would it be if I could invite my roommate to the small group that’s happening in OUR building or OUR community. In the past, it’s seemed to be a free for all in deciding where we feel the most comfortable going to receive God’s word, or we’ve made decisions based on what leaders we would most like to learn from. This semester, why don’t we view small groups as less of just a service provided by IV, ensuring that we’re being fed with spiritual food, and instead as a means of realizing our vision not JUST in LH14 on Fridays, but throughout the week in our very communities, in our buildings, in our very halls.

There was a lot of prompting by the Holy Spirit in terms of our book choice this semester. After hours of discussion, countless emails, lengthy homework assignments involving reading a LOT of Scripture, and a bunch of impromptu interviews involving me holding a purple marker like a microphone, we decided to study the book of Nehemiah, in the Old Testament. We thought, here’s a guy, who saw a problem, saw a way he could honor God, mobilized a whole bunch of people, and brought radical and God-pleasing change to his people. What I want us to get out of Nehemiah is a realization of our campus’s need for God, a method for seeing God brought to our campus, a mobilization in our fellowship towards that goal, and radical and God-pleasing change. If you want to know more about what Nehemiah did, and how his actions can affect our actions today, I can say nothing else to you except that small groups are the place to be.

Small groups is more than a ministry made for getting our fellowship to sit in circles and on weekday nights to read uninteresting Scripture and make superficial or boring interpretations of what we read and how it applies to us. Small Group is a ministry devoted to diving into God’s word, pulling out meaning and significance, and making real, effective application to our lives. And doing it together, as the Body of Christ. Brothers and Sisters, I’m not standing up here to sell you my ministry. I’m standing here to implore you to take part in life-transformation, campus-renewal, and the development of world-changers.

Without further ado, I’d like to introduce the Spring 2009 small group leaders.

Spring 2009 Small Groups
▫ CIW Co-Ed
7pm, Oneida 3I02
Leaders: Karen (fallen4grace@gmail.com) and Will (email.willchang@gmail.com)
▫ Newing Co-Ed
7:30pm, Endicott Lounge
Leaders: Boaz (boaz.j.tingson@gmail.com) and Keren (keren.wong@gmail.com)

▫ Mountainview Women’s
7pm, Hunter 422
Leaders: Samantha (changstar423@gmail.com) and Winnie (wlee9@binghamton.edu)
▫ Susquehanna/Hillside Co-Ed
7:30pm, Brandywine 212
Leaders: Alan (alanyip64@gmail.com), Meir (mok.meir@gmail.com) and Pam (plee813@gmail.com)

▫ Dickinson Women’s
7pm, O’Connor Conference Room/Discovery Center
Leaders: Pam (spamelasagna@gmail.com) and Priscilla (priscillas.got.mail@gmail.com)
▫ Dickinson/Mountainview Men’s
7pm, Digman 214
Leader: Matt Tuttle (matthew.j.tuttle@gmail.com)
▫ Hinman Co-Ed
7:30pm, Smith Study Lounge
Leaders: Glory (glorylov3@gmail.com), Jason (damon_redsox18@hotmail.com) and Florence (luong.florence@gmail.com)