Reflecting On My Time at the Study Center

This month I leave Charlottesville to take a call as senior pastor of Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Marietta, Georgia. I want to express my sincere gratitude to all who have supported ministry to graduate students these past few years. The Center for Christian Study is doing excellent work intersecting with the lives of graduate students and the university community with thought-provoking conversations about the truth of the gospel. It has been an honor to be a part of this staff, and a real joy to share in ministry.  I will always be grateful for the opportunity the Center gave me to minister to graduate students.  I know that the Lord has formed relationships here that will last a lifetime.

My first meeting at Law Christian Fellowship, I stood next to Christopher Norfleet (Law ’09) in the middle of the Law School cafeteria. I was moved to tears as forty-five law students lifted up songs of praise, and as Christopher and I sang I noticed that the lattice of the windows formed a cross ... if you were looking for it. Christ had gathered a church right there.

At Darden I was pulled aside quickly by a Biola graduate named Christof Meyer (Darden ’09). His sense of urgency was palpable—Darden Christian Fellowship had to find ways to proclaim the gospel. Christ had energized an evangelist.

A few months later I found myself at Professor Ken Elzinga’s lake house with a small troupe of graduate students for a Graduate Christian Fellowship retreat. It was clear they had known each other for years and had many ways to hold one another up in faith. Christ had formed true fellowship.

There was also the time I prayed with Christopher and his mother at UVA hospital where she had emergency surgery during a visit from Texas. I taped a nickel on the window so that she could say her room had a view of Monticello.

And the time Christof came back after graduation for the memorial service held at Darden for his good friend and fellow student, Justin Key, who died suddenly and unexpectedly last December. The gospel was proclaimed to all of Darden. Christ works his purposes in every turn of life.

These are memories I take with me, with gladness in my heart and thanksgiving that Christ purposed for me to share in ministry here before my time at UVA was done. Please continue to pray for and support graduate ministry at UVA through the Center for Christian Study. There are good things to come!

Yours in Christ,