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,
“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
“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
“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
Campus Wise www.iasis.org
John XXIII Catholic University Center www.john23.com/um
Lutheran Student Fellowship of St. John’s
Mountain View Community Church Collegiate Ministry
The Salt Company www.saltcompany.net