2019 RUF Update
Westminster's Mission for the Month of February is Reformed University Fellowship (or RUF). As the official campus ministry of the PCA, RUF is committed to serving university students in their unique stage of life by exploring together how the Lordship of Christ informs every area of life. Many of the members of Westminster first came into the PCA through an RUF minsitry on their college campus! The campus ministers of the RUF chapters at Delta State University, Mississippi State University, and the University of Mississippi all sent us updates! Be sure to read them all to know what is going on at these campuses and also how you can be praying for these ministries.
Delta State University (Campus Minister: Ro Taylor)
Greetings from Cleveland! This semester has gotten off to a fast & great start - it's hard to believe we're already 5 weeks into the school year here at Delta State!
We've had a couple of exciting things going on this semester. Most recently, this past weekend we went on our winter retreat with schools from all over the midsouth area. Due to the flu & strep throat, our numbers dwindled from 18 students to 12 students within 24 hours of leaving, but we still had a great time. Seth Still (former DSU RUF pastor & Crosstown Fellowship church planter) did an amazing job sharing Jesus with about 250 students. Our group had a great time, was encouraged/convicted in some healthy ways, bonded as a group, and even won the basketball tournament (the finals were DSU 1 vs. DSU 2).
In our Tuesday night meetings we've been studying apostle Paul's letter to the Galatians, where he focuses hard on Christ justifying sinners not based on anything they do or cultural traditions they adhere to, but only because of what Jesus has done for them. It has been cool to see "light bulbs" go off for students as each week we look at how Paul points us to the fact that a Christian's righteousness isn't a "self-righteousness" but one that is credited to you by Christ.
Some other miscellaneous things we've been doing this semester:
- 4 small group studies on "Making Sense of the Bible" and how it points to Jesus
- Memphis day trip to a Grizzlies game and the Civil Rights Museum
- Black History Month program with the African-American Student Council
Thank you for your partnership in the gospel! Please keep praying for us - for conversions, deeper community, and our cross-cultural love of neighbor!
Mississippi State University (Campus Minister: Elliott Everitt)
Dear Westminster Family,
God is at work at Mississippi State, and we are so thankful for the ways he continues to draw students to himself and build them up in the body through RUF. As I begin the latter half of my 2nd year in Starkville, I am excited and encouraged by what the Lord has done and what He will do in the months and years to come.
As I write this, we have over 80 students signed up to attend our annual Winter Conference at The Grove at Red Oak Lake in Memphis with students from several schools including Ole Miss, Delta State, Memphis, Belhaven, Mississippi College and more. These conferences are an invaluable time of group development, relationship building and growth, Bible study, and rest and refreshment. Many of our students love this conference as they view it as a warm up for our annual Summer Conference in May.
We have enjoyed good attendance at our Thursday night large group for the first 3 weeks of the new year. We are studying the book of Exodus in a series entitled “The Never Ending Story.” If any of you ever have an excuse to come to Starkville on a Thursday, we would absolutely love for you to come to Dorman (across the Junction from the football stadium).
Our biggest news in this new year is that my wife, Carrie, has officially joined our team as part-time staff. Carrie was an intern at Ole Miss under Les Newsom for 3 years, and she’s amazingly gifted in teaching and counseling. In a lot of ways, not much is changing as Carrie has always been as active as possible in getting to know students, but now that all 4 of our children are in school she has the time to devote to our ministry in an official capacity. Like other female staff, interns and campus ministers, Carrie must raise her own support. Would you please pray for her and for us as we begin this exciting new season of ministry together?
I would covet your prayers in a few areas.
- First, we are still working hard to get RUF at State fully funded. A few years ago RUF at State was blessed with a very healthy surplus, but because of this surplus many churches and indviduals decreased or ceased their support. The transition as the new campus minister exacerbated the situation. The good news is we were blessed with new partners and more support in 2018 than in 2017, but we are still over 15% away from being fully funded.
- Second, would you pray for the student leaders of RUF? We pray and seek for RUF to be a safe and welcoming place for all students come and grow in their understanding and faith in Jesus, the gospel, and His Word. We also seek and pray that any who desire to be equipped and discipled to live out their faith in RUF and on campus to have accessible opportunities to do so. We have a Core Group of 14 students who represent our 6 Servants Teams: Fellowship, Outreach, Prayer, Mercy Ministry, Welcoming, and Promo. Any student in RUF who wants to serve and take up the ministry of RUF on campus can serve on a Servant Team. We have a Ministry Team of about 35 students who meet 3 times a month to be taught and discipled in philosophy and theology of Ministry.
- Finally, we have 14 students who are small group leaders. Would you pray for all of our students in all of these avenues of our ministry? Our constant prayer is that we would be a ministry to students through students, and we trust God that He is building his kingdom and spreading the news of his grace through them.
University of Mississippi (Campus Minister: Brian Sorgenfrei)
First of all, thank for your continued prayer and support of RUF at Ole Miss! We are so very grateful to Westminster and are excited to share about our ministry with you.
The fall semester of 2018 was a busy and fruitful time with our large group meetings consisting of almost 500 students the first few weeks. We had several small groups led by students that met weekly and discussed the Lord’s Prayer. We continue to have around 250 students meet in some sort of discipleship setting, be it one-on-one meetings or small groups.
The Spring semester has just started with a new batch of small groups and other ministry opportunities and we are excited to see relationships and understanding of the gospel grow. I am very thankful for the Lord’s provision in our ministry and ask that you continue to pray for wisdom for myself and our staff as we minister to students and point them toward Christ.
A few ways you can pray:
- For conversions. That RUF would reach students who are not involved in any campus ministry and that students would put their faith in Jesus.
- For our student leaders. That they would grow in wisdom, love of Jesus and his church.
- For support. We need to raise about $28,000 more this year to meet our fundraising goal.
- For Brian. As a husband and dad, that I would be the biggest repenter i know and love my family well
Thank you for again for your continuous support and prayers for RUF Ole Miss.
- Brian Sorgenfrei