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CRC Ministry Cares for MSU Students After Campus Shooting

Some Campus Edge students enjoy a game night at Horrocks Farm Market in Lansing, Mich.

Campus Edge Fellowship has been providing extra support for Michigan State University students affected by a Feb. 13 shooting on campus since the day of the incident. An outreach to graduate students situated on the edge of campus in East Lansing, Mich., Campus Edge’s weekly Bible study was meeting on the night of the shooting. As the group wrapped up, students were not allowed to return to the locked-down campus, so the ministry sheltered and cared for them until the early hours of the next day.  

Campus Edge Pastor Dara Nykamp said in the days following that tragic and intense night, the ministry offered special types of support to students and staff. For example, on Spartan Sunday as students returned to the reopened campus, Campus Edge hosted a table where they gave out snacks and hugs and prayed with people who would stop. When the ministry’s supplies became depleted, Nykamp said more items were providentially provided by caring strangers. The graduate students that Campus Edge ministers to also handed out gift cards at the law school, to student interns at the veterinary clinic, and around campus at other graduate hangouts. “It helped them a great deal to be a part of helping heal the campus,” Nykamp said. 

Reports of the shooting relayed three students died and five were critically wounded; the accused was found dead by a self-inflicted gunshot. 

Nykamp said she sees more of a hunger for connection and community on campus in the weeks since the shooting. It seems to have “caused a lot of folks to reassess,” she said, noting that many more students have been reaching out to Campus Edge and other campus ministries. While still sorting through their own emotions and trauma, some of the ministry’s graduate students who are teaching assistants are finding opportunities to support their undergraduate students. Nykamp prays that the new receptivity will continue.

The Campus Edge Fellowship house is open for conversation, study space, and use of its library. The ministry also offers support and community through meals, bonfires, game nights, and hikes. It pursues conversations on faith and different faith perspectives through Bible studies, Pub Theology meetups, and “Food and Focus” days. 

Campus Edge has ministered to MSU students for 16 years. Its partners in ministry include the nearby River Terrace Christian Reformed Church, Resonate Global Mission, Campus Ministry Association, and Classis Lake Erie (a regional group of Christian Reformed congregations).

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