Zooming in on a CU in lockdown
What does everyday life look like for a CU now?
Lockdown has brought new sets of challenges for lots of CUs, but they’ve been encouraged to see God’s continued faithfulness. Many are still meeting together, and still keen to share the gospel.
We recently asked CU president, Stephen, what Oxford Inter-Collegiate CU are up to during lockdown and here's how he responded...
In many ways, there have been encouragements.
We’ve seen lots of the CU getting out of bed early on a Monday morning to be at our weekly prayer meeting on Zoom – depending on the sovereign Lord in prayer at this time when we see our dependence so much more clearly.
And despite being scattered across the country and across the world, we still long to give Oxford students a chance to hear and respond to the gospel.
Reaching out to friends
Excitingly, we posted up a Google form on our Facebook page offering students a chance to read the Bible with members of the CU, either individually or as part of a discussion group – and a handful of students from across the university have signed up.
EXPLORE! 😮🤔😃 Always wanted to read and explore the Bible but never had the time? Perhaps you've been intrigued,...Posted by Oxford Inter-Collegiate Christian Union (OICCU) on Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Alongside that, there are stories of CU members who have been reading the Bible over video call with friends who don't know Jesus. One CU member is reading Luke’s Gospel regularly with two and attending a seeker course with another, who has now said that she needs to go and read the whole New Testament to decide if she wants to follow Jesus!
We are also attempting to recreate what would be our fortnightly CU Central meetings on Zoom.
These look slightly different because we're trying to make them more interactive by including room for questions and answers, to differentiate from just listening to a talk online. We had the first of these last week and were able to invite Sam Chan (the speaker and author from Sydney) to speak to us – the exciting thing about having our meetings like this on Zoom is that we can be joined by real experts like Sam from all over the world.
Running online events
The other big thing we've been trying to do so far is run a course for seekers called 'The Search' online.
This involves a speaker giving a short talk at the beginning to set up discussion, and then (using breakout rooms on Zoom) students are put into smaller groups where they can discuss this, along with any other questions or objections they may have brought. Each group has a couple of leaders who are usually post-graduates or local church student workers, and we try to keep people in the same groups each week so they can get to know each other.
A number of students have been joining for this event, including several who had never come along before when we ran this in person rather than on Zoom!
We praise God that lots of CUs are, like OICCU, meeting together and planning ways of reaching their friends with the good news of Jesus. If you'd like to hear more from each CU about what they're doing, you can sign up for our monthly CU News emails here: www.uccf.org.uk/pray/news-email.htm