This year at has been full of joys and new opportunities for the Oxford Brookes Christian Union. We have been immensely grateful to God for His provision throughout and the ways we as a CU were able to share the Good News and grow in our personal relationships with him.
The year started off with Freshers week, where we had plenty of new students come along to the Freshers BBQ as well as plenty of people com
ing along to the pub quiz, the tour around Oxford, our International Food night and an Acoustic Night to round off the week. It was such a wonderful opportunity for new students who were already following Christ to meet other Christians at university, as well as being a great chance for anyone exploring the Christian faith or just
coming along to meet people to hear the gospel of Jesus.
As a CU we meet weekly and in our first term we went through a series in Colossians, speakers led us as we were reminded of the glorious truths of Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.
“But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.”
- Colossians 1:22-23
It was a wonderful chance to encourage one another as we rejoiced in the fact that we are made alive in Christ, what a privilege that we can then put on the new self, equipped by God to live our lives out for Jesus.
We had a lovely opportunity to go away for a weekend in Chepstow which gave us an chance to learn more about one another and to invest in our Christian friendships and the ways in which we can live out our faith amongst our friends at university. We had talks on the Sermon on the Mount where we saw what Jesus tells us about the way we live out our lives, to be salt and light in the world. We should stick out and shine out since we are set apart by Jesus.
As the first term drew to a close and Christmas approached, we had the privilege of putting on a Carol Service at Christchurch Cathedral. Over 700 people attended, as we heard a talk from Vaughan Roberts about the fact that the story of Christmas and of Jesus’ birth is more than just a story. It shows us the King who was born as a gift to us. There was also mulled wine and mince pies afterwards which gave us a brilliant opportunity to chat to people who came about what we had heard.
Our main event of the second term was our Mission Week which was called ‘STORY’ we had two speakers, Ali Reid and Mike Cain who came to lead us through the Gospel of Mark to show the significance of the true story of Jesus. We had lunch time events where people came along to get free lunch as well as evening events such as a quiz, international food night, acoustic night, pudding evening and a jazz, cheese and wine night. We were so thankful for all the ways God answered our prayers in the number of people who were able to hear about Jesus. We then followed this up with the Mark Drama which we did joint with Oxford University’s CU. It was a super invite to watch a dramatized version of the true events towards the end of Jesus’ time on earth.
It is such a joy that we have been able to put on so much throughout the year as a CU, the ways we have all been equipped by the gospel have been incredible. It has been so encouraging to see people in the CU reading the gospel with friends, being able to grow in fellowship and friendship with other Christians and encouraging one another in witnessing to other people at university.
Towards the end of the academic year the country went into lockdown due to COVID-19. This put a stop to planned CU meetings and meant we had to finish the year with prayer meetings and events over Zoom. It has been a difficult transition for so many people, with so many things shut down and life feeling completely abnormal. Even in the harder times (both as an effect of Coronavirus and in life generally) it is a comfort to know that God is sovereign, he created us and the world and loves us so wholly. We are loved and chosen by God which can reassure us when we are reminded of the lack of certainty in the world.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
- 1 Peter 2:9
We will be praying on that over the summer and going into next academic year that the CU can continue to equip Christians at Oxford Brookes. Despite not knowing exactly how the next year will look, we hope that we can continue to look to Jesus, trusting in him and the certain hope we are given by God’s grace. We are so thankful for all of the ways God has used people in the CU to share the gospel over this academic year.