Bible & coffee
Campus Coffee Break - CNU InterVarsity News
October 2009
Dear Friends, 
Greetings from InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at Christopher Newport University! 
We hope the fall finds you well and enjoying the cooler weather. As our email newsletters are still a new function in our ministry, we realized there were a few things left out last time.  Most notably, how to make a donation online.
If you're interested in supporting IV at CNU financially, you may:
We appreciate your support of the ministry at CNU and look forward to keeping in touch!
Eric & Beth Gambardella
Volleyball WinnersFall Semester: Bonding Point
The Small Group Volleyball Tournament
There are certain times during the span of every school year that are bonding points for the students.  Sure, students usually grow closer together during the midst of classes and hanging out, but we've noticed specific events in the life of our chapter that happen every year and naturally facilitate community "growth spurts".  One of these is our small group volleyball tournament, which is held every fall in late September.  Others include 222, Eastern VA's area IV fall conference in Nov, and the CNU IV chapter retreat in Feb.
The volleyball tournament is always a sight to behold - small groups compete against one another not just for a regular volleyball title, but also in a group costume contest and with "bribes" for the judges ranging from delicious food to massages.  Since groups aren't only judged on athletic ability, we've found that all students can find their niche in the event and more people get involved.
In fact, the bonding starts well before the tournament begins. I heard from multiple small group leaders this year that they had struggled with helping their members get to know each other in deep ways before this event. Then, they were faced with the challenge of coming up with a costume theme, ideas for bribes and a strategy for game play. They had to come together as a team, and had fun doing it.  Going out and getting supplies to make costumes got the students involved in each other's lives outside of Bible study.
Wocket In My Pocket CostumeSeeing the groups show up at the court is something I wish all of you could see - especially since the costumes get better and more outrageous each year. We've had everything including: superheroes, ninjas, zombies, characters from Dr. Seuss books and Mario brothers video games, nerds, princesses, brides and the list goes on.
The best part about it is that the entire event is student planned and run, and God delights to use a few thrift store costumes, some brownies and very unprofessionally played volleyball to His glory.  He not only draws people together within their own small groups, but since the groups all come together, God somehow masterfully also uses the time to weave a new pattern of community in the larger context of the chapter, too.  We praise Him for the ways that His Spirit unites us together, especially grateful that He cast His Son out so that we could be drawn in, and experience what it is to belong!
Highs & Lows of the Semester
Sometimes the little things need big prayer
Most of the time, what we experience on campus is a mix of great and not-so-great things.  This semester has seemed to be like a wildly swinging pendulum.  We'd like to give you an overview so you can be in prayer, both in praise and petition.
1. Higher numbers
- We had so many students at the first large group meeting that we had to add chairs!  We also had more people sign up for small groups than ever before - 196 - an 80 person increase from last year. Honestly, its hard to have a big chapter and care deeply for large numbers of people, but we still praise God that He is using IV to make Himself known to more students.

2. Students taking initiative - Community team leaders were planning New Student Outreach events before school even started this year - events we do during the first few weeks of school to welcome freshmen & transfers.  Usually Eric and I are the catalyst that sparks a fire under our leaders, but this year they beat us to the punch!  This means the students are truly owning the events - NSO is becoming a tradition.

3. Vteam praying - The leaders who usually ARE our planners have become pray-ers.  Although we've tried to make prayer a priority during the last few years, sometimes you can't tell if the message is getting through. Several times we've found the 6 Vision team leaders praying together on their own, as part of preparation for leading the chapter. We say, amen!
1. Beth's campus work
- Because of a heightened struggle with migraines and several other health conditions that cause her pain, Beth has had to cut back the amount of campus work she is doing this semester.  She's sad to not be able to meet with as many students, and we really need prayer that the Lord will use some new doctors to bring her healing and relief.

2. Some leaders hesitant - The switching of leadership positions from last year's leaders to this year's leaders was a bit rough in the last few months. Many leaders seemed hesitant to take over their positions, either because there was a great leader last year and they doubted their own abilities, or because of experiencing hardship & logistical problems.  Even encouraging them, it's been tough, but as the fall goes on we're seeing them gain confidence.
3. Making ends meet - Its tough to tell you that our funding situation is a "low," especially with all that the Lord has provided for us in the last few years - He is good!  But, if we are honest, it will not be possible for us to stay in campus work long term if we remain at the same salary we've had for the last 4 years.  The $20,000 we are lacking in our budget is specifically in salary, and we have been unable to jump this last hurdle. Please consider how the Lord may be asking you to help us stay at CNU - if you feel led to give, please use the link below.

Giving towards CNU InterVarsity
Thank you for your partnership with us as you lift these things up to the One who is sovereign!
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
Eric -, Beth -