It’s the first FULL week of school and things are moving quickly. I’ve done several events with students, but AIV’s core weekly activity is called an Investigation Group (IG or I-Group for short). An I-Group is a community group Bible study where students — whether lifelong Christian or just curious — get to investigate what Jesus is like firsthand.
We personally explore the Biblical text about Jesus and try to imagine ourselves in the action, to really see, to really walk, to really hear what’s being said or what’s going on. It’s a safe place for asking questions and share about ourselves. And to be honest, for both the long-time churched folks and those who’ve never touched the Bible, it’s a great chance to put aside all that we may have heard about Jesus and look again with fresh eyes and new openness.
It’s an invitation to investigate the Bible and Jesus — and we mean it! I make no assumptions about people’s religious, spiritual, or personal backgrounds and work hard to make it a genuine and genuinely open place for all people who are interested! And really, an attitude (as well as the action) of invitation are crucial for people to investigate which makes perfect sense actually — it’s usually best when form follows function — because the Christian act of investigation scripture begins with Jesus’ invitation to “come and see” what He is like.
So pray that the AIV I-Group on Thursday night would bring even more people of all backgrounds to investigate who Jesus is and that it’d be an enjoyable or even life-changing experience as we talk about the scripture and how it applies to our real lives.
Here’s the mock-up for our professional-looking standing banner that’ll I’ll have by Friday! It’s important that students can physically see AND remember/recognize AIV, so this GREAT logo (by my former small groupie and good friend Liz!) on a big banner will be a huge plus. On a very literal level, if nobody can see us, the nobody can find us so this’ll help give us a shot at meeting some new folks during things like the activities fair or recognizing the logo when they see a Facebook post.
Speaking of Facebook posts, you should become a fan of the UVA Asian InterVarsity Facebook page!: http://www.facebook.com/pages/UVA-Asian-InterVarsity/137442479673218 Once we reach 25 fans, I’ll get to choose a cool username/link (instead of our name + some random numbers). This helps our visibility and memorability too as students are bombarded with things. Here’s hoping the logo will stop them long enough so that they’ll really see something meaningful in the vision and community of AIV!
Snazzy! It'll be about 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide.
Most of you know I’ve been traveling like a mad man this summer — weddings, fundraising, training. I have enjoyed the visits and opportunities to preach/speak but when all is said and done I am very glad to be back in Charlottesville. A year ago, I was just beginning my intern program and had no idea what lay ahead. Now I’ll be here for the next 3 years! I’ve just moved into my new apartment and it’s been a busy weekend of settling in.
It has been a rather pricey affair though. I don’t have many possessions, at least housewares in any case — last year my roommate Eric and his family provided all of our things. So I went to Target on Friday afternoon with Lara, a student friend of mine, to acquire some important things. Rugs for the floor, a stand for the TV, lamps, cutlery tray and more. We totally filled the cart and at one point even had a second one. But as Lara and I continued to check items off my list, she reminded me that while I’m spending a lot of money, these are valuable investments to turn the apartment into a new home. That made me feel better, even though that trip cost $312. These things will last, but more than the material value, they create a sense of belonging and hospitality.
As I’m now unwrapping things and putting them in their proper place, this is exactly what planting is like. Planting a chapter is exactly like this. The point of the chapter is to create a new home. Obviously since the chapter’s just beginning, the idea of a home/house is much too sedentary for what the community (and my job) will look like. And being honest, there is a similarity between the work and the investment.
I realize in some moments just how crazy it is to be planting a chapter. I have no alumni, no structure, no guarantees, no reputation — it’s a hard road ahead of me. An expensive investment you might say. But the hope is that it will turn an empty space into a real home. Not just for lost first-year Christians to be comforted, but an inviting place for non-Christians to be welcomed, loved, and to experience God. The hope is that people will eventually know this fellowship as a house of God, especially those who have never felt comfortable or welcomed into one before.
$312 of stuff on ONE cart! Thanks Lara for helping me.