Wednesday, July 6, 2016

July Update

It’s past the midway point of the summer (at least for us). We’ve had a blast meeting the class of 2020 at Freshman orientation and are eagerly anticipating their arrival in August. Through our involvement in the orientation process we’ve gathered together a list of a couple hundred contacts and have already begun to “Reach Out” to them. Speaking of reaching out, if you know of any students arriving in Athens this fall, don’t hesitate to let us know, we would love to meet up with them and invite them to be a part of the community of faith at ROC.

ROC’s mid-summer reconnect is a chance for students to fellowship with one another during the summer months when most of the ROC community is away from Athens. This year Reconnect is scheduled for July 9th and looks to be a great time to see people that we’ve missed so much the past couple months.

Incoming ROC Freshman
Dava Clark and her mom Tami
at Adventure Camp.
June was a busy month full of church visits, VBS, and church camp. One of my favorite times from this past month was preaching at OVCA’s Middler Camp in the evenings. This is always such a fun group to share with as it gives me the opportunity to be creative in sharing the message. We talked about super heroes, flew paper airplanes, and set a world record (at least in my mind) for the longest distance game of “Simon Says.” All of this and we still tied the activity back into a spiritual truth!

As I mentioned last month, I’m eagerly anticipating our summer mission trip to New Orleans, Louisiana. I love getting to see our ROC students fellowship with and serve alongside a multi-generational mission team. Would you consider adding our students, and the rest of the mission team, to your list of prayer concerns? Prayer is absolutely essential to the success of any trip of this nature as it is to the ministry of ROC. That is why we so appreciate our many prayer partners who fervently pray for our staff and students.

Finally, I just want to mention that for the “Mission Spotlight” this month, we are following up with ROC Student Org president Jessica Brantmeier. You may recall that we did a spotlight on Jessica for our February Update where she shared her plans to serve on the mission field this summer in Eastern Europe. She is now just over halfway through her two-month long internship there with Team Expansion, and is writing to share with us how things are going.

As always we appreciate you and the rest of our ministry partners so much! Thanks for the vital role you play in advancing the kingdom.    



Tuesday, June 21, 2016

June Update

Ever wonder what happens in the ministry of ROC during the summer? This month I am going to give you an inside look at all the things happening in and around the ministry during those months when the population of Athens decreases and the temperature rises!

Let’s begin with our students. ROC students have been on the move this month! Christina Hemsath spoke to the VBS crowd at the Athens Church of Christ on Monday, June 13 about ROC. Christina shared about ROC’s ministry and led the students in a brief time of worship. I was blessed to hear that she even had the opportunity to share with the students about the significance of baptism when several of them asked her about a picture that showed a baptism we performed last year!

Jessica (left) and the group from Team
Expansion before leaving for the
mission field.
Courtney Clark and Aerin Hemsath are working at Ohio Valley Christian Camp this week as Camp Counselors for Junior High week of camp. I stopped out by the camp today to visit them and hear about how their week had been going. Matt Shiflet was asked to preach on Sunday, June 12 at Tabor Ridge Church of Christ (about 45 minutes from Athens). Finally, Darrin Will is joining me this evening (June 14) as I present at Athens Church of Christ’s VBS program about ROC.

Additionally, many of you are already aware that ROC’s very own Jessica Brantmeier is currently serving overseas as a missionary for two months this summer with a missions organization called Team Expansion, based out of Louisville, KY. We were blessed to have Jessica Skype into “Mission Time” at Senior High camp to share with the campers about what she is doing on the mission field and how her time with ROC has helped to prepare her for the field.

Several ROC students, and ROC undergrad volunteer Cara Lawless, will be joining me and about 25 other people from several different churches on the mission field in New Orleans July 23rd – 31st. This will be the second year in a row that ROC students have joined with the group heading to NOLA to work with Crossroads Missions doing outreach, evangelism, and some manual labor.

ROC’s Grad and Young Professionals group took a brief break after the end of Spring Semester and are now meeting each Thursday under the leadership of ROC volunteers Jeremy and Sally Hatfield. Did you know that ROC’s Grad group is the only one of its kind at OU? We are pretty proud of that, and are excited to see all the hard work that the Hatfields have invested in the group paying off in the form of new faces, deepening relationships, and growing energy within the group.

Dodger's OVCA Adventure Campers
at Carter Caves in Kentucky
It has really been a blessing for me to be able to see the way so many of our students and volunteers have used this summer as an opportunity to participate in building up the kingdom in so many different ways. I have to admit that when I first began my time with ROC, I didn’t fully realize the scope of what investing our resources into the lives of college students could mean to the kingdom of God. Obviously there is the difference that it makes in the lives of each student that we minister to, but now looking at the multiplying effect that this investment has when these same students go out to invest in others really has me excited.

As people who participate in this investment, let me simply say “thank you.” I am continually humbled and amazed at your faithfulness to helping us provide these types of experiences for students, and in turn helping us propel those same students to invest in the lives of others! How cool is it that God allows us to be a part of such an amazing process? Thank you for your role in that.



Thursday, May 12, 2016

May Update

ROC Students at a Church visit this Spring

Another year is in the books! We’ve said our good-bye’s to most of the ROC community for the summer and watched our seniors pack-up and leave for careers and the next phase of life. What a crazy, exciting, and amazing ministry to be a part of. We are constantly meeting new people, welcoming new members into the community, and before you know it, watching them go out into the world equipped with the Gospel of Christ.

The amazing thing for me to see however, are the bonds that are formed in the short period of time that students are part of the ROC community. From my vantage point, these bonds formed through Christ are really what make this place special. The hours spent alongside one another in worship, learning, and service add up to much more than just weeks and months, they add up to memories, spiritual growth, and life change. God blesses us in amazing ways through the community here.

As people who love community, ROC certainly didn’t miss a single opportunity to fellowship together as the year came to a close. Whether it was fellowshipping with one another at year-end bash, with our alumni and donors at a dinner in their honor, or with our friends from Student Christian Fellowship at Ohio State, we’ve certainly invested in relationships the past month.

If you think that life around the ROC community slows down now, you’re mistaken! We are eagerly anticipating meeting the class of 2020 this summer as they arrive on Campus in June for Bobcat Student Orientation. This is our first opportunity to “reach out” to incoming Freshmen and their parents. Additionally ROC students will be joining me once again this summer on the mission field in New Orleans as we continue serving with our friends in ministry at Crossroads missions. Add to the mix some church visits, a few church camps, and a fundraising road trip or two and summer is going to fly by!

ROC Year End Bash crew
I’m really excited about a couple opportunities for ROC in particular this summer. First, Ohio Valley Christian Assembly has made ROC the mission for high school week of church camp. I’ll be leading a week of adventure camp at the same time so I’ll be taking occasions to share with the OVCA campers about the values and ministry of ROC. Along those same lines Athens Church of Christ has also selected ROC to be the mission of the week for Vacation Bible School. I’ll be spending evenings at ACC sharing videos and stories from the ROC community with this amazing crew. I am so honored that both groups have chosen to partner with ROC in the ministry that God has blessed us with.

As we gear up for another year of ministry on the campus of OU, may I ask that you join us in praying for ROC, ROC Students, and the campus of Ohio University? Our goal for this coming year is to really invest in community building. Community has always been ROC’s strong suit, and we believe, as I mentioned before, that it is vital to spiritual growth, discipleship, and kingdom building. This coming year we really want to prune away things that aren’t helping us to become the kind of community where people meet Jesus and are forever changed. If you could join us in praying for clarity, focus, and perseverance in this mission, we would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you for choosing to partner with us as we seek to expand the kingdom by meeting people where they are and introducing them to Christ. 



Colossians 4:2-6 “Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains. Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should. Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.”