Faithfulness Pursued Together
The Gospel of John paints a picture of Jesus coming to dwell among the people. In fact, you could imagine it as Jesus setting up his tent and hanging out in our neighborhood. The same is required of us as followers of Jesus. Church isn't just about going to a place on Sunday, it's about going out into our neighborhoods and living differently as examples of what the gospel does to a person's life.
Well, sometimes the neighborhoods come to us. In our case, Penn State Harrisburg and their students coming to our church's backyard. That's why Middletown First Church of God has partnered with the CCO (Coalition for Christian Outreach). The CCO is a college and campus ministry organization that seeks to transform college students to transform the world. The CCO strives to show that through the gospel all things can be redeemed to the goodness of God, and part of that demonstration is that ministry cannot happen just on the college campus, but must happen in and around and through the local church community. That is why, with the CCO, Middletown Church of God brought Kyle Landiak on board during the summer of 2016 to spearhead new opportunities and new ministries to our neighbors, the students of Penn State Harrisburg.
Opportunities For Students
Hello friends! I'm excited to invite and welcome any and all college-aged students to my little corner of Middletown Church of God. Being a new addition to the life of this church, I've been tasked with cultivating opportunities for students and church goers to engage each other in meaningful ways. At present there are a few events that revolve around the church that I think would be good opportunities for students who are interested in either cultivating their faith or seeking answers for difficult questions:
- Wednesday Night Live: Looking for a free meal? Looking to engage in some conversation and ask some honest questions? Wednesday Night Live is a great place to start, because it will allow you to get your feet wet to church life at Middletown, meet some of our church members, see how we worship together, and then end the evening with one of several conversation-based classes that foster good discussion about the Bible and Christian concepts. Click the link to learn more.
- Pasta and Prayer: Thursday evenings from 6:00 PM to about 8:00 PM. Pasta and Prayer is a time where individuals and families in their 20's and 30's share a meal together and pursue open and honest discussion regarding the Bible, faith, and difficult questions of life. Located in the Irwin office building next to the pavilion.
- International Cultural Exchange: The International Cultural Exchange was started by a group of local families from Hershey, Elizabethtown, Harrisburg, and Middletown who have a passion to extend love and hospitality to international students. Active for several years, they have partnered with us at Middletown Church of God in order to pool resources and pursue our common goal of sharing our faith by opening our lives and homes to students. Click the link and like their Facebook page to stay up to date on events and opportunities.
Kyle's Recommended Resources
Over the years I've kept a rolling list of resources that I have found beneficial and think would be useful to both the general church goer and someone who would never step foot inside a church. Below are links and brief descriptions to some of these resources, and I have plans to continue to add to this list over time.
- The Bible Project: The Bible Project produces videos intended to explain how the Bible tells one overarching story pointing to Jesus. Notable series consist of explanations of biblical themes and summaries of biblical books. If you find the Bible confusing or daunting, The Bible Project is a fantastic place to start or even supplement your existing knowledge.
- The (un)Common Lectionary: Full disclosure, this is a shameless plug for one of my best friends from college. Jon Bauman is Director of Youth and Young Adults at First United Church of Christ Quakertown, and currently pursuing his Master of Divinity from Biblical Theological Seminary in Hatfield, PA. His weekly podcast, The (un)Common Lectionary draws lessons from the Revised Common Lectionary for youth and young adults. Available on all major podcast apps, and the Facebook page is a great way to stay up to date on new posts.