Skip to main content

New Beginnings


UTA Staff this year!!! (Left to right: Sarah, Me, Jalen, Emily M, Austin)
August is here! In two weeks students are going to flooding UTA's campus ready to make new friends and learn. Some will be returning to a university they are familiar with, ready to get back to the flow of the school year or to do things differently this time and make new friends. Some will be coming to this campus for the first time wondering who their friends are going to be and what life is going to look like. Some of these students already know Jesus and want to deepen their relationship with him. Some knew Him once but don't now for any variety of reasons. And still, some don't know Jesus at all. We are going to get the honor of meeting these students where they are at. The honor of offering them deep friendship and the opportunity to know Jesus who is the only One who brings us real and lasting life.

This past week I got to spend several days with the rest of UTA staff on a retreat. I am so thankful for these coworkers and friends and for the opportunity to reset before we jump into the school year. While on retreat we got to read In the Name of Jesus by Henri Nouwen, a book of his reflections on what Christian leadership is supposed to look like. By using the temptations Jesus faces in the wilderness, Nouwen points out temptations are real and present in the everyday life of ministers and disciples and how to combat these temptations with different disciplines. Once again I was reminded how important it is to stay connected to the vine. Without God and His guidance, I bring nothing. Spending time listening to God and being in His presence has gotten me even more excited for this new school year. God is moving in big ways and I am so thankful and humbled I get to be a part of it.

Please be praying for the first two weeks of school (Mav Stampede). For the staff and student leaders would be bold in reaching out to others. For God would prepare our hearts for the new students who are going to enter our lives and that he would move in those friendships. And most importantly, we would stay connected to the vine as we go out to make and mature disciples.

I also wanted to thank everyone for being on support team! Whether you have joined or stayed on. Your generosity is what makes this possible. Thank you so much and God bless!

In Christ,
Emily Umstead


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Let Justice Flow

Summer Leadership Training small group! Earlier this month we had Summer Leadership Training (SLT). It was a three day training for all the potential and past student leaders in our ministry. (Most of it was held online with the option of some social distancing in person.) Since we couldn't take our students to SICM (Student Institute of Campus Ministry) up in Seattle, Washington like we normally do we developed this three day training as a replacement! Students learned new ways of walking with God, what servant leadership and discipleship is, why we do core, how to ask good questions and more! Each day we got to discuss with our small group what we had learned that day. Over 100 college students dedicated three whole days investing in their growth as leaders and disciples. This is not normal. I often forget how countercultural it is to value something like SLT. Yet these students have caught the vision. They are fired up and excited to spread the good new on their campuses.   My f

December 2020

View from the South Rim of the Chisos mountains in Big Bend National Park where I spent Thanksgiving. It was very restful. As the semester comes to a close in the next two weeks everything has gone online. We are wrapping up cores and Deep Dive for the semester over zoom and the internet. As a result our typical Christmas party is not happening. Instead, as a staff, we are brainstorming different ways for our community to stay connected over the break in ways we haven't explored before. Many students have gone home since the start of Thanksgiving break. It will be another two months before they come back and many will be isolated due to COVID. Our staff is going to be providing book clubs, scripture readings, and virtual hangs for our students to get involved in over the break. One on one bible studies will continue virtually and we are encouraging our corefas (core facilitators) to get their core together virtually a few times over the break. So in many ways because of COVID minis

A Voice in the Wilderness

Mav Stampede!!!!!! Hanging outside with some of the gals we met!   A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare     the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert     a highway for our God. Isaiah 40:3 God has been so good and faithful the past two weeks in the middle of what has felt a lot like uncertainty and the unknown.  Despite limitations from Covid we have still been able to meet students and invite them into community. Students seem to be more desperate for friends and connection than ever before with many finding it difficult to make friends this year. Hannah and I with two of the sweet girls we met in the past two weeks. I got to have a really sweet conversation with one of the girls I met this week. She sort of grew up in the church but has been feeling distant from God recently and like she can't approach him. I got to share the story of the prodigal son with her and God's radical immense grace. It was a grace in and of itself to get to share how good our G