Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Uniting Christians across Campuses: InterVarsity North Shore

Senior communication arts student Gabrielle Witham, of Groton, Massachusetts, is interning with the chapel staff this semester. She'll be writing regularly on topics of faith and community.

Gordon students are fortunate to live in a Christ-centered community, where our faith is shared freely and the power of prayer is proven all the time. But there are also college-aged Christians at nearby universities, and several of them congregate biweekly at the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship chapter on the North Shore.

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is a national organization that helps college students connect with other Christians on their campuses, and grow in the gospel together. The North Shore chapter includes students from Endicott College, Salem State University, Montserrat College, North Shore Community College, and Gordon College.

Faculty at Gordon encourage us to apply our faith to our academic studies; visiting speakers who have weathered their own spiritual storms give us fresh perspectives on faith; and spiritual life groups, floor fellowship, and other campus ministries provide us with plenty of group opportunities to talk about God.

But what happens when we graduate from this special place and no longer have 24/7 access to the helpful resources we’ve come to expect? How do we use the tools Gordon’s given us when we’re in need of some serious faith-fixing in the future? Blaire Telford, a senior communication arts student, prepares through fellowship with his friends from InterVarsity.

“The difference between Gordon and the other North Shore schools mentioned is that we don’t live in a secular environment where our faith is being tested every minute of the day just by being a Christian,” said Telford. “It’s helpful to hear stories from students of faith as they deal with these issues. InterVarsity brings us together. We emphasize and practice evangelism as discipleship . . . how to interact, have spiritual conversations, and walk with other students who are on a journey of belief in Jesus.”

The North Shore chapter also provides mission opportunities for members—something many of us may take for granted at Gordon because of our access to a variety of service options. An InterVarsity group just returned from a spring break missions trip in New Orleans, where they worked with Katrina Relief Urban Plunge—a Habitat for Humanity organization aided by colleges from all over the country. Another great opportunity to share our faith with others.

Photo: InterVarsity students, North Shore chapter.

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