This past Wednesday was Unity Day at Penn State Berks. At the time, I simply thought it was an end of the year, spring is here, let’s all be fired up with love for Penn State sort of event. Apparently there was a theme: East Africa. As a side note, I completely missed all the events spoken of in the linked article, though I was around that area…perhaps those events were later in the day?
Anyway, the CSF students had hoped to do some sort of outreach on campus around the end of the semester, to coincide with Good Friday and Easter. To make a long story short, CSF ended up with a table as part of Unity Day. Which does make some sense, since by many accounts Christianity is continuing to experience rapid growth in East Africa.
The students at the table handed out candy and tracts. Full disclosure: I am not much of a fan of tracts. I think they often send a message of, “I don’t want to take the time to talk or listen to you, so just read this.” In certain situations, I think tracts are absolutely awful, such as when people leave them as a tip (instead of money) at a restaurant.
That said, I think tracts, like anything else, can be used well. The students had me look over the tracts and I tried to help them pick ones that weren’t too corny. Then they ordered them, sat at the table, handed them out (with candy) and talked to people.
Part of tracts being used well is for those who hand them out to be there to engage people. For me, this is really the story for CSF on unity day: the CSF students were there with their peers, taking part in a big event on campus. This is something I have always wanted to see more of. There are so many events like this on campus that attract large numbers of students. Just being there in any sort of official capacity is a step in the right direction for our community. My prayer would be that CSF can continue to think of creative ways to be a blessing and shining light to the campus.
Moving on from that, yesterday Emily and I hosted our first Easter dinner ever. We had Emily’s family come for dinner at two and then we invited students who were not going home for the weekend to come over at 5:30. Inviting students is something I had thought through before, and I know other campus ministers have done it, but we never had. Mostly we never had because we always travel on holidays to visit one of our families. Being home, we had the opportunity to open our home.
Emily and I (and Skippy…and unborn Baby Hershey) had a blast with family and then friends. The students were grateful to eat far better food (if I do say so myself, as the cook for much of it) than is available on campus. After eating, we played a game called Quelf which is just weird. But it was fun.
Now the students move into their last week of class and then finals. Pray for them to make it through this busy time!