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Dave Hershey’s Newsletter


January 22, 2021

“...and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you. . . “

 

We who are adopted into God’s family through Jesus inherit this challenge. God called Abraham so that through him, all people and nations on earth would be blessed. We are blessed to be a blessing to others. We are not saved so we can sit back and celebrate our status, looking down on others. We are saved/called/chosen/elect for the benefit of the whole world.


Who can you bless today?

CSF Berks and Brandywine Update

 
Penn State’s semester started this past Tuesday, though students will not return to campus in person until February. Thus, once again, we are doing our weekly Bible study virtually. This semester we are studying the Book of Acts, beginning last night with Acts 1-2.

Here’s a shot of our Bible study last night: 4 Berks and 3 Brandywine students!

The biggest prayer request I have is for the students to be motivated. They are weary of doing all their class work online. Student life has suffered in the midst of going virtual because while they need to attend classes to succeed in college, they do not need to come to Bible study. We have a solid group of students who are committed to attending, for which I am thankful. But within that, it is hard to do much more to reach out on campus. The students who attend are feeling a bit cynical because the few events we planned last semester - hiking, serving at Hope Rescue Mission - were poorly attended.

To put it bluntly, these students are wondering how much time and energy they should put into an extra-curricular like CSF when they are already struggling to do well in a mostly virtual class environment?

Rather than focusing on the 
 

CSF Member Awarded!

Ife Ogunyinka has been a part of CSF for years and it was super exciting to celebrate as she graduated in December. She also racked up some pretty awesome awards. First, she was recognized on the Penn State Newswire: Student Escapes Unrest in South Africa, earns degree at Berks.

Here is a photo from when CSF went to Chicago for Spring Break 2019; Ife and I posed outside Obama’s house!

Last week, Ife shared with me that she was going to sing at the Martin Luther King Jr. Awards Banquet this past Monday. I logged in to Zoom, because like all else this banquet was virtual this year. After watching Ife and her brother sing and hearing an excellent sermon/speech from a local pastor, I was surprised to see Ife receive an award! Later on I texted her to ask why she didn’t tell me she was getting an award. She said she didn’t want to make a big deal of it.

Here’s a shot of Eli and I at the event. I don’t think I got Ife in this screenshot!
 

CSFPA Board Meeting

At the start of this year, as part of my duties as Assistant Executive Director for CSFPA, I took over Board Operations. This means I will oversee the CSFPA Board of Directors which includes assisting them in their areas of responsibility as well as recruiting new members.

In the coming weeks I hope to make personal contact with each board member to discuss with them why they serve on the board and what their hopes are for CSFPA. Working with the Board to cast a vision for the future of campus ministry across the state of Pennsylvania is pretty exciting. I pray, as I get to know the board members better, we can work well together to empower our ministers and all students in our ministries.

Praises and Prayers

1. Motivation and Perseverance - As I said, my student leaders are struggling. As I talk to the other campus ministers, I see similar struggles. They desire to do the best for their students but they are weary of virtual gatherings. Some of them are struggling with their own high expectations not being met due to no fault of their own, but just the limitations due to Covid. Others just miss the normalcy of interacting with students face-to-face, meeting for coffee or lunch or whatever. Pray for flexibility and creativity. 

2. Pray for the CSF Berks leaders (Emily, Danny, Nathan and Ayo) as well as  the PSU Brandywine leaders (Jemimah, Niveah) to manage their time well and lead CSF well.

3. Pray for me as I continue to balance work with my kids Hybrid school. Eli and Junia are home on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday so I keep an eye on them while I work as much as I can. Its going well, but can be trying at times. On that note, I know from talking to other parents, everyone is stressed and struggling to some degree. Pray for sanity. 

If you’re a parent, know I am praying for you!

If you know a parent, say a prayer for them!
Speaking of parents, sometimes you just have to take a break, go for a long walk and climb a tree. Also, I have been reading Natalie Frisk’s book Raising Disciples and love the quote in the pic below. 
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Ancient Pathways Podcast

I created this podcast with the goal of teaching, encouraging, uplifting, challenging and ministering to my partners in ministry. In the next few months, I will be telling the story of scripture. The title Ancient Pathways comes from Jeremiah 6:16 - Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls (NRSV). I do not desire to share anything new, but instead to invite listeners to journey alongside of the men and women who have traveled the road of life before us. As we walk with these saints, I believe we will learn wisdom.

Episode 2 (published 1/15/21) was on creation and Genesis 1-11. Today Episode 3 was posted; in this episode I talk about God’s call to Abraham to bring blessing to the nations, launching God’s rescue operation. Give it a listen! You can find the podcast at these links:

You can find the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Stitcher. Or go right to the website here:

https://ancientpathwayspodcast.buzzsprout.com/
 

If you’d prefer to read rather than listen, check out my blog where I am posting the scripts for each episode.


Story of Scripture 2 - The Call of Abraham

Story of Scripture1 - Beginings

And now, an inspirational quote:


“Jesus talked to His friends a lot about how we should identify ourselves. He said it wouldn’t be what we said we believed or all the good we hoped to do someday. Nope, He said we would identify ourselves simply by how we loved people. It’s tempting to think there is more to it, but there’s not. Love isn’t something we fall into; love is someone we become.”

Bob Goff, Everybody Always.

Like what you see? Follow me on Social Media and sign up for updates on my website:

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Helpful Resources

 
In episode 2 of my podcast, where I discussed creation, I mentioned a few books and resources that I find helpful. My book recommendation would be Francis Collins’ The Language of God. You can see it here on my bookshelf with my few books on science topics.

I also found this episode of the Mysterion podcast helpful in looking at how we experience creation in comparison to a more ancient view: https://lnns.co/8s6j-yXmdhE

Finally, BioLogos is a wonderful organization with plenty of resources. If you, or anyone you know, is science-minded and has questions, this is the first place I’d send them (or you):

Need Coaching?

I am working towards certification through the International Coaching Federation, with my training through the Professional Christian Coaching Institute. In this, I desire to come alongside workers in non-profit organizations (such as the campus ministers with CSFPA) as well as anyone who needs help getting out of a rut. Coaching helps you set goals and take actions to develop both in the workplace and all of life.  My dream is to meet you where you are at and do all I can to help you move forward.

If you, or anyone you know, wants to look into coaching, follow this link:
https://dmlhershey.com/coaching/
 

Thanks for reading! Till next time,


Dave

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