Churches Reach Out

 Uncategorized
Aug 242004
 
Authors: Rachel Wiley

Religious organizations in the Fort Collins community are

looking to add CSU students to the mix.

“Do you want to play?” Cindy Ford, a senior health and exercise

and marketing double major, asked two students walking past to join

a game of ultimate Frisbee on Saturday.

Ford is involved in First Presbyterian Church’s campus ministry,

The Source.

“In the transition from home to college … students are looking

to belong and feel known, and we’re looking to provide that,” said

Rachel Turner, a university intern at First Presbyterian.

Music resounded off buildings west of campus Sunday morning as

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1208 W. Elizabeth St., also made a

special effort to attract students returning for the fall semester

by holding an outside service that featured special music including

an a cappella group and a live band.

St. Paul’s is interested in increasing its involvement on campus

and in the lives of university students, said the Rev. Bob

Davidson, a pastor at the church.

“At this church, there aren’t a lot of university students and

it’s so close (to campus) and people don’t know that it’s out there

for them. It’s really a welcoming church,” said Diane Matthews, a

freshman political science major and president of the campus

ministry at St. Paul’s.

While there are many campus-based ministries at CSU, churches

can offer resources that on-campus Christian organizations such as

Campus Crusade for Christ cannot offer, Davidson said.

Ford agreed that there is something special about a church

environment.

“The church is supposed to be your family that can be there

24/7. There are so many families in the church willing to take you

in,” she said. ” I remember what it’s like to want a place to feel

that you belong, that you’re not just a number in a big crowd.”

Some churches in Fort Collins are seeking to break stereotypes

that many students hold about church.

“We just want to let them know that it’s OK. You can have Christ

in your life and be a college student and have fun at the same

time,” said Reza Zadeh, young adult college pastor at Timberline

Church, 2908 S. Timberline Road.

Timberline’s student ministry “Flip the Switch” spends time in

Old Town every weekend giving rides home to people who should not

drive themselves as a means of reaching out to college students who

otherwise might not be interested in church.

Other religious organizations such as Congregation Har Shalom,

Fort Collins’ synagogue, 725 W. Drake Rd., also make a point to

welcome students, said Har Shalom member Nina Rubin. The synagogue,

which does not have its own campus ministry, partners with Hillel,

CSU’s Jewish student organization.

“We actually have a very cooperative relationship with Hillel.

Essentially most of our campus work is done through Hillel. They’re

our campus arm,” Rubin said.

Many students have appreciated the efforts made by religious

organizations.

“I think that everyone was very kind and it was just a very warm

environment,” said freshman political science major Katie Hill, who

attended St. Paul’s gala.

“I’ll be back there Sunday.”

Some church-based and other religious organizations in Fort

Collins:

Campus Wise www.iasis.org

Hillel www.csu.hillelcolorado.org

John XXIII Catholic University Center www.john23.com/um

Lutheran Student Fellowship of St. John’s

www.lcm.colostate.edu

Mountain View Community Church Collegiate Ministry

www.mvcchurch.org

The Salt Company www.saltcompany.net

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