I hope you all are having a fantastic summer thus far, or least as good of a summer as you can have with everything going on in the world right now. Everything down here in Cincinnati has been a bit interesting, but God has been provinding in some new and awesome ways in more areas than just my ministry with H2O.
UC In The Fall
What's happening with UC this fall? Well, the long answer is that they are opening the campus and there will be some (key-word some) classes on campus. Some departments, however, have already said everything will still be online come fall semester. So, the short answer is I don't know. Nobody does. I don't even think UC knows what's going on right now. Because while they've announced to be opening, we don't know the extent to which they are opening. Are student organizations (like H2O) going to be allowed to meet? Limited in meeting size? Are any groups going to be able to gather? All of this is currently up in the air and thus our staff team has been trying to come up with contingency plans A-Z to accomindate and be ready for whatever the university decides. What I do know is this fall will not look normal. We will not be able to connect with thousands of students in person or have 300 people at our first Sunday Service. But I also know that what is part of the unknown for me is very much in the known for God. None of what's happening has surprised Him and nothing that will happen will surprise Him. He is in control and He is good.
Ironically, I wrote the above section Saturday (the 4th) and am just now finishing it up today (the 9th) and last night UC released a ton of information about how the fall is going to look. Somehow, none of that contradicts what I wrote above or gives us any more clairity on how we are going to proceed. What it does do is verify one peice of important information: we will not be able to meet as we have in the past. Out of the 9,434 seats on main campus, only 2,716 of them will be allowed to be fillled, effectively reduing the max capactity of the univeristy by 71%. If you desire to see the chart they released detailing the max number of students allowed in each classroom, click here. What that shows you is the normal meeting capacity of each classroom and the new meeting capacity. The room we usually meet in, Lindner 450, which can hold 322, has been reduced to 64, well below the number of students we have attend. So, this information doesn't change hardly anything about what I said in the above paragraph, but it does tell us we are going to have to be creative in the fall and pray for God to provide us with new ways to not only meet but connect with students.
What Have I Been Up To?
I mentioned in my last letter that I was teaching myself videography to help H2O keep having Sunday Services throughout quarantine. Well, since then I've leaned hard into the video editing side of things and have partnered more and more with my co-worker, Sarah, to start shooting testimony videos of all our staff. We only just got started doing this and used one of our newest staff members, Katherine Mayse, who is currently support-raising, as our guinea pig and despite her testimony being the first one we've done, I'm super proud of how it turned out.
Check out the video for yourself below!
I also had the opporuntity to preach this summer during our summer sermon series, Return and Rebuild, which is diving into the books of Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, and Zecheriah. I got the privledge of speaking through the Book of Haggai. Check it out below! (Note that the below vido is the entire service, so you can skip through the beginning portion of worship if you choose to).
Outside of H2O-related things, I've been fairly busy at trying to stay connected to friends. Thankfully, it's nice warm out so we can congregate together outside for things like Sunday Service, which has been a huge blessing to be able to meet in-person again. We are still pre-recording everything just incase the weather chooses to not cooporate, but on days that it's nice we are able to gather together as the body.
In other news, if you have not yet heard I am engaged! Laura and I are super excited about this new adventure God is calling us into starting October 17 and cannot wait to see how He uses the two of us together. For more info on our story or anything else, please check out our wedding website.
There is some information that is relevant to all of you supporting me fincinally that will come with marriage, however, and that is that Laura's and I's individual support accounts will become one account starting in Novemeber of 2020. The good news for all of you is that you don't have to do anything and that your support will continue to do what it has been doing since you joined my team. The only difference is that Laura's and I will combine supporters and both of our teams will now be supporting not our our individual ministry but our ministry together as well. If you have any questions about any of this, please reach out! I would love to hear from you and catch up and answer any questions you may have!
Once again, I want to thank all of you who are supporting me either financially or via prayer through all of this as you are making it possible for me and the rest of H2O Cincinnati's staff team to reach the students at the University of Cincinnati. If you are not a part of my financial support team, I ask that you prayerfully consider joining me and my mission with H2O Cincinnati at a monthly amount by clicking on the give button on the top of your screen.