Tuesday, October 17, 2017

October Update

ROC Students at Mill Creek Trail in
Ansted, WV during fall retreat.
It is a picturesque fall day in Athens! Many of our ROC alumni have fond memories of being in Athens during this time of year as the trees on campus start to change colors, the weather cools down, and signs of fall seem to be everywhere. It really is hard to beat autumn at OU!

One sure sign of fall (at least within the ROC community) is fall retreat. Each year the ROC staff and students get away for the weekend to connect with Christ and one another. This year was no exception as we made our way back to New River Gorge in Fayetteville, WV. This year’s fall retreat was exceptionally special for me. First, it was an awesome time of worship, learning, and bonding. Seriously, worship on top of a mountain cannot be beat. Second, it marked my 4th fall retreat with Reach Out on Campus. And finally, I got to celebrate my 40th birthday (ouch it hurts to even type that) with some of my favorite people. 

Fall retreat is one of the events that tend to solidify new students’ places within the community. While weekly meetings like Crosswalk, Bible Studies, and service events are all vital parts of ROC life, special events like retreats, mission trips, and even the occasional lock-in help students to find a deeper sense of belonging and community. I am incredibly thankful to be able to serve with an organization like ROC that sees the value in fostering spiritual growth through Christian community.

Speaking of the ROC community, I have been overwhelmed by the number of people who have recently approached me asking about practical ways that they can serve and show love to students at OU. If you have wondered the same, here is your chance! This year will be ROC’s second annual Halloween Block Party outreach. The ROC community and friends will once again take to the streets to give out 1,000 hotdogs to students and partygoers. Our aim here is to simply reach out to people with a practical expression of love and to let them know that Jesus loves and cares about them. If you would like more information about how you can assist with this outreach, don’t hesitate to contact us at reachohio@gmail.com.

The beautiful New River Gorge!
Another event that I am very excited about is ROC’s Student Ministry Day at OU. It’s no surprise that after 9 years of ministry to high school and junior high students, I enjoy any opportunity I have to interact with them. Moreover, I love getting to see our ROC students invest in younger students as well. This year ROC’s Student Ministry Day will be held on Saturday afternoon December 2nd. We will have food, teaching, small groups, worship, and games, all in an effort to bless local students and student ministries. This year’s theme is “Letters to Live By” and will focus on some of the Apostle Paul’s writings to the church about how to live lives that please God and impact the world. This event is organized and led entirely by ROC students, and will certainly be an event that will encourage local youth groups and students. We will be sending out additional information and invitations soon, but feel free to contact us directly with any questions.

Guys, God is so good, and it’s abundantly evident as I watch Him work in the lives of students. I hope that the pictures and words that I share give you just a small glimpse of the impact that your prayers and support are making in the ROC community. Additionally, make sure you check out this month’s Student Spotlight feature to hear about the difference that the ROC community is making in the life of our friend Christina Hemsath. For a closer look I’d encourage you to come visit us and see for yourself. Seriously, the ROC door is open to you at any time. We’d love to have you join us.

Many Blessings,