Embrace the Community (ETC)
ETC Day takes place early in the Fall semester and consists of the entire campus (students, staff and faculty) teaming up to serve local non-profit organizations. Classes are cancelled for half of the day to allow everyone the freedom to participate, and the event is capped off by a debrief time to discuss how we impacted the community and how serving the community impacted us. NCU partners with organizations such as St. Vincent de Paul, Food for Lane County, South Hills Rehabilitation Center, Teen Challenge, Hannah's House, Hosea Youth Services, the Eugene Mission, and many more.
Beyond our two key events, students are encouraged to engage in regular volunteering, and to invest in relationships with local organizations and with those they are serving. We are called daily to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and at NCU we desire to create an environment that enables and motivates our students to live that out.
The Touch Project
The Touch Project takes place during the Spring Semester, and is an event that enables our students to serve and lovingly interact with the local homeless population. In the weeks leading up to the event, students collect donations such as clothing, hygiene products, accessories, Bibles, and whatever else they determine someone who is homeless might be able to utilize more than they do. On a Saturday in April, the campus community heads down to the Washington-Jefferson St. Bridge to present an afternoon of generosity and fellowship to those who don't have a home or basic necessities. The day is filled with live music, a delicious barbecue, hair cuts, makeovers, children's activities, donations galore, and most importantly: Christians who are firsthand extending the love of Christ to those who may not have known it before. The Touch Project was inspired by the thought that each human deserves to feel valued and precious in the eyes of their Father. Many members of the homeless population are rarely allowed to experience the feeling of being beautiful, precious or special. As our students step out of their comfort zone and walk into the homeless territory, they enter in with the desire to reach out and touch someone who may have been deemed "untouchable." We hope to touch them physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Parable Street Ministry
The Parable Street Ministry team is comprised of a group of students who have a desire to boldly share the Gospel in public arenas, using the tool of evangelistic drama set to music. The heart and purpose of the team is to proclaim the beautiful news of salvation that we have received with the average passerby on the street. This is achieved by learning choreographed, wordless dramas that demonstrate the story of the Gospel and Christ's sacrifice and redemption, then performing them on street corners and in churches in our community. Although the dramas are an essential piece to the ministry of Parable, the team emphasizes the fact that they are primarily utilized as a tool and the real priority of the team members is to engage in meaningful conversation with whoever might pause to watch. The ministry of Parable enables our students to step outside of their comfort zone and provides consistent opportunity to interact with and share Jesus with those who don't have the privilege of knowing Him.