Upcoming InterVarsity ESN Conversations: Warren Brown and Brad Strawn, “Enhancing Christian Life”

Passing the word along about an upcoming event organized by the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN), a digital InterVarsity ministry serving graduate students and early career academics seeking to connect Christian faith with vocation. Information is below:

September 24, 3 pm (US Eastern Time): Warren Brown and Brad Strawn, Enhancing Christian Life

To learn more about how using insights from neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy, the authors argue in Enhancing Christian Life that persons must be understood as not only embodied and embedded within particular contexts, but also extended beyond the body to encompass aspects of the physical and social world.

ESN blogpost about the event and future fall 2020 ESN conversations here.

Register for the event here.

Upcoming InterVarsity ESN Conversations: Elaine Howard Ecklund, “Why Science and Faith Need Each Other”

Passing the word along about an upcoming event organized by the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN), a digital InterVarsity ministry serving graduate students and early career academics seeking to connect Christian faith with vocation. Information is below:

September 15, 1 pm (US Eastern Time): Elaine Howard Ecklund, Why Science and Faith Need Each Other

One area where Christians can be peacemakers is in building good conversations that bridge between communities of faith and communities of science. Drawing on her experience interviewing over 40,000 scientists and religious believers, Dr. Ecklund will help us understand how shared values and virtues can help us connect.

ESN blogpost about the event here.

Register for the event here.

Resources for New Cornell Students and Ithaca Newcomers

Hello GCF!

We find ourselves in a time of transition as we prepare for the upcoming and unprecedented fall semester before us. With that in mind, the GCF officer team is happy to share a Google Doc file with you containing useful resources for new (and maybe old!) Cornell students and Ithaca newcomers. You can find the view-only link to the Google Doc here. More information is also given below from our Prayer and Service Coordinator, Rebecca Gerdes:

“Hello! We recognize that whether you’re moving to Ithaca this fall, next spring, or at a later date, this is a really difficult year to make the transition. So, a huge thanks to my fellow members of the Cornell Dept of Classics who helped me put together an original version of this document for our department and for allowing the Cornell Graduate Christian Fellowship to share and add to this. We’ve especially tried to highlight services – such as grocery delivery – that might be needed for those under mandatory NY quarantine. (Thanks for quarantining to keep everyone safe, and let us know at cornellgcf@gmail.com if we can help you in quarantine – e.g. if grocery delivery options aren’t accessible!)”

Online Coffee/Tea Social Fall 2020


Our annual welcome week special event is happening on September 4th Friday at 2pm EST through Zoom! There will be games and panel discussions, and we welcome old and new friends to join. We also prepared a gift package to be delivered to you wherever you are! Mark your calendar, sign up to reserve a spot and wait for the gift! You can sign up using this Google Form. For more information, contact Vivian Zhang at hz524@cornell.edu

Be the Bridge Book Group

The GCF leadership team is excited to invite you to join us for 5 weeks of discussion of Be the Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation by Latasha Morrison. There will be two groups going through the book on a weekly basis:

  • Monday lunchtime group (11:30 AM – 1:00 PM EST): Contact Joshua Fan (jyf6@cornell.edu) or Rebecca Gerdes (rfg75@cornell.edu) for more information (including the Zoom link needed to join). This group meets starting August 3 to September 7 or 14.
  • Tuesday evening group (7:30 PM – 9:00 PM EST): Contact Sara Beth Cebry (sbl84@cornell.edu) for more information (including the Zoom link needed to join). This group meets starting August 11 to September 8.

We suggest getting an e-book copy of the book to read it on the computer (link to Amazon above). Please email Rebecca Gerdes or Sara Beth Cebry if money is a barrier and we’ll take care of it!

GCF’s Commitment to Racial Justice and Reconciliation

Dear GCF,

We have all been horrified and deeply saddened by the recent manifestations of racism, white supremacy, and police brutality that we have all observed in recent weeks. The tragic deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many others, are part of a long history of injustices inflicted upon people of color in this country that sadly and inexcusably continues to this day.

The president of InterVarsity, the campus ministry we choose to affiliate with, released a statement on Monday affirming InterVarsity’s commitment to pursue racial justice and reconciliation. We encourage you to read the whole thing. As a leadership team, we want to express our support for this statement and commit to acting in response to the truths it contains. We’ve included the following excerpt below:

“InterVarsity unequivocally condemns racism and white supremacy. They, and all ideologies which promote the superiority of one people over another, are sinful––abhorred by God and condemned by Scripture. They deny Scripture’s affirmation of the equal value and dignity of all people who are created in God’s image.” (Tom Lin, President, InterVarsity USA)

We wholeheartedly endorse this statement, as we believe that it expresses a core conviction of our Christian faith.

To our Black brothers and sisters: We are grieving with you. Know that we love you, are grateful for you, and are praying for you. We also recognize that statements and prayers for justice must be followed by action. Toward that end, the GCF leadership team have committed to tangible steps to pursue racial justice and inclusion in our fellowship. Two small, initial steps we will take are these:

  1. We will host dedicated weekly prayer meetings (30 min) before Bible study for the month of June.

  2. Starting in July, we will host a regular book discussion group in order to learn how to better  take part in the loving pursuit of justice modeled for us by Christ. Books we are considering include How to be Antiracist, Just Mercy, and The New Jim Crow. Other suggestions are welcome.

We recognize that these are small steps and are researching other possibilities for action. These include inviting relevant guest speakers, hosting a film watch-and-discuss night, and joining with the efforts of university and/or community organizations to work towards more just laws and policies (e.g., through writing to lawmakers). If you have any thoughts on how to carry this effort forward that you would like to share, please contact any member of leadership. We want to make this as much of a community effort as possible.

In Christ,

The 2019-2020 GCF Leadership Team

(Dean, Sara Beth, Austin, Sharon, Rebecca, and Haley)

COVID Response- Opportunities to Help and Virtual Meetings

How can you help people in the Ithaca area during the Covid-19 crisis?

Compiled by Rebecca Gerdes (Cornell Graduate Christian Fellowship). Updated 24 March 2020

Start HERE: resource list from Cornell Cooperative Extension. Includes:

  • Follow all safety measures from the CDC, county, and state. 
  • Connect with neighbors, friends, and family and volunteer for food delivery if you’re willing and able – complying with CDC, county, and state safety guidelines.
  • How to get involved in Tompkins County volunteer networks including food distribution and soup kitchen volunteering. There’s a Facebook group you can join to volunteer, which has several Google docs already for signing up to help.
  • Donate blood! The need for blood donations is acute – too many drives got canceled! 
  • Info on Cayuga Medical Center-organized mask making – there’s lots of info going around on the internet about mask-making for hospitals, but masks need to be up to hospital specifications to be useful, and it’s not clear how effective homemade masks are currently, so CMC is taking charge to make sure masks are up to code. I’m currently waiting for a confirmation email from the organizer for further details.

Some more Tompkins County initiatives:
Ithaca Virtual Tip Jar: Use this spreadsheet to find info to send a tip to a service worker from your favorite cafe or restaurant or shop – since many service workers are not able to work because of restaurant and business closures.
Ithaca Farmers’ Market: Use this spreadsheet to find out what local farmers are offering – delivery, pickup at the Farmers’ Market on Saturday, or open stalls at the market Saturday! Getting your food from local farmers (who are bringing food in from only 30mi away!) supports local businesses.
Ways to support local businesses: A list made by the Ithaca Voice of the opening status of local businesses and whether you can order takeout or get gift cards.

Donate food or money to a local food pantry or soup kitchen. Many are reporting low stocks due to hoarding or panic-buying. Here are some local places:
– Foodnet Meals on Wheels Ithaca (donate online)
– Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen(donate online or bring food donations to the church) Meals for homeless (now to-go).
– Caroline Food Pantry – contact John and Dody Martin (tel: (607)539-6810; email: johnanddodymartin@gmail.com) to make a food donation.

***If YOU get sick and/or need to self-isolate and you need groceries, medicine, anything , contact Sara Beth Cebry (sbl4@cornell.edu) or Sharon Lampman (sharon.lampman11@houghton.edu), and they will make sure you get what you need!***


GCF Bible Studies and Virtual Meetings

GCF Bible studies, discussions, prayer nights, and guest nights will continue over Zoom until further notice. While it is disappointing not to meet together in person, it allows us some fun and unique opportunities. If you’re a prospective student who would like to check us out or are a previous member who is no longer in the Ithaca area, we’d love to have you join us be it for one meeting or every week! Please email Sharon Lampman (sharon.lampman11@houghton.edu) for information on how to join our Monday night Bible study. 

Fall 2019 Info and Welcome!

Welcome to GCF!

Whether you’re new to GCF and trying to figure us out, or you’re a seasoned regular and you know the drill, we are excited to have you with us as we embark on another year of learning and growth through Bible study, prayer, fellowship, and social activities.

Bible study is the core of what we do at GCF. We have Bible study every Monday from 7:30 pm – 9 pm. We usually meet on-campus in Anabel Taylor Hall in the auditorium. At Bible study, we usually mingle, sing worship songs, break into small groups for study, gather prayer requests, and close with announcements, snacks, and more mingling. This fall we will be studying 1 Corinthians. If you are interested in leading study and/or helping with snacks, please feel free to  email Sharon Lampman (sharon.lampman11@houghton.edu), our Bible Study Coordinator.

We also have a weekly prayer/fellowship meetings for Guys and Gals. Ladies’ meet every other Wednesday from 7:30 pm – 9 pm to drink tea, fellowship, and pray. We pray through any prayer requests from the group as well as broader themes/people/topics we feel compelled to pray about. Email Haley Rylander (hrr53@cornell.edu) for more information. Guys meet on Thursdays from 7:30 pm – 9 pm. Typically we read through a book together then meet to discuss the chapters read, pray, and fellowship. Email David Limbaugh (dglimbau@buffalo.edu) for more details.

As our name suggests, we are most certainly a fellowship, and with that comes lots of opportunities for social gatherings and fun adventures. Also, next Saturday, September 14 there will be an outing to the Ithaca Farmers Market where we hang out and eat things we find at the Farmers Market. If you are new to Ithaca, the Farmers Market is a very Ithacan institution, and sure to be a treat. Come with petty cash and an empty stomach, and you’ll leave with no cash and a happy stomach. More details will be sent out to the listserv as the date approaches!

Later in the semester, we will have our annual Fall retreat, tentatively planned for October 18-20. We don’t yet have everything planned for retreat, and if you are interested in helping to plan retreat, we would greatly appreciate your help! We usually leave on a Friday around dinner time, get to Cortland Bible Camp Friday night, and stay until Sunday lunch. If you are new and/or uncertain about committing to a weekend retreat with us, don’t worry! We plan it for later in the semester intentionally so that you have an opportunity to get to know us better before committing. Please contact cornellgcf@gmail.com for more information or to join the planning committee.

We hope to see you at our upcoming events!

For more information, contact us at cornellgcf@gmail.com.

Join the listserv by filling out this contact form.

New officer team

We are excited to announce the new GCF officer team for the 2019-2020 academic year:

President: Dean Da Vee

Vice President: Sara Beth Leach Cebry

Treasurer: Austin Han

Bible Study Coordinator: Sharon Lampman

Social Events Coordinator: Haley Rylander

Prayer and Outreach Coordinator: Rebecca Gerdes