July 1-4, 2010
Macalester College- St. Paul, MN
By Cindy Eschliman
I attended the Collegiate Ministry Summit Conference in early July not only as a representative of NNPCW but also as a participant interested in learning how to be a better peer leader at my college. I currently am a senior at Hastings College in Hastings, NE. I serve as co-chair of chapel committee, co-chair of the Religious Organizations Council, a leader of Common Grounds, and am an active member of many other religious groups on campus. As a national leader I serve on CoCo, the coordinating committee of the National Network of Presbyterian College Women.
The Summit Conference was a good integration for me to learn how I can better use my resources and mesh my campus ministries with the Church at large. The event began over a meal, meeting people from all across the country, hearing their takes on their interaction with collegiate ministries. From there we moved into worship and free time. The next days were packed with worship, workshops and keynotes, all based around the passage of Luke 4, the Woman at the Well. It was a powerful image to remember that our Creator wants us, just like Jesus wanted the woman at the well and a beautiful show of the importance of all ministry. We have all been called to meet our Savior, renew ourselves and share the Good News.
I thoroughly enjoyed the conference and was most impressed and moved by the conversations with people who expressed their concerns, frustrations, fears, annoyances, joys, blessings, positive emotions and good of collegiate ministry. I benefited most from hearing how they deal with issues on their own campuses and what resources they use to keep programs moving. Vocationally, this is a way the youth of the Church can stay connected to a church amidst all the changes of college years.
Although the ministry is a difficult and challenging one at times, it is beautiful when done prayerfully and with room for the Holy Spirit to move. I think this is an important reminder for all of God’s people to come together to prayerfully discern God’s will for them in their lives and the lives of those around us. Personally, the importance of patience was emphasized. I often feel the need to be doing ten tasks at a time, in this culture where it is seen as a special talent to multi-task. Reading about the woman at the well reminded me that God wants to spend quality time with me and have dialogue.
The same is true for all people, woman especially need to remember this, when in our society we are often told that we are worthless and our only purpose is to be used for the pleasure of men. However, we, along with all minorities, need to remember that God wants us to know our worth. I, as a young female, am capable of doing whatever God asks of me, with God’s help. I feel God has called me to work as a spiritual leader on my campus and in collegiate ministry settings, the conference helped remind me of this and the fact that our God, my God, will fill me up every step of the way.