We kicked off the year with IGNITE: MCF's Welcome Back Party, a time of celebration, prayer, and vision casting, and shortly after the student org fair, we held a New Members' Welcome BBQ, where first-years and new members hung out with the MCF Servant Team. Throughout the year, we got to know each other on a deeper level as we studied the Bible in weekly Small Groups, praying for and encouraging each other. Towards the end of the fall semester, dorm rooms and lounges filled up with students drinking hot chocolate or eating brownies at our AnnualChocolate Progressive. During Winter Retreat, MCFers bonded in a gorgeous cabin by a lake in Birchwood, WI, and at the end of May, seven of us trekked up to InterVarsity's Cedar Campus in Michigan for Chapter Focus Week, where we prayed for our campus and planned for the upcoming year.
This year, we shared the gifts of the global church with one another by participating in multiethnic worship during Deeper (Large Group): we sang in Amharic, Oromiffa, Mandarin, Spanish, English, Mandarin, Zulu, Swahili, and French, as well as incorporating traditional hymns, gospel music, and spontaneous praise. Our Gospel Party was a collaborative event that included a step team from Bethel University, a music team from a local Ethiopian church, and gospel artist Kevin Downswell from Jamaica.
We also celebrated Jesus together off-campus at a Phil Wickham concert and a worship night with All Sons & Daughters at Northwestern College. Several of us also went to Minneapolis to see the Unashamed Tour (with Lecrae, Tedashii, Andy Mineo, etc.)
We packed food at Feed My Starving Children, cleaned up buildings and rooftops at the Source Annex - a non-profit that provides transitional homes for at-risk youth in the Twin Cities - and got the campus involved to fill over 80 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. Three of us drove down to Wisconsin and served alongside other InterVarsity students in various inner-city ministries and worksites at the Milwaukee Urban Plunge.
Engaging the Campus
Around election day, MCF hosted a Faith and Politics Proxe and Panel. Members performed at both Cafe Spiritus events, through music or spoken word. MCF collaborated with MJO (Mac Jewish Organization) and held a Fireside Chat on Jewish and Christian interpretations of Scripture, featuring Macalester's own Rabbi Barry and our InterVarsity staff, Rick Mattson. We also organized Human Trafficking Awareness Week that included a 27-Hour Stand for Freedom, a collaborative documentary screening with MAST (Macalester Against Slavery and Trafficking), Q&A with the director of the Source Annex, and a presentation on the work of All Girls Allowed to end gendercide in China.
Conferences and Training
For our Fall Retreat, we attended Cross Training in Alexandria, MN, where we learned about missional prayer, rest, and intentional living. Five MCFers met up in St. Louis in December and rang in the new year together at URBANA 12, InterVarsity's triennial student missions conference. One of our own students ledGIG (Groups Investigating God) training, and two MCFers visited UW-Platteville to talk strategy on developing a missional, gospel-centered chapter culture. At Chapter Focus Week, two students received in-depth small group leaders' training; others learned how to actively engage with Scripture through inductive manuscript study; others still discussed how to connect faith to brokenness regarding race, gender, sexuality, and the environment.
Read about how, beginning at 9:00pm on Sunday, March 31st and ending at midnight on April 1st, MCF members collectively stood for 27-hours continuously in solidarity with the over-27 million enslaved people on our planet today. This was also a fundraising event for International Justice Mission.
Macalester Christian Fellowship sponsored a Human Trafficking Awareness Week from April 1-6. The issue of local, national, and international human trafficking had been on the hearts and minds of many MCF members; we were excited to have an opportunity to share important information about this pressing issue with the campus! As a way to kick off this week, we participated in a 27-Hour Stand associated with the International Justice Mission, an organization that works within local judicial systems all over the world to ensure that victims of human trafficking receive justice.
Karin Trail-Johnson from the Civic Engagement Center spoke to us about Micah 6:8 and acting justly. We packed food at Feed My Starving Children and got the campus involved to fill 70 boxes with gifts for Operation Christmas Child. During Hunger Week we hosted documentaries about global and local food shortages and collaborated a Hunger Shabbat with MJO. We raised money for Heifer International selling baked goods and t-shirts at a our festival with a band and a petting zoo.
We dressed up for Halloween, pranked for April Fools and dyed Easter eggs. We sang and did poetry during Week with Religion and honored graduating seniors with at the CRSL's Senior Celebration. Without a doubt, the massive snowball fight and scrumptious Chocolate Progressive was the most popular!
Engaging the campus
As part of the Shalaam Coalition, we hosted Rev. Jin S. Kim to talk about Forgiveness and Reconcilation. We invited the campus to "In the Kitchen With MCF" and collaborated during Hunger Week and Week with Religion. We united with other Christians on campus and fostered dialogue with Res Life by hosting Christians Apologize for Our Failures.
We enjoyed games at the Kick-off Party, an Owl City Concert,Pumpkin Carving, and screening the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. In Small Groups we laughed, cried and prayed our way through the year. We bonded at Fall Retreat playing games and learning to remain in Christ, producing the fruit of love (John 15). At our Vision Summit and at Winter Retreat we focused on acting justly, loving mercy and walking humbly with God (Micah 6:8). At Chapter Focus Week we met InterVarsity students from other schools, prayed and planned for...
Our focus is Reconciliation. We're stepping up small groups, collaborating service projects with other schools, and inviting speakers from across the country for a new outreach focus. And, of course, many fun and wacky gatherings along the way!
Whoever you are, we'd love to welcome you to the CRSL Tuesdays from 8-9pm!