This is my Uniting Church
Christian Students Uniting
December 5, 2023
"CSU is a space that is much more interested in wrestling with the questions students bring with them than providing concrete answers"
Describe your faith community.
Christian Students Uniting is part of the Uniting Church’s work in tertiary ministry, where students, chaplains and mission workers collaborate in keeping faith, doing justice and building community. At the University of Sydney, our club is resourced by the Sydney Presbytery, as well as students volunteering to serve on the executive committee. Our activities look like weekly Bible studies where we break open the text together, social events throughout the semester to encourage connection, inviting students to worship at one of the local congregations, and participating in protests for climate action and other issues we’re passionate about.
What’s one thing that makes your community unique?
We’re unapologetic about who we are and where we stand. We’re affiliated with the Uniting Church but we welcome students from a variety of denominations and we’re unique on-campus as the only Christian club that actively affirms LGBTQIA+ people. CSU is a space that is much more interested in wrestling with the questions students bring with them than providing concrete answers and a key question that we return to is how to live out our faith here and now.
Where do you see God at work in your community?
In the constant dedication of our chaplaincy team; in the students who volunteer their time for organisation; in our persistence despite all odds of recent years! We have been especially grateful for the popularity at recent university Welcome Weeks of our badges declaring support for LGBTQIA+ people in the church, First Nations people and climate action.
What are some of the challenges you are facing?
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, we have faced increased challenges around recruiting new members. This year especially, as many of our active members from before the pandemic graduate university, we face reduced numbers due to the recruitment gap from the two years of lockdown.
What can the rest of the Church pray for in that place?
We would love your prayers for our continued presence on the University of Sydney campus as a community where those looking for a Christian club on campus with a unique and alternative voice can find people who want to ask the same questions they want to ask. We want to be quietly visible, not in a drive for evangelism, but so that those who want to find us, can, and so that those who want to know that a different kind of Christian community exists – even if they don’t want to join us – can be encouraged by our presence here.