By Yong Dong

More than just Another Christian Group on Campus

How Greek IV started at SUNY Geneseo

Greek Ministry? I had never heard of it until I picked up a postcard at Urbana 12. Not that I really cared. I’m not even in a fraternity, but for some strange reason there was urgency in my heart that made me want to learn more about Greek InterVarsity. So I walked over to the Greek InterVarsity booth and learned some basics. But the 15 minute conversation with the Greek InterVarsity staff just didn't cut it because I couldn't stop thinking and questioning Greek ministry. I don't know if this was God but all my questions and doubts led me to the Greek InterVarsity Q&A seminar where I sat awkwardly next to a sorority girl. I didn't know what to expect from this seminar, nor did I know if God going to speak something into my heart. For the first time in my life I felt so clueless and lost. I didn't know where to go from here.

The next day immediately after the morning session I told the staff for Geneseo InterVarsity that I wanted to start a Greek ministry on the Geneseo campus. Her response was "that's a great idea Yong, but can we talk about it when we get back from Urbana?" 

Over the next few days of my winter break, I spent most of my time praying and thinking about this idea while still trying to process all the information I'd learned from that seminar. My thought was "if this is indeed God’s will, his plan for this campus, then let it be done." So I contacted some friends involved in Geneseo InterVarsity who are in fraternities and sororities and told them about my experience at Urbana. Their response was "that's a great idea Yong, and I really hope that we can get this off the ground." Awesome!! We're really going to do this aren't we? Those were my excited thoughts and I felt like God was answering my prayers little by little through his revelations.

Something Greek Started Happening

Our first official meeting was two weeks after the first day of Spring semester. It was just me and my Greek friends, Ian, Casey, Cassie, Nicole, and Justin, but we decided to keep this group going even if we didn’t get a lot of people the first few weeks of the semester. Through invitations and various methods of publicity we finally got some likes on Facebook and some new people coming to our meetings each week. Even better, some of our sisters from IVCF also felt the call from God that it is time to step out of their comfort zone in order to really reach out to the college community by being part of the Greek life here at SUNY Geneseo. Slowly but steadily, we are growing according to God's plan.

Reflections of a New Ministry

While this was happening, I sometimes felt like I was only doing this for myself and for my selfish reasons. But through prayers and encouraging words from brothers and sisters, I was able to really search my heart and surrender everything to him. After all, this has nothing to do with me. It's all about him and his glorious plan for this campus and for the future of this world.

So what’s so special about Greek Intervarsity from any other Christian ministries on this campus? First of all, just like any other Christian ministries we are here:

  • To help each other grow closer to God by studying his words and by putting his words into action.
  • To help each other learn more about Christian faith in various context.
  • To share the love of God with one another.
  • To share the good news of Jesus Christ to those who didn't know him or have never been in a relationship with him before without judging them, without pressing our views on them, and without condemning them in any ways.

In addition to all the above:

  • Most of our discussion topics are focus on Greek life and how Christianity fits into Greek life.
  • We want to make this your group, your church, and your place to relax and share your stories with one another.
  • We meet even if there's only two or three people shows up.
  • We take anonymous prayer requests from everyone.
  • Our meeting location is very flexible.
  • We always bring stuff to share. Whether it's food, snacks, videos, music, or just random discovery of the day we love share it with each other and have a great time.

Last but not least, we are a group of fraternity and sorority students (most of us are) bringing together Greek life and faith life. We believe that it is possible to be in Greek and follow Jesus at the same time. To sum up, I am especially thankful to Cassie, Casey, Ian, Lauren, Franco, and Katy for their contribution to this ministry. Without them, there wouldn't be such group called Greek Intervarsity at SUNY Geneseo. Thank you all for being so faithful to God and for being servants of Christ.

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