(The following post is from Peter’s August newsletter update.)
I wanted to begin my official first newsletter with an introduction for those of you who have faithfully supported the work of RUF at Virginia Commonwealth University over the past few years. My name is Peter Lyon, and I am succeeding Harrison Ford as the Campus Minister at VCU. For the last five years I have worked in Student Ministry at Covenant Presbyterian Church in the Northern suburbs of Philadelphia, PA - the city where I was born and raised. My wife, Sarah and I have moved to Richmond with our two children, Wesley and Mina, and our golden retriever named Mac, and we love it here. We are thrilled that the Lord has placed us at VCU and are excited to get to know you, our new partners in ministry. I hope that you will continue to support this ministry, and I would love to talk to each of you about the vision of RUF for the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
GREETINGS FROM RICHMOND, VA
In November of 2014 my wife Sarah ran the Richmond Marathon, and I came to this fair city to cheer her on. If you have never had the pleasure of cheering on a friend or loved one at a marathon, I'll let you in on a little secret... trying to watch the race itself is fairly boring. The day can be salvaged though if you throw yourself into exploration - along with offering your support to the runners you can see a rather large area of the city in one trip. The day I spent exploring Richmond was by far my favorite of her now six marathon days. Richmond was full of energy, it was gorgeous, it felt like a place I would like to call home.
Five years later that feeling has become a reality. On July 1st Sarah and I moved our son, Wesley and daughter, Mina from Doylestown, PA to our new hometown. We are here to minister to the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University with Reformed University Fellowship (RUF). VCU is such a beautiful and unique campus, filled with the fruits of a world class arts program and rich in diversity. The more I explore and discover about VCU the more blessed I feel to be called to this work.
The first month in Richmond has been a whirlwind - getting unpacked, getting to know our Interns Jacob and Hannah, and exploring the city. I have had the opportunity to meet some new students at Summer orientation, and invite them to RUF in the Fall. I also attended my first James River Presbytery meeting where I was able to introduce myself to the pastors and elders of the local churches I'll be working with here in Virginia. Sarah has been running all over the city in preparation for her seventh marathon, and so far Wesley and Mina have loved exploring the Richmond Children's Museum and Maymont Nature center!
We spent last week in Dallas, TX at RUF's annual July Staff Training - a week of education and encouragement that gathers together all the RUF campus ministers, interns, campus staff and national staff. This was my first staff training with RUF, and I understand now why it is so important - to hear from current and former Campus Ministers and to share in their wisdom and insight is a wonderful blessing. To put it simply, it was an incredible experience that left me energized and excited to get to work at VCU.
OUR NEW (OLD) HOUSE
One of the most exciting parts of our move to Richmond is our new - OLD - house. We found a beautiful row home three blocks from campus, that was built in 1900. We are so excited about the opportunities this house gives us to welcome students into our lives and to be a part of the VCU community. Please pray with us that our new old home can be a place of hospitality and welcome!
* Please join us in praying for the students of VCU - it is a campus of over 30,000 students nestled in beautiful downtown Richmond, rich in diversity, and full of art and beauty - but it is a place that is hungry for the hope of the gospel.
*Please pray for my path to ordination - part of what makes RUF unique is that we send ordained ministers of the gospel to the college campus, and a big part of my first year will be taking my ordination exams in the James River Presbytery. Please pray that I grow in wisdom and grace through this process.
*Please pray for my family as we get settled - our 17 month old daughter Mina has already had to go to urgent care for an infected bug bite, and had an allergic reaction to her medicine. She is doing well, but her struggles illustrate how the stress of moving is only compounded by the every day cares of life that are always present.
One of the great joys of being a Campus Minister with RUF is that we are not simply sent off on a lonely mission to the college campus, but instead we go there as part of the greater mission of God's church. It has been exciting for me to talk to so many people about this exciting ministry, and to ask them to partner alongside of us. It is a real blessing to be joined in this ministry by such an encouraging group of supporters and friends. Your prayers are so deeply needed and I treasure them all, and I would humbly ask that along with your prayers that you would consider supporting the ministry of RUF with financial gifts as well.
Every size gift helps and all gifts to RUF are tax deductible.
If you are interested in partnering with us but would like to talk more about what that means, please email me at email@example.com and we can set up a time to talk, I would love to share more about the vision and mission of RUF.