Bible & coffee
Campus Coffee Break - CNU InterVarsity News
August 2009

Dear Friends,
Greetings from InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at Christopher Newport University! 
You've received a copy of our first email newsletter! As of this month, we are switching part of our mailing list over to email to help save on postage and to reach a wider group of readers. You're either: a) receiving this newsletter for the first time in email format, or b) receiving this email for the first time EVER - probably the case if you are an alumni of the IV chapter here at CNU.  We welcome you and invite you to stay connected to whats happening with the group!

You can help us by responding in two ways:
Skyler & Sara
  • If you'd like to stay on this email list, simply confirm your interest by clicking the link at the top of the page (or unsubscribe).
  • You can also update profile information at the link at the bottom to make sure we have your correct info.  
We appreciate your support of the ministry at CNU and look forward to keeping in touch!
Eric & Beth Gambardella

To Do Justice
A New Vision for '09-'10Beggar
One of my (Eric's) favorite things about ministry is that what I have to do never, ever changes: Preach the Good News of Jesus Christ to as many people at CNU as possible.  Another one of my favorite things about ministry is that sometimes we do get to change exactly how we go about doing that. This coming school year is one of those times.

As I remember it from my undergrad years, there wasn't much buzz on campus about social justice and 'humanitarian' issues.  Well, just a few years later, there is...and a LOT of it! So while our 6 Vision Team students were at camp in May praying and   thinking about the upcoming school year, they realized God was calling us to something different: let's shift a few things we do, without ceasing to preach the Gospel, in order to reach the "Justice-Minded Non-Believer " at CNU. Justice is after all God's idea to begin with, so all we need to do is show them that in Scripture and in the life of our community.

Beth and I have been reading about justice this summer to prepare for teaching the students and are in fact re-discovering the Gospel in the midst of it; seeing how the Gospel is first and foremost for the poor-the poor in spirit and the literal poor.  Books like Kevin Blue's Practical Justice are convicting us that we, along with our students, "are called to be God's reminder to those who suffer in poverty and injustice that he has not forgotten about them."

How wonderful it is to see the Spirit of the Living God working in college students at CNU, leading them not only to think about the Christians who need a place for worship, fellowship, teaching, and encouragement, but also about those who have not yet seen their need for Christ and turned their lives over to him.  (Seriously, they came up with this on their own. Beth and weren't even in the room!)

Will you join us in prayer throughout this school year, pleading with God that those who already love InterVarsity will not be discouraged when we change a few things they've gotten used to, and most importantly, that a true spiritual harvest would be reaped among the lost, particularly, those among those who already love justice, but not yet the God of it .
Prayer Requests & Praises
For the Students
1. For incoming freshmen and parents of freshmen as they enter college- for the first time moving away from home, making life changing decisions, etc.

2. Guidance and strength for the leadership team as they go on several retreats, run New Student Outreach events and the first several large group meetings.

3. Pray for us to be able to take our goal of 50 students to the Urbana Missions Conference in December.

For Us
1. Praise the Lord that Eric has been able to start working on his seminary degree this summer-a Master of Arts in Religion through Reformed Theological Seminary Virtual campus.

2. Please continue to ask the Lord to bless the connections we've made this summer in order to raise new funds.

3. Pray that we would humble ourselves and rely only on God's strength for these next busiest months of the school year.

How the Workplace is a Mission Field
Interviews with Alumni
InterVarsity's vision is to see students and faculty transformed, campuses renewed and world changers developed.  We hear this vision a lot, and really try to put it into play and not just let it be a bunch of words.

Each spring we graduate somewhere between 20 and 40 seniors who've been involved with our IV chapter here at CNU.  We send them out into the world hoping that they truly have been transformed by the Spirit of Christ and desiring for them to be world changers in the places they'll live work, carrying on not just the vision of InterVarsity but of the Gospel, to go and make disciples.

We recognize that most of our graduates will not go into full-time vocational ministry (as pastors, missionaries, etc), so most of our  vision is focused on preparing people for a life of stewardship in lay jobs after college.  We believe that one of the Church's biggest needs is qualified and willing laypeople who will sacrifice their resources to serve those around them. So, we'd like to   introduce you to some alumni that we feel are living the vision.

Meet Chris
Apple & Books and Becky Chappell, graduates of CNU ('03 and '05 respectively).  They were married in 2005 and felt called by God to pursue careers in public school education, and to stay in the Newport News area after  graduation.  Chris teaches history and geography at Menchville High School and Becky teaches 3rd grade at McIntosh Elementary.  They're committed to serving at their church- Chris is currently in officer training to become a ruling elder and is leading a Bible study; Becky is on the worship team and is the lead servant of the women's ministry team.  But what's more exciting to us than this are the ways they find to minister to people at their jobs.

"I just try to live a life where Christ is evident," said Chris. "I openly tell people that its God who enables me to do things."  Becky says that at the beginning of the year she tells her students that she's a Christian and that she goes to church, so they know they can ask her question
s about God if they want to.  They shared stories about going through Christian books with other teachers, inviting co-workers to church, mentoring Christian students and  encouraging them to go deeper in the Word-even just going to work mentally prepared to be the only purposeful example of a loving, honest relationship that some of their students (or co-workers) had seen that day.

In closing, we asked them what things from InterVarsity had prepared them for the ministry they were doing now-or even more, what had motivated them to do it? 
Pull quote
Becky cited her experiences with the InterVarsity worship team. "It taught me what true worship looked like," she said. "It showed me what's involved that's honoring to God."  She also remembered being discipled by her staff worker because it gave her a better appreciation for the gospel, and it led her to pursue Scripture on her own, later.

Chris specifically pointed out the Bible study training; learning how to inter
pret and apply Scripture and then lead others in it.  He also remembered the verse theme from our 222 fall conferences-2 Tim. 2:2, which talks about taking things you've learned and passing it on to others. 

Before getting up to go, Chris said, "I heard somebody say this somewhere and it stuck with me, and I think its true, that if you're a believer, there's no such thing as a secular job."

We say "Amen" to this and "God bless" to our '09 graduates as they go forth to be world changers!

About CNU InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
CNU IVCF is an on-campus club that provides Bible-study, worship, teaching and fellowship for Christians of all denominations and ethnicities. Our aim is to be a witnessing community - a group that nurtures students' spiritual lives: maturing and growing those who are already in relationship with Jesus Christ while also teaching and pointing to Christ those who are still seeking the Truth.
For more information or older newsletters, visit our website at