By Brad Toellner
Northstar GAP has officially kicked off another year of fellowship and service in the New River Valley. We had some hopeful expectations for growth which have been fulfilled in grand fashion. Over the three kickoff nights we had over 50 people including many new faces. Tuesday’s gathering gave new members a taste (literally) of the great potlucks that GAP (Graduates And Professionals…or Great At Potlucks?) is known for. We then took some time to play some board games and some of the best retro video games ever produced.
But the kickoffs were also an opportunity to remind and introduce people to what GAP is all about. The environment that GAP strives to create is one that fosters encouragement, admonition, and accountability. We’re all taking a unique walk through the same phase of life and the support of a group is vital to our spiritual growth. Regardless of our level of maturity in our Christian faith, the reality is that we are all capable of further growth as we reach out to produce more and better disciples of Jesus Christ.
We also took the opportunity to talk about our commitment to service and our focus this year on the problem of food access in the NRV. The progressive, college-town atmosphere of Blacksburg can easily blind one to the reality that thousands in our area struggle to provide food for themselves and their families. We have partnered with several local ministries to offer a consistent source of support. (More on that in the coming weeks.)
Despite the busyness of kickoff week, we took time to reach out to the students of Virginia Tech at Gobblerfest. We recently became an official student organization (Northstar GAP) so we were able to reserve a table right next to Northstar’s booth. In 4 hours we handed out about a thousand icee-pops to undergrads & graduate students just to let them know that there’s a place for them to connect with positive Christian fellowship.
We are simultaneously humbled, excited, and a little terrified of the recent growth and what that will mean for GAP this semester. We are beyond excited to see what God has in store! Off to a good start.