UEA Christian Union offers warm Norwich welcome
As thousands of students pour into the UEA to start a new academic year, the Christian Union offers help in finding a church in Norwich, meeting up with other Christians on campus, or becoming involved with campus-based ministries. UEA CU international secretary James Powell reports.
At school, I often thought that whoever was willing to give up a lunch time for a Bible study must have over-bearing zealous parents. Understandably then, for me CU was rather a low priority.
Being one of only a small handful that left my school to go to a sixth form college for A Levels, I figured I would finally try a CU out. If initially because it helped fill the time between lesson four and lesson five, although eventually I came to enjoy being involved.
However, following taking a gap year by the time I arrived at UEA two years ago, I was rather apprehensive about getting involved with a CU again. I guess I was concerned what my only friends in Norwich at the time, the house mates I had met only a couple of days earlier, would think. Eventually, I concluded at very least there was no harm in meeting a few people outside of my University Village flat. Put simply, I have few regrets.
I can imagine you may be wondering why I am telling you this. Well two years on, I am about to start my third year, I am actually looking forward to the start of term, and I am on the CU committee. For various reasons, my outlook on life has been changed over the last few years and CU has certainly played a major role. The founding purpose of the Christian Union is to support Christian students on campus. Personally, I have found them invaluable.
Most UEA students live at or near the university. We are around other students nearly all of the time. As a group who love Jesus Christ, we try and support each other in living for Him on campus. We desire to bring glory to God's name by living lives that demonstrate that we are saved by Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. We want to transform our university by telling others of the amazing message of His love and ultimately seeing people won for Christ at UEA.
Although as students we feel it is appropriate to pray together and find out more about God and the Bible's relevance to us on campus, the CU is not a church. We encourage members to find a church that they can attend regularly. The CU is affiliated with many of the churches in Norwich with different styles of teaching and worship. If you would like to find a church, we would love to help introduce you to someone you can go along with.
Listed, below, are details of some of the events and ministries the CU has planned for the year ahead. To find out more about UEA Christian Union, or how to support us, please check out our new website at www.ueacu.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The CU meets every Tuesday evening at 7:30pm in Congregation Hall for a time of prayer, praise and teaching. This is non-denominational and we welcome suggestions for new songs or more time for reflection. All are welcome, although we acknowledge this may not be the most appropriate event to bring any non Christian friends along to.
These are small groups that meet on campus at different times during week. The groups meet to follow a Bible Study programme, discuss and pray as relevant to each group. Each team is encouraged to have a mission focus and aims to carry out an outreach event or mission related activity each term.
The UEA CU supports Friends International (Norwich) at their meetings every Friday evening throughout term time. The World Café is designed to introduce international students to British culture as well as encouraging the sharing of their own. A Visa course is also run for those interested in an introduction to the Christian faith. Contact: Angela Leeding at email@example.com
The CU is part of the Norwich Church Football League and has both a men's and women's team. Both teams hold regular practice session, play inter-church matches, and hold social events throughout the year. The CU is proud to say that the men's team won the Bishop’s Cup Final last season.
The CU is aware that it has limited contact with the growing numbers of international students on campus. We hope to host a lunchtime event sometime soon to meet with international students and get to know them.
As a CU we look forward to holding a week of events each semester to make a special effort to share our faith with others. These include Lunch Bars, a free lunch with a talk and discussion. In the past there have also been evening events such as an Acoustic Evening.
CU Cocktail Party
By annual tradition the CU organises a formal cocktail party at a respectable evening location in Norwich. This is primarily a way of meeting new students in a relaxed atmosphere and an event that friends can be invited along to. As a Christian witness all attendees are encouraged to conduct any drinking responsibly.
A weekend retreat to get to relax, socialise, as well as challenge one another's Christian growth. Entertainment has been known to include playing Jenga, Spoons, and watching Lion King! Exotic locations vary depending on availability, previously hosted in sunny Cromer and brilliant Great Yarmouth.
During the first few weeks of term we know it can be hard finding a church. Therefore we invite freshers to a BBQ where local church leaders give a minute's pitch about their church. On Sunday mornings we will meet freshers at the on campus café 'Zest' so they can go along to a church with students who regularly attend.
Pictured are UEA CU students enjoying a range of activities.