UC Welcome Week 2018

There aren't many weeks that are more hectic at UC than move-in week. During that short span some 6,500 freshmen students and their families flock to the 1/2 square mile campus to move in everything they might need for following year. While most people's reactions (and the most sane one) would be to avoid Clifton (the name of the neighborhood UC is in), for campus ministries it is a golden opportunity as thousands of students are coming to a new environment looking for friends and organizations to get involved in. H2O dubs this week "Blitz Week" because the primary goal is to make sure every single freshman has heard the name H2O at least once by the end of the week. And i would say we come pretty darn close to doing just that.


To put things in perspective, here is the list of events that H2O had going on this past week:


Tuesday, August 21st

  • Water bottle pass out @Spencer, Jplex, UPA, Usquare: 9:30am - 1:00pm

  • FRISBEE: 7 - Whenever, at Nippert and Sheakley

Wednesday, August 22nd

  • Water bottle pass out @Calhoun, The Verge, Daniels, Morgens: 9:30am - 1:00pm

  • FRISBEE: 7 - Whenever, at Nippert and Sheakley

Thursday, August 23rd

  • Water bottle pass out @CRC, Dabney, Scioto, Siddall: 9:30am - 1:00pm

  • FRISBEE: 7 - Whenever, at Nippert and Sheakley

Friday, August 24th

  • Convocation flyers: 10:00am

  • Pancake Outreach: 9:00pm - 2:00am, At The House (2715 Clifton Avenue)

  • The Red and Black Bash that the university sponsors goes until 11pm - feel free to go there and invite your friends to come to pancakes!

Saturday, August 25th

  • Dodgeball tournament: 2:00pm - 5pm, At the Tennis Courts

  • Pancake Outreach: 9:00pm - 2:00am, At The House (2715 Clifton Avenue)

Sunday, August 26th

  • First Sunday service: 11:20am, Lindner Center 450

  • Student org fair: 3pm - 5pm, MainStreet

Monday, August 27th

  • Cookout with New Life Church: 11am - 1pm, McMicken Commons

  • Come mingle and connect with new friends!

Tuesday, August 28th

  • Sno-cones: 10am - 2pm, MainStreet

  • The Plunge: 8pm, McMicken Commons

  • “The Plunge” is essentially a kickoff to the school year for H2O. A few people might speak. We will worship on campus in public, and it’s a great time to meet people as well as praise our God!


Outside Morgens Hall during move-in

Between all those events it made last week extremely busy, hectic, but beyond worth it. For me personally, between passing out water bottles, helping freshmen move in (often times climbing up ten flights of stairs), and pancakes, I met over a hundred students that I was able to speak with, which is the entire reason why H2O goes so crazy about Blitz Week. It's the one time each year where students are looking for friends--and being the first person that befriends them and invites them to hangout could change the entire course of their life.


Our dodgeball tournament this year had record turnout with 41 teams participating in the double elimination tournament. Like everything else we did throughout the week, though, the underlying goal of the tournament was to reach out to students, tell them about H2O, and ultimately tell them about Jesus. And due to the way the tournament is set up these conversations can happen pretty easily. Every team is required to have six members but teams that sign up don't have to sign up with six. Instead, they can sign up as an individual (free agent) or as groups of 2-5. For any team that isn't full, we assign free agents whom are a part of H2O to that team to fill it out, effectively giving us an in to most of the teams.


Below is a collection of photos taken at this years dodgeball tournament. 




The pancake event is another one which is massively popular. Because The House (essentially H2O's headquarters) is on Clifton Ave (frat row), it is right in the midst of the action. Between the two nights that we made roughly 2,400 Pancakes and served about 1,200 people. To make it effective for evangelism we set up tables to give people a place to sit and would have people going around and joining groups of friends. To the right is a video of the Pancake Outreach on Friday night (if in case the html code won't show up click here to be taken to Facebook to view the video) and below is a compilation of photos.





While all the other events are amazing, the pinnacle event of Blitz Week, and the event we are trying to get the freshmen to come to, is our first Sunday Service. This year we had 274 people in attendance, which is slightly less than last year, but numbers don't always mean everything. For me, and the rest of staff, the goal of that first service is to have a high retention rate. We had everyone that came to the service fill out a connect card that provides them with the option to check a box labeled, "I would like to be connected with a Lifegroup." And, according to the connect cards we gathered at the end of the service, roughly 2/3 of those in attendance were interested in getting more involved in our church.


As in tradition at H2O Cincinnati, the first Sunday's sermon is always over John 4 to give students an introduction as to why H2O is called H2O and to also immediately come out and give an explicit presentation about why the Gospel is desperately needed. If you would like to listen to this sermon, click here. Also, we use Facebook Live to live stream all of our services, so if you would like to watch the entire service the video is embedded to the left (if in case the html code won't show up click here to be taken to Facebook to view the video).










If you couldn't tell by the sheer number of events we put on and the hours required to not only be at the events but to set up and tear down, Blitz Week at UC is one of the most amazing yet tiring times of the year. For me, this was a great week to take a break from support raising for the first time in months and dedicate myself fully to the ministry that God is calling me towards...even if it meant needing an entire day by myself with zero people around to recuperate. So thank you to those of you are already supporting me; whether that is financially, in prayer, in the donation of resources, or a combination of the three, this ministry wouldn't be possible without you.


Thank you and God Bless.