This morning ACT3 Network begins a new ministry that is, so far as I can tell, a first. It is certainly a first for our mission. I share this news because I believe it is ground-breaking and because I humbly need your prayers. You can read an excellent article about this coming week in the Daily Herald.
Judson University (Elgin, IL) is located about a half hour northwest of my home in Carol Stream (IL). I have ministered in various contexts and ways on the Judson campus for well over forty years. It is a historically Baptist college. Judson is an evangelical Christian university that says it “represents the Church at work in higher education, equipping students to be fully developed, responsible persons who glorify God by the quality of their personal relationships, their work, and their citizenship within the community, the nation and the world.”
The Judson University website also adds, on it home page: “The Judson community experience challenges graduates to be decisive leaders and active participants in church and society, articulate proponents of Biblical Christianity, persuasive advocates for the sovereignty of God over all life, and effective ambassadors for Christ.”
When I spoke in chapel at Judson last year I shared a meal, a few weeks later, with the new campus chaplain, Christopher Lash. As I talked with this wonderful young man I encouraged the idea of a Week for Christian Unity in chapel. I explored this idea by suggesting that we have three chapels in one week all focused on Christ and unity. I would preach from John 17 on Monday (October 6), at 10:00 a.m. A Catholic priest, my dear friend Fr. Tom Baima, would speak on Wednesday (October 8) at 10:00 a.m. from Matthew 28:18-20. I would introduce Tom and be there all week to connect the lines for Christian unity.
Then on Friday (October 10), at 10:00 a.m., I will introduce our final speaker, Fr. Wilbur Ellsworth, an Orthodox priest at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Church in Warrenville, IL. Fr. Ellsworth, one of my dearest and best friends, has served on the ACT3 board and was the chairman of the board for many years. He will speak from Luke 24 this Friday.
In an email to the various participants in this Christian Unity Week at Judson Chaplain Christopher Lash wrote us the following:
Some points I want to specifically mention:
The goal for this week is quite modest, but filled with life-changing potential: Introduce students and faculty to the wider Christian tradition and church in a personal way so that they can “see” what it looks like when we stand together in the love of Christ in their community.
Judson has a fair number of Catholic students and a few students who are not Christians at all. Pray that all the students will be amazed at this open demonstration of the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace. If God favors this effort it will impact young lives for years to come. By such means ACT3 fulfills its purpose: “To empower churches and leaders for unity in Christ’s mission.”