CCF: More Than Just Pancakes

By Taylor Nichols

The Campus Christian Fellowship (CCF) is the only religiously-affiliated club at Whatcom Community College, and provides a place for students to explore the Christian faith together.

Kaleb Cuevas and Kristin Sale are two of the group facilitators who run CCF, which Cuevas said is dedicated to providing a place for students to learn more about the Bible and Jesus Christ.

The club is open to all students, and Cuevas said that CCF has had members that were Muslim, Buddhist and atheist in the past. “Our theology is that Jesus’ heart is open to all people,” Cuevas said, which is why they believe that everyone should be welcome to join CCF.

Cuevas said that the group meets in separate groups, called cores, to discuss the Bible and answer questions.

The cores are divided by gender, which Cuevas said is mainly because in these groups topics may be brought up for discussion that group members wouldn’t be comfortable sharing with the opposite gender.

This separation is “primarily so you don’t have to deal with attractions or pressures of impressing the opposite gender,” Sale said.

Sale and Cuevas are in charge of the women’s and men’s cores respectively.

Cuevas said that his role is to help students better understand the Bible and how it applies to life as well as answer questions and lead core groups.

“Something I’ve really loved is to see these students really begin to flourish and become who they are and who they want to be… and build a family,” Sale said. She said that it can be a challenge to bring people together, but she strives to help build community on campus and enjoys doing so even though it can be difficult.

“I grew up as a Christian in a Christian home, and CCF changed me in that it turned church from a family thing into a personal choice,” said Jason Galletly, a Whatcom student who has been president of the club for almost three years.

CCF hosts a variety of activities on campus. Other than the core groups, the Fellowship meets every Friday and provides a service led by Cuevas and Sale, with contributions from students as well.

“You don’t have to be a pastor to share the word of God,” Sale said at a service on April 5. She invited students to share personal thoughts and their experiences over spring break.

Cuevas said that these services, which CCF added to their itinerary last spring, usually open with a group game like Jeopardy and also feature live music performed by students in the group as well as a sermon.

Cuevas said that after the sermon there is an activity intended to help members respond to it as well as time to ask questions. After each service, they gather to do group activities like play board games or have a potluck.

CCF was brought to Whatcom’s campus eight years ago by Geoff Mumley, another group leader. Cuevas said that when it started, they only met to hold small Bible study groups on campus. In lieu of the Friday service they have now implemented, the group attended an evening service held at Western Washington University’s campus through Western’s own CCF group.

CCF’s budget, including staff payment, comes from a variety of sources. Cuevas said that as a staff member, his pay comes from places outside of the Fellowship, such as family and friends who support what he is doing on campus and his involvement with CCF.

Whatcom’s Student Council also provides funding for the group, which Cuevas said they cannot use to buy religious documents. The college’s policy regarding religious club funding restricts state funds from being used for religious purposes, and prohibits the use of the Whatcom letterhead in club literature.

This money instead goes to events put on by the Fellowship such as making pancakes for Whatcom students on campus at the beginning of each quarter.

Some other things the group uses school funding for include going bowling and out for ice cream.

There is an opportunity for students to donate to the Fellowship during each service, which is a “time for those who have been in the community to give back,” Cuevas said. These donations fund teaching aids and materials the group may need.

“For the most part, people on campus seem to really like our club, and we’ve never had any negative interactions,” Cuevas said.

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