An Update on the International Christian Fellowship

The following is a note from Ruth Hartunian-Alumbaugh

The University of Connecticut has over 200 special interest groups for students to take advantage of.?? Our entire family (Jon, Ruth, Jonathan, and Rosie) have been a part of one of these groups for over 18 years!?? If you are looking for an opportunity to touch the world, the world is at your back door!
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International Christian Fellowship has been on campus for over 25 years now.?? Jon and I were giving to the ministry even before we were married.?? When we married, we decided to serve together in this ministry.?? From administrating to giving someone a ride, to making dessert for 60 people or cooking for a crowd, we have filled almost every shoe there is to fit at ICF!?? Our recent conquests have made us thesis defense junkies!?? And we are so pleased to have our children now along with us for the ride.
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We meet with internationals from all over the world.?? We have personally met students from over 35 different countries!?? We are a part of their lives and they ours.?? Some have become family to us.?? Some have lived with us.?? It is a rich opportunity we have at UConn.
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Come visit our Friday night gathering any time.?? St. Thomas on North Eagleville Road hosts us.?? We meet for dinner in the lower level at 6:30pm.?? From there, we could do anything from Bible study, special speaking, small group activities, musical concerts, etc.?? If you need more information, let us know.?? We would be happy to provide you with whatever you need.?? Just contact us at jon.ruth.alumbaugh (at) snet (dot) net.??
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Ruth R. Hartunian-Alumbaugh, RMT/BC
Ministry Representative for International Christian Fellowship at the
University of Connecticut/Storrs and Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic


Watchmen #1

In Sunday???s message we talked about why St. Paul???s originally began.?? St Paul???s got its start from a short passage in Ezekiel.?? The Lord called this church into existence through this passage.?? One of our next steps from Sunday was to meditate on this passage.?? So without further ado, here it is.

At the end of seven days the word of the LORD came to me:????"Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.??When I say to a wicked man, 'You will surely die,' and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for??his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood.????But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself.

"Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before him, he will die. Since you did not warn him, he will die for his sin. The righteous things he did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. ??But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself."?? Ezekiel 3:16-21


Watchmen #2

In Sunday???s message we talked about why St. Paul???s originally began.?? St. Paul???s got its start from a short passage in Ezekiel chapter 3.?? But the call to Ezekiel in chapter three is reiterated and expanded in chapter 33.?? And one of our next steps from Sunday was to meditate on this longer passage as well.?? So without further ado, here it is.


The word of the LORD came to me:????"Son of man, speak to your countrymen and say to them: 'When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman,????and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people,????then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not take warning and the sword comes and takes his life, his blood will be on his own head. ??Since he heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning, his blood will be on his own head. If he had taken warning, he would have saved himself.????But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood.'

??"Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.????When I say to the wicked, 'O wicked man, you will surely die,' and you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man will die for??his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood.????But if you do warn the wicked man to turn from his ways and he does not do so, he will die for his sin, but you will have saved yourself.

??"Son of man, say to the house of Israel, 'This is what you are saying: "Our offenses and sins weigh us down, and we are wasting away because of??them. How then can we live?" '????Say to them, 'As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?'

??"Therefore, son of man, say to your countrymen, 'The righteousness of the righteous man will not save him when he disobeys, and the wickedness of the wicked man will not cause him to fall when he turns from it. The righteous man, if he sins, will not be allowed to live because of his former righteousness.'????If I tell the righteous man that he will surely live, but then he trusts in his righteousness and does evil, none of the righteous things he has done will be remembered; he will die for the evil he has done.????And if I say to the wicked man, 'You will surely die,' but he then turns away from his sin and does what is just and right-??if he gives back what he took in pledge for a loan, returns what he has stolen, follows the decrees that give life, and does no evil, he will surely live; he will not die.????None of the sins he has committed will be remembered against him. He has done what is just and right; he will surely live.

??"Yet your countrymen say, 'The way of the Lord is not just.' But it is their way that is not just. ??If a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, he will die for it.????And if a wicked man turns away from his wickedness and does what is just and right, he will live by doing so.????Yet, O house of Israel, you say, 'The way of the Lord is not just.' But I will judge each of you according to his own ways." ??Ezekiel 33:1-22


Genesis Small Group

This fall I???ll be hosting a small group Saturday mornings where we study Genesis together.?? I will not be leading the study.?? Dr. Carol Kaminski will.?? We???ll be auditing a distance course together from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary called Genesis in Depth.

We will be listening to the lectures on our own and reading through Genesis on our own.?? When we come together we???ll be discussing what we???re learning.

Because it takes a few weeks from order to arrival, please let me know as soon as possible if you???re interested in joining the group.?? Email me at vince@stpaulswired.org?? or sign up on our website.?? Also make sure you order the materials.?? Click here to contact the Semlink office at the seminary to order the material.

Click here for a course snapshot.?? Click here for a course syllabus.????

And because we???ll be auditing the class don???t worry about exams, papers, assignments, or secondary readings. ??I'm just reading Genesis and listening to the lectures–that's enough learning for me!


Small Group Curriculums

Small groups are starting in a few weeks.  If your group is still figuring out what to do together, here are three suggestions.

First, you could study the life of Elijah together using Elijah:  Living Securely in a Insecure World (LifeGuide Bible Study).  You can click here for the Amazon link to order the guide.  This would be a great study for this fall because starting September 26th, we’ll be beginning a seven week series on Elijah at our services.

Second, you could study how God still speaks today using The Power of a Whisper:  Hearing God, Having the Guts to Respond by Bill Hybels.  You can click here for the Amazon link to order the book.  This would be a great study for this fall.  Over the summer many of us heard Bill speak on this subject at the Leadership Summit.  It was quite powerful.  And it’s good to remember that St. Paul’s started because God still speaks.

Third, you could study a variety of topics together using Rob Bell’s Nooma series.  You can click here for the Amazon link to check it out.  There’s no need to order these DVD’s, we have plenty at the office you can borrow.  I’ve used these videos in the past and they are great.  This is good choice for groups who want to work through good material together, but don’t have the time to do a lot of work outside the group.

Anyway, those are three suggestions for groups still figuring out what they should study together.