UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

From Psalms to Palms: Intervarsity Christian Fellowship Club Asks Students Who They Want to Be After


“Christ wasn’t about religion but relationships.” Justin Worth, UMB graduate declared as he finished packing up the wall of student photos with fellow club members. “It was religious people who killed him. You please God through loving your neighbor.”

Intervarsity is a national Christian student organization that aspires to welcome all to campus, create a sense of community, and present them a way to transform themselves spiritually through Jesus. True to their mission, a lively event was held throughout the first week of classes where club members hand people sharpies and ask them to write on their palm “who [they] want to become once they graduate.” They then took snapshots of people’s hands, printed them out quick as a Polaroid and clipped them to a portable wall. Irresistible to the multitudes coming into the Campus Center via the catwalk, the club collected hundreds of photos.

A middle-aged man smiling big held up his palm and announced his goal “To be a rich man to help the poor.” According to him, philanthropy is our only future.

Other student’s responses ranged from “Salsa Dancer” to being “A Woman of God” to the simple and ever-true “Happy” with a smiley face.

According to Albert Chen, an undergraduate student and club member, they had many positive responses and the trend of most was the desire to find some more solid sense of happiness and completion by the time they graduate. “Some sit looking up at the sky without anything to write, while others are narrowly focused and write it down in one second.” Chen believes that encountering Jesus and becoming transformed happens through reading scripture, interacting with your community, action, and prayer. “The source of which we love others is overflowing and it brings healing and restoration to our campus. We are not just here to get degrees.” True to his words, Chen is often seen around campus drumming with other musicians on his camouflage –patterned djembe and was the interim vice-president of Student Government last year.

When asked about his transformation through Christ, Michael Advayi’s eyes lit up. “You see light you never have seen before, and you begin to love everyone for no reason other then you are connected somehow, through mystery. God is great!”

Intervarsity has been praying together since 2008 and last fall became an official student organization. Already they have grown to nearly 40 members. This year they are planning to bring their faith and other’s good will into action by addressing the issue of human trafficking and spreading awareness of the prevalence of human slavery and forced prostitution. In collaboration with other clubs, they are seeking to highlight how policy can prevent human wrongs around the globe.

Where many see a higher authority as a sort of mental trap, it is people like Justin Worth who continue to inspire others to love without barriers, grudges, or limits and stay connected to Jesus and his teachings for life. According to him “There is no big me, small you.”

About the Contributor
Stephanie Fail served as the following positions for The Mass Media the following years Opinions Editor: 2009-2010 *Culture Shock Editor: Fall 2010 *The Culture section only lasted from 2010-2011, with Marcus Mersier taking over in Spring 2011.