Thursday, April 5, 2018

Three Cool Things From March

Just a quick reminder that Spring Showcase, our annual fundraiser concert and art show to raise money to send students to SICM, is this weekend! If you are in town, it's well worth your time. There will be both an afternoon and an evening show this Saturday (the 7th of April). Go to for more information.

Student Testimony

I had the privilege of being at Sienna's baptism a couple of weeks ago. She has a neat story!

Sienna Walter, UT Dallas, Business Administration, Freshman
"When I first came to college, I was worried about finding a good, Christian community on campus. Luckily, I had a friend from home invite me to FOCUS at the beginning of the year, introducing me to a community that radiated acceptance and spread God’s light throughout campus. Right away, I felt immediately included and got involved in a small group, which provided me a great community of believers and friends. Establishing this strong base at the beginning of the year eventually helped me through the tough times I faced later on; I was confronted with many things I had never been tempted with before during my first semester. That semester, while in a musical, I was around many older people who frequently drank. I drank a couple of times and justified my underage drinking while judging others for falling short in the same way. In my family and high school, I had been labeled the “good kid”. I had never built up the self-control against these inclinations and felt ashamed when I gave in to temptation. However, with the help of my Corefas and friends in FOCUS, I was able to stop these bad habits before they became too serious and find forgiveness through Christ. Now, rather than judging others who struggle with that temptation, I can empathize with them and share how God used FOCUS to help me overcome my own obstacles!"

The FOCUS Podcast

Have you listened to an episode of our podcast yet? Sirak and Sarah are doing a great job of bringing content that will minister to you far beyond college. Recently they interviewed Dr. Jeremy Bergstrom, the Episcopal priest who is our main contact for starting the ministry at SMU. Their conversation about church tradition and liturgy really ministered to me, especially as someone who is generally unfamiliar with so much of that. Jeremy didn't grow up in a liturgical tradition--in fact, he has attended Baptist, Eastern Orthodox, and Anglican seminaries after growing up Methodist, so he has a broad and grace-filled perspective on much of the Church today. 

You can find it at or under "The FOCUS Podcast" on iTunes or Stitcher, among others.

Spring Break Service

A bunch of UTD students made time over spring break to serve others. These projects were totally student planned! They:
  • baked for sick kids at the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas 
  • sorted enough food for 4,000 meals at North Texas Food Bank
  • created and distributed 100 care packages and over 100 sandwiches to the homeless in Dallas and Plano
  • sang to and chatted with some sweet elderly people
  • helped organize warehouses for two different organizations
  • ministered to over 100 inner city kids with Dallas Metro

Thanks for your support to keep me on campus developing young leaders. It's a joy. It's important. And I couldn't do it without all my financial and prayer partners!

Developing Our Pastoral Team

We are back in August and ramping up for the school year! We have an amazing pastoral staff, and an outstanding group of student leaders. At...