LCF: if you’re Christian or not

Bonnie Alger

Each fall, the activities fair held during Welcome Week attracts students – freshmen to super seniors – in droves. The plethora of clubs and organizations on campus can be overwhelming, especially to a new student. While some students are looking to try completely new things, others are looking to connect with others who share similar interests and beliefs. Lawrence is fortunate to have a diverse selection of religious organizations to choose from, and the Lawrence Christian Fellowship is one of the largest of them all. With over 200 members, you are bound to know someone who is a member of this popular group.
With over 50 active members and many others who occasionally stop by, LCF has made its presence known on campus. Weekly large group meetings are held on Wednesday nights in Riverview Lounge. Small group Bible study and prayer groups can be found in residence halls campus wide and lunch discussions are held every Friday. Junior Rachel Freedman remarks, “I think the primary functions of LCF are to provide a supportive community for Christian students, faculty and staff at Lawrence; to help Christians at Lawrence to grow in their faith and in their relationships with God; and to serve as a source of information for other students, faculty and staff who have questions about Jesus, about the Bible or about the Christian religion.” Senior James Hall adds, “LCF is an incredibly diverse organization: students come from all kinds of Christian backgrounds, including Catholic and Protestant, liturgical and evangelical denominations.”
Special events are also planned each term. Earlier this term, the group brought in Mark Noll, a specialist in Christian history from Wheaton College in Illinois, to give two lectures, “Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind” and “Has the Christian Faith Done More Harm Than Good in America?” “LCF is not a church,” says Hall, “but a place for Christian – and interested non-Christian – students to gather, worship, pray, and exchange ideas.”
More casual events are also held each term, such as movie nights. This term boasts the annual holiday party, to be hosted in collaboration with the Jewish student organization Hillel, in an effort to encourage interaction between the two groups. The party will celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah, and will be held Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m. in Riverview Lounge. Live music will be provided by a Lawrence student jazz combo. In addition, there will be dancing, food, traditional Christmas carols, the “Bing Sing,” where people will create their own renditions of Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas,” and Israeli folk dancing. An Easter celebration is also planned for the spring.
For those interested in Christianity, Christian or not, LCF is one place to turn. Freedman says, “LCF members really are able to support and encourage each other in our academic work, musical performance, artistic endeavors, personal lives, et cetera, and become close friends. We also support each other when our faith comes under criticism or when we have personal tragedies or struggles in our lives … we want to be clear that, while we are vocal about our own beliefs and certainly hope that other people will be interested in learning more about our faith, we are not here to force anything on anyone.

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