The Lawrence Christian Fellowship organization’s purpose is to provide a community for people seeking Christian fellowship and God. LCF was founded 52 years ago by students and is a chapter of a national organization called InterVarsity.
LCF meets in a large group setting Wednesday night at 9 p.m. in the Pusey room of WCC. In addition to this weekly meeting, there are also special groups for men and women that meet on the weekends.
Students seeking a smaller group setting can join a family, a group with a student leader that meets on weekends to discuss scripture or faith-based themes.
Every meeting begins with worship songs, either from contemporary artists or traditional hymns, backed by piano guitar. Afterwards, a speaker brought from the local community or from Lawrence’s faculty or student body presents a lecture.
Finally, the meeting diverges into several groups that discuss the themes of the lecture, and their applications. Speakers have included local pastors, Professor of Mathematics Alan Parks, counselors from the LU Wellness Center and the former director of an emergency shelter in Appleton.
Volunteering and showing love through Christ is a large part of the Christian community outside and at Lawrence. LCF has been a participant in the Volunteer-a-Thon, won first place at the Shack-a-thon competition and sent members to mentor kids at the Boys’ and Girls’ Club during MLK Day.
They have also sorted food at Convoy of Hope, a faith-based organization that serves people struggling financially in the Fox Cities.
One way that Lawrence reached out to the Lawrence community was by setting up a booth at the annual LU Wellness Fair. They raised awareness about spiritual wellness through polling students on a general question, “What are you thirsty for?”, and sparking conversations on where meaning and desire come from, and from where Christians derive meaning.
LCF acts as a support system for Christians whose beliefs and actions don’t always coincide with college life. Because of the tight-knit nature of small group discussions, students learn more about each other than would otherwise occur in daily life.
“One of the difficulties of being a Lawrentian is having meaningful or personal conversations, because Lawrence is so fast-paced. Small groups give opportunities to spend time learning about each other and helping each other on a more personal level than classes and schoolwork,” said small-group leader Mathias Reed, a sophomore.
These bonds are a way for Lawrence students not only to begin friendships within college, but to begin the journey of a lifelong friendship.
“[LCF] has provided me with a sense of where I belong — the kinds of people I meet at LCF are the types of people I will be lifelong friends with,” said sophomore LCF leader Emily Hoylman.
Students in LCF come from a variety of backgrounds. Some have attended public school, whereas others have attended religious schools or homeschooling. Because of this, a natural situation that arises is differences in interpreting scripture.
“Although this is a challenge, we focus on the similarities of the core aspects of Christianity. When differences arise, these actually reinforce and strengthen our beliefs by making us question and reflect on them,” said Reed.
Senior and LCF leader Megan Childs describes her growth through involvement with LCF. “For me, as I matured and understood the world more, it is useful to have people with a similar worldview, and to find people with similar backgrounds with whom I can wrestle with any issues I face,” said Childs.
Although LCF is open to any students with any level of faith, it can often be daunting to attend small or large group meetings. One service that LCF offers is transportation to churches in the area to both regular members and students who do not attend LCF.
Another way to get involved with LCF is to attend informal lunch discussions on Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The discussions center on scriptural and philosophical topics.
In addition, many LCF members and small group leaders build relationships with Lawrence students on an individual basis by answering questions about Christianity or the Bible in a one-on-one environment. To contact LCF leaders with any questions, visit the LCF website.