Ethnic-Specific Ministry at Harvard
Why Are There Two InterVarsity Chapters at Harvard?
In the fall of 1994, the Harvard Radcliffe Christian Fellowship (HRCF) planted the Harvard Radcliffe Asian American Christian Fellowship (HRAACF) as a sister chapter. Leaders in HRCF saw a sister chapter as a positive way to respond to its own issues of growth and pursue its own mission of multi-ethnicity. Moreover, they viewed a fellowship focused on Asian Americans as a way to expand God's ongoing work among Asian Americans at Harvard. At the same time, a significant set of Asian American leaders within HRCF felt called to pioneer such a fellowship and sought the blessing of HRCF. After much prayer and deliberation, the HRCF Exec Team blessed the planting effort.
The vision for the HRAACF is to engage the unreached Asian American population, to both affirm and challenge the Asian American culture from a Biblical perspective, and to develop future leaders for the Asian American church. In order to carry out the vision, the HRCF Exec team and pioneering HRAACF Exec Team committed themselves to mutually serve and lovingly challenge each other in the mission of engaging Harvard's campus in all its ethnic diversity, particularly through a covenant relationship between the two chapters. Using a written covenant as a minimum foundation for individual and corporate partnerships to develop between the two chapters, we as HRCF and HRAACF fully affirm and deeply value each other and it's ministries.
Greg Fung '95, HRCF ; Ed Park '95, HRAACF
A paper by Collin Tadao Tomikawa on ethnic-specific ministry. Collin served on staff for HRAACF from 1995 to 2000 and currently works for InterVarsity in California.
HRCF and HRAACF's Covenant Relationship
To help facilitate unity and growth in the body of Christ at Harvard, the following covenant-relationship will hold between the two sister fellowships, Harvard-Radcliffe Christian Fellowship (HRCF) and Harvard-Radcliffe Asian American Christian Fellowship (HRAACF). These mutually agreed upon set of principles can only be amended in the future by mutual consent. Moreover, these principles are obviously not meant as restrictions against further cooperation. Certainly, many good ideas for the chapter-chapter relationship may not have been included in the covenant (i.e. joint Mark Bible studies, common marketing system or logo, after large group activities, and social events, etc...).
HRAACF recognizes that its own vision must always be carried out in partnership with its sister chapter, while HRCF also recognizes that its own growth as a multi-ethnic fellowship is linked to an ongoing relationship with HRAACF. In order to carry out this vision, both chapters are dedicated to mutually serve and lovingly challenge each other in the mission of engaging the campus in all its ethnic diversity. The chapters commit to both God and each other in the following ways:
- Both chapters retain some sort of common root name.
- Both chapters jointly draw upon the resources of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and be staffed by InterVarsity. It would be understood that InterVarsity would commit to a real working partnership between staff of the two chapters.
- A minimum of six joint events per year (i.e. large groups, concerts of prayer, retreats).
- Joint chapter camp with some sort of covenant renewal process each year.
- Full partnership and coordination in new student outreach and campus-wide evangelism events.
- Participation in joint InterVarsity missions, especially with a focus on missions that involve racial reconciliation.