Seeking to have a redeeming influence on the people, ideas and structures of the university and its professions.
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“It is God who makes things grow.”

- 1 Corinthians 3:7 (NIV)

Exploring Faith in Jesus   

"When I was in middle school," Andrew shared, "my Dad and I realized, at first separately and then together, that we didn't really buy into the whole Christian thing. We decided to stop going to church and I haven't gone back since. I have a lot of questions about the Christian faith, but since coming to grad school I've felt like I should give it a fair try as an adult. GCF (Graduate Christian Fellowship) feels like a good place to explore that."

Back up a week and we're at new student orientation for graduate students at the University of Rochester. This is where we met Andrew. We were meeting new students, advertising GCF, and handing out 'grad student survival jars.' 

Needless to say, they were a huge hit. In just a couple hours, we handed out 130 jars and dozens of students signed up to get on the GCF (Graduate Christian Fellowship) mailing list. 


Feeling a little skeptical, one of the students lamented, "A lot of students signed up, but how many of them will actually show up to an event?" I replied, "I don't know. Let's pray about that." We prayed and departed. 

A few days later, the group had their first meeting and the student leaders quickly realized they had a problem - there wasn't enough room! More than 3x the usual number of students, Andrew among them, showed up and the place was packed. 

Not only did the group tripled in size, but many of the new students are not yet followers of Jesus. Many of them, like Andrew, are curious about Jesus and are open to hearing from him.  

Looking back over the summer as we were praying and planning for this fall, I suspect it was the Holy Spirit who guided the UR leaders to focus on the Questions Jesus Asks this semester.

They will be reading scripture together and thinking through questions Jesus asks, such as,

"Who do you say I am?" (Matthew 16:15
"What do you want me to do for you?" (Mark 10:51)
"Who touched me?" (Luke 8:45)
"Do you want to be made well?" (John 5:6)

Will you join us in praying for students like Andrew who are exploring faith in Jesus and for what God is doing among the seven groups across the five campuses? 

This story is not just happening at the UR.  A few of the other groups are also experiencing rapid growth and significant involvement of non-Christians. 

Below are some other highlights from the past few weeks, but first I want to invite you to pray. We cannot manufacture the work of the Holy Spirit and we need a team of people praying and interceding. Will you partner with us in prayer? 


Partner in Prayer

  • For the students who are curious about and open to Jesus - that Jesus would meet them and that GCF might be part of their journey to Jesus. 
  • For the law school chapter and their first post new student outreach meeting this Wednesday (Sept. 25). 
  • For the nursing school chapter that is in the process of being planted. Planting this chapter has been difficult, but not without signs that God is at work with us. Please pray for open doors, traction with students, and that the vision (to plant and grow a witnessing community that would be a redeeming presence on campus and in the field of nursing) would be caught. 
  • For prospective staff. There are seven groups meeting 5/7 days a week on five different campuses. As Jesus continues to give opportunity for new witnessing communities and as the impact of this ministry widens across multiple campuses, it is becoming increasingly important to begin building a staff team. Please pray that Jesus would bring new staff to WNY. 
  • For a team of financial partners who are needed to resource growing witness to graduate students and faculty across WNY. 
Thank you for partnering in prayer! 
Briefly, here are a few other highlights from the last few weeks: 
GFM in WNY had its first student leader retreat. The focus of the day was largely on Luke 11 and theme of persistence in prayer. We also discussed the first priority of leadership and how to lead a manuscript study. 
We held a back to school BBQ with CMDA for new and returning medical students
Paul, a 2nd year nursing student at UB, is leading the planting of a new witnessing community to UB's nursing school. We have started gathering students and are at the beginning stages of casting a vision and extending an invitation into mission. 
Thank you for your partnership in this mission to plant and grow witnessing communities of graduate students and faculty who are calling every corner of every campus in WNY to follow Jesus as whole life, whole world disciples in and through the vocational context of the university. 

Your prayerful and financial partnership is pivotal for this mission to move forward. 

Thank you so much! 
Grace and Peace, 

Click Here To Partner at UB
Click Here To Partner at UR
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