With the 2021 university year looming, and Covid impacts lingering, the traditional points of connection like Orientation Week and Launch Day were no longer feasible ways to connect and enfold first years.
What do you do when you can’t rely on traditional practice? Innovate!
This was the question the EU had to answer when thinking about connecting with 2021 first year students.
The EU Welcome team has taken on this challenge with enthusiasm. The team ran a series of events that used relational networks and social media to reach year 12 graduates. Three of these events ran at the end of 2020, and one each week throughout February 2021. The events looked to gather first years and seniors in community, around God’s word, with the aim of communicating and sharing the EU’s values with these new students.
Despite the challenges of unknowns and social distancing, God has been at work!
The efforts of the Welcome team have been incredibly fruitful and are a real blessing from God. Our last welcome event in February had 75 first years in attendance. Overall, we have connected with around 200 first year students throughout the season. We also managed to strengthen our partnership with existing networks that exist, like the ‘Connect’ network in Epping and Hurstville and ‘Launch Camp’ run by TwoWays ministries aimed at year 12 graduates.
What has been greatly encouraging is seeing all these first years filter into our day communities, and connecting with us in person! Please keep praying that they will continue to be enfolded into our new programs and structures and that we are able to do good follow up, caring for these students well as they transition into university life.
As a staff member, I am very thankful for the way God has, in unusual and trying circumstances, inspired students to innovate in order to further gospel ministry.
The students have shown great perseverance and trust in God in the way they have continued to aim toward connecting people and striving to see the EU’s objects achieved. Pray for these senior students, that through this challenging time God would sustain their passion and energy for seeing his work done on campus.
Howie, Humanities Region
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