I’m certain that at least a dozen times during this pandemic, I’ve talked to local church leaders and asked them about how their communities are responding to the current situation. I’ve heard both the ups and downs as well as been encouraged by how these congregations are looking for avenues to be creative in getting the message of the Gospel out to people. Some churches have talked about how their services have been viewed by hundreds, or in some cases thousands, from all over the world! Perhaps the old adage “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” could be true, but I think more accurately we could say “when God allows us to experience trials, look for what He’s doing through them.” I truly believe that the Church shines brightest during times of trials. Historically speaking, we’ve seen that demonstrated over and over again. Maybe this is our chance to shine? I believe it might be.
Speaking of lemons and lemonade, I have to say that I’m incredibly proud of our ROC crew for taking a negative situation (Christian camps being closed due to Covid) and turning it into something special in the form of Virtual Camp. ROC partnered with OVCA Camp in Pomeroy to put on a week-long virtual camp that had everything from funny videos, to laugh out loud games, to campfire worship, small group discussions, and even campfire messages. And it was all done through bringing people together online. There were so many ROC students who participated in the week who made it possible for local high school and middle school students. I want to give a special shout out to Darrin Will (former ROC student) and Evan Lynch (ROC’s Spring Semester intern) for being our Virtual Camp Deans. These guys nearly had the finishing touches put on high school week of camp before the plug got pulled, and rather than give-up, they fought hard to make Virtual Camp happen. Proud of these young men, as well as all the ROC students who really made a huge sacrifice of their time for this week.
Speaking of our Spring Intern Evan, we want to be among the first to congratulate Evan on landing his first ministry job. Evan was recently hired on as Youth Minister at Bradford Church of Christ, one of ROC’s supporting congregations. We are incredibly excited for both Evan and Bradford, and pray that Evan’s ministry there is a blessing to the church, area students, and local community.
As if all this wasn’t enough good news, here’s a little more! ROC’s former Student Org president Noelle Mash has agreed to come back to ROC as a staff member to help lead the ROC at Rio ministry plant this fall. I personally feel like one of the most incredible parts of student ministry is seeing students come back and reinvest in the lives of other students. You can read more about Noelle, her story, and future plans in ROC’s Spotlight this month.
Finally, if you’re not already a subscriber to the ROC Podcast, there has never been a better time to subscribe! As some of you may know, during the semester ROC produces a weekly podcast that is available on iTunes, Spotify, and the ROC website. While the podcast doesn’t happen weekly (since many of our students are gone from campus and busy with jobs and internships) we are still hosting a monthly podcast and tapping into friends of the ROC Community from all around the state, country, and world. The last podcast was hosted by our very own Associate Campus Minister, Noah Mulvaney, and included several young men who have been influenced by the ministry of ROC even though they aren’t current Ohio University students (one of which being my own son.) It was a great podcast on the topic of Spiritual Mountain Tops.
I know each month I close my update by telling you how appreciative we (myself, the staff, board, and students) are for your ongoing partnership with the ministry, but I find myself now even more thankful (if that’s even possible) as I consider how faithful so many of you have been during this difficult economic season. Thank you!