In my life, one of the greatest challenges has been living out James 1:19 - My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak... Too many times, I've spoken without listening first. We at CSF want to be people who prayerfully listen first - especially to our black friends, students, alumni and leaders. We desire to be quick to listen, to take a posture of learning and understanding before adding our voices.
When speaking, we want to be sure that our speaking won’t reflect a cultural moment of popular opinion, but true words mixed with sustained action. That our understanding won’t end with words but as James 3:13 says, will lead to a “good life." One or even a series of posts aren’t enough. Individual and systemic racism are long standing, deep seated issues in our nation and culture - impacting it in deep and terrible ways. While the news and other media outlets at times illuminate this, our conversations with black students on campus have long imprinted this in our minds.
Theologically, the conflict between this historic and current reality of racism and a Christian ethic for ministry is significant. We don’t believe that we point students to just any god, but to the God of the Old and New Testament. The God who Genesis 1:27 says, “...created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” The God who John 3:16 says "so loved the world” that He sent His Son to die for them. We simply must identify and address racism in our midst in order to help ensure that each student that connects with CSF clearly hears and experiences these truths of scripture.
That’s easier said than done. I’m grateful for the voices of friends, neighbors, coworkers, community members and national leaders that have already been providing insight into this. We’re listening to these. We’re also leaning into a few previous commitments: to pray for solutions, to teach on this issue, to bring it up in discipleship relationships and to always strive to make things better in this area.
But I want to be clear: we aren’t interested in taking this journey only while it’s on everyone’s minds. Hopefully George Floyd’s death is a watershed moment in our nation’s history and hearts. But even if not, God’s passion and love for His people doesn’t wane based on culture, social media, news coverage, or any other factors. So we want to be diligent to pray, learn, grow and ultimately live with this same love. We’re praying for His grace to do so and ask that you’d pray for us in CSF to as well.
-David and the CSF Staff
Every graduation is bittersweet in campus ministry. We're sad to see them go, but excited to see them fly. Graduating during a pandemic creates even more feelings and more questions, but we are confident in this: That He who began a good work in them will carry it onto completion! (Philippians 1:6) We can't wait to see how they are used for the Kingdom!
(to see the complete graduate profiles, check out CSF on Facebook or Instagram)
The Annual CSF Fundraising Banquet is a highlight every year - meeting parents, little reunions for CSF alumni, great food, local church and business partners, and most of all, the STORIES of what God is doing on campus! Enjoy this year's video with a few of those stories...
We are incredibly thankful for these sponsors making the banquet possible, and in turn, making ministry on campus possible:
Things for students have turned upside down in the last few weeks - campus jobs gone, suddenly told to move out of their dorms, adjusting to online classes and living with family instead of their friends....but even with so many things being uncertain, being different, one thing stays the same: our mission is to help college students find their way back to God. Now we just have to do it virtually!
Here are some things we're doing to help:
First of all, thank you for your partnership in helping students find their way back to God. I’m convinced that even in these uncertain times, God is still calling us to be about His mission of capturing the hearts of students. Your support allows us to continue this work.
Some of you may be wondering the status of the Fundraising Banquet. Unfortunately, we’ve made the difficult decision to cancel it. In these uncertain times, we feel that this is the most responsible decision. We’re heartbroken by this as we truly cherish this time each year with our partners.
When it comes to students though, we honestly feel a deep sense of anticipation. Our staff team has been asking the question “how can we creatively be focused on Jesus’s mission?” We believe that there is huge potential for innovation because of students’ digital literacy. A few things CSF is doing right now:
Again, we firmly believe God has positioned CSF to continue the mission to students at UIS and LLCC. But we need your help for this work to continue.
Again, thank you to all of you who have prayed, offered encouragement and assured us of your continued support. This ministry couldn’t exist without you and we are thankful that God has given us each other to weather this interesting season.
David Lasley, Director
Christian Student Fellowship - UIS & LLCC
Students spent a weekend at Little Galilee Christian Camp with students from Illinois State University and Western Illinois University for our annual Winter Retreat! This year's speaker, Randy Gariss, challenged perspectives on wholeness and health in relationships, and started lots of important conversations for our students in thinking about their own relationships.
Christian Student Fellowship
is a place for students at the University of Illinois Springfield who are on a spiritual journey. Whether you're just starting out or you've been headed this way for awhile, we want to help you find your way back to God!