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SICM, Staff Retreat, and Start of the Semester

 Hello friends and partners in ministry,

The summer is over! We are back into the full swing of things, and I got to tell you. God is good and I am so excited for what is to come in just the next few weeks of campus ministry.

This last week we got to have our staff retreat in Bridgeport, Texas. The goal of staff retreat is to collectively as a team of ministers recenter ourselves on Jesus and his work in the world, reflect on why we do what we do, and spend time together relationally. Pictured below is our UTA Campus Missionary Team for 2021-2022. 

From left to right we have Jalen, Graham, Myself, Bailey, Emily, Sophie, Taylor, Emily, and Sarah. Myself, Jalen, Taylor, Emily, and Sarah are our returning campus ministers, while Sophie, Graham, Emily, and Bailey are our apprentices for this school year. If you don't know what an apprentice is, these are recent graduates from the ministry who are either interested in vocational ministry long term or just want to spend a year learning and giving back to the ministry that God used to impact them during their time in college. They will both take masters level theological courses, while still doing full time campus ministry with us at UT Arlington. We are so excited to have them join our team. Please pray for each one of these coworkers of mine, but especially our apprentices as they study, and join us in mission work on campus. I am so grateful to get to be on this team with these people. Each one of them loves God, and college students and I know God  is going to use them in big ways this year. What is so exciting about this picture though is that our staff is actually 5 times this size. Across all our campuses we have 50 campus pastors headed on to campus to befriend, share jesus with, and mentor college students all across DFW. Compared to 35 last year, that is a huge jump. God has been so good to us in raising up the largest apprentice group we have ever had. That includes 19 graduated FOCUS alumni, who have decided that they want to give at least one more year to making Jesus known on the college campus. It really is incredible to witness.

Perhaps more exciting than even the growth we have experienced on our staff is that this week is the start of SICM! If you don't know what that is, SICM stands for the Student Institute of Campus Ministry. We have over 200 college students from across DFW joining us for a week long training on how to lead in college ministry, and why doing so is so important! During the week the students will take classes on biblical study, small group facilitation, evangelism, and a lot more. The goal of SICM is to cast a vision for our future student leaders why their peers need to know about Jesus, and then equip those same students to share their faith, and live out their faith on the college campus. While this years SICM will not be in Washington but in Texas. This video below captures a little bit as to why I think SICM can be such an impactful experience. Just as an aside, I still have a note that I wrote to myself on my last day of SICM my frist time going as a student and it reads. "This was the week that I went from being a passive recipient of God's grace, to an active soldier of God's Kingdom, sharing his love and grace with others."

Please join me in praying for these students as they go to SICM for the first time and catch a vision of how God wants to work through them to change the world in his name.

And lastly, in just a few weeks students will move onto campus at UT Arlington. Classes will begin again. And we will be there, campus pastors, apprentices, student leaders, and others, present on the college campus to welcome, befriend, invite, and share Jesus with the 40,000 students about to come back to UTA after an isolating pandemic year. To think about what God might do overwhelms me with excitement. How many students need to hear the good news, that God is also on the college campus, ready to give them life?

Thank you for your partnership in ministry this year. My fundraising needs were entirely met, and I can't thank you enough. Because of you I get to spend my days investing in the lives of college students and sharing with them the love of God, calling them to join God in his work by sharing that love with others. I am humbled and honored that you would believe in me and the mission enough to invest alongside me. 

In Christ,


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