The only thing to do spring quarter is to jump in! There are mission trip tales to be told, sunny weather to enjoy, new interns to announce, goodbyes to be said, plans to set and baptisms to celebrate. There is so much to share and so much to praise God for.
As I'm just beginning to unpack the quarter myself, I want to share with you three areas of praise that I've reflecting on as I head into the summer.
1. Baptism & Reaffirmations. Each year as we approach baptism, I talk with those interested about how baptism is about identifying with Jesus' life, death, body and mission. Each year, I have a new appreciation for what an incredible step this is in identity formation of students. Each year, I have a new admiration for the courage this step takes as students publicly declare their identification with Jesus.
2. Moving In. While it's such a gift to be able to meet at FPC each week, it's vital to remember that the mission of the INN is not to get students down here but to move in to the life of the campus. Two ways we lived this out were weekly blocks of time where interns headed to Red Square with an activity that generated conversation and taking a Tuesday night worship gathering up to the Ridge. Great conversations, new relationships and new thinking arose from both.
3. INN Keeper Challenge. To date we have received over $10,000 through the INN Keeper Challenge through one time gifts and new monthly partners!
An intern learning to preach for the first time, students owning faith as adults, lives changed as lies are replaced with truth and students discovering for themselves the faithfulness and power of Jesus Christ all happen because of the space created for them at the INN.
It's the legacy and the partnership of so many INN Keepers who have made this possible that I head into the summer thankful for.
God has done great in and through the INN this year with greater to come!
Jon Epps, the INN Director
Note: This spring Northwest Coast Presbytery was pleased to provide a grant to the INN University Ministries at Western Washington University, a ministry of First PC Bellingham. The grant was part of a generous gift from the Synod of Alaska NW dedicated to ministries in higher education. An update from that ministry is below.
NWC Presbytery also gave grants to the Community College Outreach ministries at Shoreline, Everett, and Edmonds Community Colleges and the college ministry through United PC of Seattle English ministries. An additional amount of money has been set aside for new ministries in higher ed that are grounded in congregations or a partnership of congregations. If you have a vision for higher education ministry email Corey Schlosser-Hall (read Corey's bio) for help getting started.