Responding constructively to Ferguson

(Photo courtesy InterVarsity Christian Fellowship)

(Photo courtesy InterVarsity Christian Fellowship)

USA (InterVarsity/MNN) — Editor’s Note: This is a story from InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, reporting on how believers are responding to the fatal shooting in Missouri.

The issues in Ferguson, Missouri, resonate with many students on college campuses across the country. InterVarsity staff and students are seeking to respond constructively with Biblical concerns for ethnic reconciliation,

For InterVarsity’s campus ministry, as well as for the Ferguson area institutions, this is a significant moment. “The events in Ferguson, and the broader social discourse, serve as a test for our core value of ethnic reconciliation and justice,” said Paula Fuller, InterVarsity Vice President and Director of Multiethnic Ministries.

“As a ministry committed to establishing and advancing witnessing communities on our university and college campuses that are growing in love for people of every ethnicity and culture, how we attend to the events unfolding in the public square will either lend credence to our commitment or cause our words to have a hollow ring.”

InterVarsity staff have assembled a package of resources designed to help college students engage their campus communities in a proactive manner, with approaches that range from a prayer gathering on campus, to a student survey, to an artistic display. Some InterVarsity staff are working closely with church and community leaders in Ferguson as agents of reconciliation, and advocating more broadly for understanding.

InterVarsity alumni are also active in planning constructive response to the events in Ferguson. Several serve on the Ferguson Commission, appointed by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to study the issues underlying the Ferguson incidents and issue recommendations. Members of the Commission include T.R. Carr, Professor of Public Administration at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and former mayor of Hazelwood, MO. He is an InterVarsity alumnus and longtime InterVarsity volunteer. Also on the Commission, Brittney Packnett, Executive Director of Teach For America and alumna of InterVarsity’s Harambee Christian Ministries chapter at Washington University.

Pray for reconciliation and peace that passes understanding as InterVarsity staff share God’s love.