California Adventure: The Universities

After returning from our Oregon expedition, we set out to visit two more campuses. We went Wednesday to UC Santa Cruz, a most picturesque campus set in a grove of redwoods. The school is on the north side of Monterey Bay. It really was an amazing layout including its own outdoor amphitheatre set within a large cavern buffeted by Redwoods. Unfortunately this week is midterms week at UC campuses so the student population is low. We did talk to some professors and student. We are planning to return to Santa Cruz to meet up with Ian and hopefully Lambert to get a more inside look at Santa Cruz possibilities so more to come about Santa Cruz.

On Thursday we headed out to Sacramento to visit UC Davis (just west of Sacramento). Our new friends the Shearers and Doug Krieger live in Sacramento and pointed out to us that there are more students per capita in and around Sacramento than anywhere in the US. Davis is a very cool college town and reminds you very much of the Ohio State scene near campus. Davis itself has about 30,000 students and some Christian presence. It too was a sprawling campus and has some very cool places to have informal open bible studies. There is considerable off campus housing and the whole city is essentially geared towards the college.

We then went over to the Shearer’s house in Sacramento to meet with a bunch of their peoples, especially students. There were at least twenty people there, many in college or of college age (from 19 to 26). Most go to Cal State Sacramento (Sac State – we didn’t make that up, that’s what they call it) or a community college. Keith gave an amazing teaching on some of our convictions and observations about reaching out to this generation, the ineffectiveness of the church and many of the hang ups that the Christians have to get over in order to really love (what Jesus calls us to do) those who are lost. It seemed like many were into what we had to say about some of the trappings of the worship service and petty things the church concentrates on at the expense of actually being able to connect with people. It was quite a spirited night with much discussion, a definite sense of providence, and many varied views – from charismatic to end-times. The Doug’s and Sita are sweet saints and we were treated with great hospitality and warmth and it was so cool to meet the young folk, some of whom who have come from the gang culture. We were there until nearly midnight and didn’t get back to our hotel until after 1:30 AM. We left there not sure what to make of everything, but excited; the need for prayer is great. We know that we can work with these folks, provided that some of the minor doctrinal beliefs do not get in the way – which we don’t think that great an issue considering the spirit of these brothers and sisters, and that they perhaps can start something sooner than later with the people they now have.

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