Re: University outreach

From: Terry M. Gray <grayt@lamar.colostate.edu>
Date: Fri Apr 01 2005 - 11:27:20 EST

Randy,

I think you're right on target here.

A year or so ago, a group of Christian faculty at CSU started meeting
informally. It began under the leadership of an engineering professor
who had some ties with Campus Crusade's faculty network. Early on we
got some involvement from a CCC staffer who has recently switch to
InterVarsity--he's the regional staff member involved with faculty
and graduate ministries. We have recently sought official university
recognition as a faculty-staff organization. We'll see how that
goes--to date the only official recognized faculty-staff organization
are the women's caucus and the minority caucus.

We have lunchtime meetings/discussions once a month. Early this fall
I gave a presentation about the ASA and later we did a dialog about
ID. An engineering professor from CSU gave a very positive summary of
ID, followed the next month by my "What's Wrong with ID?" response.
The next month we had a spirited discussion. We're currently doing a
similar series with the topic of post-modernism. For our last meeting
of the semester, we're planning to meet with staff members of various
campus ministries to let them know about us.

We have 10-15 regular participants. At this point, our group is
strongly Evangelical with many of our participants coming from the
two largest churches in Fort Collins--the Evangelical Free church and
an Assembly of God mega-church.

I am trying to talk the Rocky Mountain section of the ASA to use it's
annual meeting in February 2006 to invite you (Randy) and Jack Haas
out to make presentations on the history and mission of the ASA with
a specific goal of inviting Christian faculty (and others interested
in faith-science issues) from CSU, University of Colorado, Colorado
School of Mines, Colorado Christian College, etc. so that they can
learn more about the ASA.

My own original exposure to the ASA came when I was an undergraduate
at Purdue when a Christian biochemist (who name I can't remember now)
made a presentation and provided some literature ("We Believe in
Creation", "The Second Law of Thermodynamics", the special JASA issue
on Evolution and Creation.) While I had theistic evolution leanings
since junior high, to find this Christian organization was very
encouraging to my own views.

TG

>This morning I met with the Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor for
>Research at the U. of Illinois. This was part of my
>responsibilities with IBM but it gave me a chance to tell them of my
>future employment and describe the goals of the ASA. Neither of
>them are Christians but both expressed, after initial surprise, a
>great deal of interest and eagerly sought the website. In fact,
>Chip Zukowski, the Vice Chancellor, went so far as to say that he
>really wanted the University to be the place where the dialog among
>various viewpoints of science and Christian faith would occur. He
>gave me some names and organizations in the university for follow-up
>and urged me to consider having some of our discussion on campus.
>
>I'm not sure what, if anything, will come out of this but it gave me
>a different perspective of how we at ASA might reach out to the
>secular university communities. I have long felt there was an
>enormous opportunity there but had, and still don't have, a good
>idea of how ASA could penetrate that space. I had assumed
>Inter-Varsity or Campus Crusade might be good entry points. But, as
>Burgy and Glenn point out, the YEC's have "won" in many of their
>chapters. However, as far as I can tell, the YEC's have not "won"
>in the university science departments except perhaps to the extent
>they may have convinced the scientists that all Christians
>necessarily oppose science. Yet, I sense, if the Illini are at all
>representative or if they weren't just in a good mood because of the
>Final Four, that there may be a real willingness in the scientific
>community to engage in dialog in areas of religion and science.
>Perhaps ASA can gain a presence in these dialogs directly. Perhaps
>I'm dreaming.
>
>In any case, I think we can all join together in prayer to seek
>God's guidance in gaining a pro-active outreach for ASA. Humanly
>speaking, the task seems daunting and formidable. But let us pray
>that our eyes will be opened to perceive God's leading and that we
>will have the courage to follow Him through any door he might open.
>
>Randy

-- 
_________________
Terry M. Gray, Ph.D., Computer Support Scientist
Chemistry Department, Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado  80523
grayt@lamar.colostate.edu  http://www.chm.colostate.edu/~grayt/
phone: 970-491-7003 fax: 970-491-1801
Received on Fri Apr 1 11:28:18 2005

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