Skip to main content

we have this dream...


I serve two pretty great churches in Anchorage, Alaska right now. Wonderful people in all seasons of life - doing their best to love God and all people. And we have this dream...

Small communities of 15-20 college students. Making dinner together each week. Reading scripture, exploring their faith, listening, singing, laughing. Led by college students who take turns offering their insight. Supported by a local pastor. Held in a welcoming home in different neighborhoods.

Each student community has an anchor church. A local church who wants to love college students where they are. A church who knows the end goal isn't getting students into the building, but leaving the building to spend time with students in the community. A church who will be supportive and encouraging as students experience the highs and lows of getting a degree.

A lead team of students meet with a pastor twice a month to explore what it means to be a follower of Jesus. They dig deep to challenge and encourage each other. The lead team follows a rule of life together. They covenant to pray, be present, serve and offer their gifts and talents to God and the community. The lead team doesn't try to fix each other. We simply journey together.

Students engage with their neighborhood together. They tutor children at a local school, wash cars, shovel snow, pick up trash, give food to their friends, throw block parties for neighborhood kids. Whatever gifts God has given, students use them to show God's love.

Students helping students follow Jesus at the University of Alaska-Anchorage.

14,000 students attend the Anchorage campus. There are two active campus ministries. We feel God calling, pushing, prodding us to be in relationship with college students as we seek to embody the love of Jesus.

If this is an adventure you'd like to help make a reality, would you prayerfully consider making a financial gift? It all goes to my salary as I seek to be a facilitator that keeps connections going between University of Alaska-Anchorage staff, students and anchor churches. Any amount will be very helpful. Seriously. $10 would be awesome. :)

We also would love your prayers as we take a big step of faith.

Inspired by New Day Dallas (www.newdaydallas.org)
Administratively Hosted by Anchor Park UMC (www.anchorpark.org)
In Partnership with East Anchorage UMC, Anchor Park UMC, Central Lutheran, St. Mary's Episcopal, St. John UMC and Trinity Presbyterian
Part of the New Day Alaska network, a ministry of the Alaska United Methodist Conference (www.alaskaumc.org)


You can donate online here (under campus ministry): http://bit.ly/kvRf0L
Or you can give through the United Methodist Advance Special here: http://bit.ly/iYVae5


Comments

Most Read

Why Some Experienced Clergy (and Lay People) Have a Hard Time When Younger Clergy Take Renewal Leave

This is a guest post from my very own dad! He's a United Methodist pastor serving in Bend, Oregon. I enjoy chatting church leadership with my dad and it's fascinating to see how our generational differences bring different perspectives to our calling as pastor. We need each generation to walk with each other as we figure it out in this new world. We've been reflecting lately as I finished up a renewal leave and he prepares to retire this June. 
By David Beckett
I fall into the category of experienced clergy which is a polite way of saying I am old. I’ve been pastoring for nearly 40 years. When I was a young pastor my role models were mostly white males who presented an image of success that equated with dedication, overwork, and sacrifice. My first senior pastor talked about the 20 hr/wk he invested in sermon preparation. And he expected his staff to work beyond their stated hours. During those three years of full time seminary and a large youth group I put in up to 80 hr/…

Why pastors need collaboration, not competition

There's competition in every industry. Some get promoted over others. Some work incredibly hard but their gifts go unnoticed. Others do good work and people assume they're fine but underneath, they feel like they could never be honest about how hard life is in this season. People spend more energy figuring out how they measure up in a work culture instead of doing the actual work.

Competition itself implies there are two sides.

I remember field days at my elementary school in Alaska. The half-frozen spring ground was covered with clumps of dirty gray snow. Jackets were thrown on the ground as the fourth graders tried to beat the fifth graders at tug of war. Rope burns were shrugged off as sweat dripped down our young faces. We were determined to beat those fifth graders. Our pride was on the line.

Whether you're a fourth grader or an ad manager at a fancy marketing agency or a senator trying out for attorney general, competition runs deep in our DNA.

We want to be the bes…

99 sheep

Reading Matthew 18:10-14 on this cloudy Anchorage summer morning. Parable of the Lost Sheep. A guy owns 100 sheep. They belong to him. These sheep are loyal and depend on their owner for everything. But then one wanders away. I wonder if this sheep wandered on purpose or accident?

The guy leaves the 99 sheep grazing on the hillside to look for the sheep who got lost. One word in verse 13 jumped out to me. "Andifhe finds [the sheep]...he is happier about that one sheep than about the 99 that did no wander off." IF he finds it. This guy who owns the sheep probably knows the hillside very well and knows his sheep's behavioral patterns. But he may not find this lost sheep. 

When someone wanders off, it's up to them if they want to get found. 

When it comes to our connection to God, some of us may wander on accident. Or on purpose. 

We wait for someone to rescue us. Bring us back. Make it okay. But we have to turn towards the one rescuing us. God will leave the other 99 sheep…