Christian Student Groups to Merge

Caitlin Holbrook

The new semester marked significant changes for the Christian community on campus; the Colgate Christian Fellowship (CCF) and Journey have now merged to form one large Christian group, under the name CCF and united by a single mission.

Staff person for CCF and leader of the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at both Hamilton College and Colgate University Amber Nelson expressed her satisfaction that the two similar groups had decided to reunite.

“About six or seven months ago,” Nelson said, “the student leaders of CCF and the student leaders of Journey, some of whom overlapped, looked at the activities they were doing and saw that they were spreading themselves thin. During the first semester, there was a conscious choice to hold both CCF and Journey but to make the topics similar and to begin to talk with both communities about merging. We had a semester’s worth of preparation [before actually coming together].”

CCF and Journey thus decided to combine their efforts to more effectively dedicate their time to the Christian cause.

President of CCF Daniel Cavazos discussed the benefits of the merger.

“I think the fact that we’re able to dedicate more time to it [our cause] and the fact that both [CCF and Journey] really have the same mission creates a unity that is really beneficial to the whole community,” Cavazos said.

Journey was originally created during the fall of 2006 to attract a broader audience and fulfill some of the goals which CCF had been unable to achieve.

“While CCF’s purpose was to engage both members and nonmembers with what it means to believe in and follow Jesus as individuals, and also in academic and campus life,” Nelson said, “that hasn’t always been what’s actually happened, and Journey wanted to actually engage a wider audience.”

Associate University Chaplain and Protestant Campus Minister Mark Mann agreed with Nelson’s analysis.

“I think that the founding of the Journey was a good thing,” Mann said. “It seems to me that CCF had become a somewhat insular group which was not doing an effective job with outreach (which is central to its mission). Journey was founded as an outreach ministry by active CCF members, and so I think it was only natural for the merger to happen.”

Leaders of CCF are currently trying to make changes to their weekly meetings in order to include Journey’s central goal of attracting a broader community, and both groups are still adjusting to working with each other.

Though many of those involved in Journey are also involved in CCF, some Journey members have had minor concerns with merging. Some members worry that the CCF may in time once again lose focus on the outreach aspect of their mission, a concern that the CCF is eager to fix.

“Our goal is never to alienate people coming to one group or the other who aren’t comfortable coming to both,” Nelson said. “We’d love to discuss any concerns anyone has with the merger.”