Bible & coffee
Campus Coffee Break - CNU InterVarsity NewsMarch 2011
Dear Friends, 
So much has happened in the past few months, both in our family and on campus!  Here are a few things that you can praise God for and pray for this spring at CNU. 

In Christ,
Eric & Beth Gambardella
Julian up closeFirst things first - Our First Child!


It's a boy!  Okay, most of you already knew that we were expecting a little boy this February.  But just in case you haven't heard, Julian Heath Gambardella was born to us on February 3rd, a healthy 6 lbs. 1 oz. and 19 inches long.  Thanks for all of your encouragement and prayers through our difficult pregnancy!  God is good in whatever circumstance, and we are delighted to be blessed with this child!

What's in a name? 

Thought we'd fill you in on the name Julian Heath.  Julian is Eric's maternal grandfather's first name.  Eric was very excited to name our son Julian because one of the most enduring memories he has of Julian in Eric's armshis grandfather (who passed away when Eric was 11) was finding him reading the Bible early in the morning.  It is our prayer that our Julian will love God's Word as much as his great grandfather.  The middle name, Heath, is a bit simpler a story:  it is Beth's maiden name.  We thought it would work well as a middle name, and it gives him family names from both sides!


Gifts for God's Glory

The photos on the right of Julian were taken by Katelyn James Alsop, a CNU InterVarsity alumna who has her own professional photography business (   

Praise God for students who are able to graduate and use their gifts in their daily work!


 Looking Back  - Thanks Be to GodGirls at Chapter Retreat

Rejoicing and sadness.  Most of the time these two seemingly incompatible emotions are just that.  We rejoice at good news, we are sad upon receiving bad news.  But every so often these two emotions are felt at the same time.  One such experience for me this past year was upon finding out that Beth and I were pregnant with our first child.  We were absolutely overjoyed!  But once an approximate due date was calculated, I felt a deep sadness.  That sadness was realizing that I was not going to be able to attend what I think is the single most significant event we do each year:  Chapter Retreat.   


As expected, I was not able to attend the retreat this year, but God, not being dependent on my presence or abilities, still did amazing things in the lives of the nearly 100 students in attendance.  When I realized that Beth and I should not expect to be there,  I quickly phoned Rev. George Boomer, pastor of one of our supporting churches, Hope Presbyterian in Smithfield, filling him in on the situation and asking him to consider providing the teaching for the weekend.  "Boomer," as he is called by our students, has spoken at numerous of our Large Group meetings and is very well received by our fellowship.  He agreed.  


Chp Retreat 2011

One of the most difficult things for this generation to understand is how God is our Father, and more specifically, how that is a good and desirable thing.  When Boomer asked me what the students needed to hear, it didn't take me long to ask him to consider crafting a weekend around the doctrine of Adoption.  It is no doubt an INCREDIBLE thing when a person realizes that they are justified by faith alone in Christ alone.  But we also need to know that we don't live out the rest of our eternal life in the proverbial courtroom of God after we have been declared innocent by faith.  We also need to hear "you are free to go," and need to be reminded where it is that Scripture says that we go.  Jesus said to his disciples, "In my Father's house are many rooms....and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, that where I am you may be also" (John 16:2-3).  "What must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30), is certainly an important question.  But we also need to know what Scripture means when it says that Jesus has redeemed us "so that we might receive adoption as sons" (Gal. 4:5). 

Worshp at retreat
Spontaneous worship at Chapter Retreat


As it turns out, Julian was born just a week before the retreat, so I was not able to attend save for a brief visit on Saturday.  I was desperate to hear from my students how the retreat had gone and what God had done during it.  To my delight I heard nothing but good news!  What a needed message Boomer brought to an orphaned generation that so desperately needs to dwell on the truth that if we are in Christ then God is our adoptive Father, and one who has succeeded and been faithful where all of our earthly fathers have not!  Praise God with us for the work he did that weekend.  Every student that talked with post-retreat, from the babe-in-Christ to the more mature, were blessed richly.  And praise God with us that I heard of two students who became followers of Jesus that weekend!!!

Looking Ahead - We Covet Your Prayers

As we walk into the last month of the school year we have a number of things on our plate.  One is that Beth will be learning how to come back to work at 20 hrs/week while being a stay-at-home-mom.   We know it can be done, but would appreciate your prayers for wisdom on both of our parts as we walk into this new stage of life.   


We are also desperate to remember that just because we've selected next year's leadership team, have started making plans for next year, and the school year is only a few weeks from over, we don't need to (even subconsciously!) assume that God is done working this year!  Please pray that we and our leaders will work with all diligence until the very end of the year.


Lastly, pray for us as we recruit students to come to Chapter Camp with us at the end of the year to spend a week relaxing and learning much from the Lord.  I (Eric) will be working with new Small Group Leaders during week 1, teaching them how to lead Witnessing Communities who study God's Word together back on campus, and in the Kingdom Living track week 2, teaching students what some of the major implications of the gospel are and how they can live them out by faith in Christ!


Supporting InterVarsity @ CNU
  If you are interested in extending your partnership financially,
  • Or, mail a check made out to IVCF, designated for "CNU" to: 
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA
Attn: Donation Services
PO Box 7895
Madison, WI 53707

As always, you will receive a receipt for tax-exemption purposes. 

About InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at CNU
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, visit our website at
Eric -, Beth -