THE FIRS COLLEGIUM RESIDENCY PROGRAM
September - June
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God —this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
The Firs exists for people to encounter Jesus and experience the love of God. This is done through Camps, Conferences, Retreats and Education. God has continued to bless this property and the people who walk on it. Thanks to His blessing and the desire to see the Gospel continue to be preached and believed in Whatcom County, the Collegium residency program of the Firs has been created.
We desire to be a safe and challenging location and program dedicated to the growth and development of college-aged students.
There are four major components of this program
"For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
2 Peter 1:5-8
There is nothing more important than the walk that you have with God. He is the author and perfecter of our faith and without Him we have nothing. What is more, he has opened the way for personal relationship with Him through the person of Jesus Christ. We believe that this way is given to us through faith alone. The Bible has been given as a way to know the story of God, of humanity, and of the reconciliation process that is required since humanity’s fall. We believe in the study of that scripture, the intentionality of spiritual disciplines, the power of prayer, and the value of community throughout the process of growth.
The Collegium hopes to nurture Spiritual Growth and that starts with the study of scripture.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDY
Every Wednesday night between September and May the Firs offers a Bible Study aimed at the young adult. There is a meal provided, community time, scripture teaching, and scripture discussion. This is an open and safe place for all beliefs and no proof of Christianity is required. The studies are book based and will be held every Wednesday of the School year. Attendance is not mandatory but is highly encouraged.
One monday night per month, a guest speaker will be brought in to teach on something Scripture related. These speakers are local pastors, professors, gospel workers, and Firs employees. This is for Collegium students and the messages will be aimed at the life stage you are in. These are a mandatory portion of the program.
Psalm 119:9 “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.” As a group we will work on memorizing a longer passage of scripture during the program.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
We were not designed to be alone. In fact the first thing that God did after creating humanity was to make sure that we weren’t alone. But community can be difficult. As we learn to understand the differences between us, God will build the unity that He desires. Jesus adds to the greatest commandment of “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength” to also love your neighbor as yourself. Loving your neighbor will be focused on using the following methods.
All members of the Collegium will live in a shared space. They will cook, clean, and maintain the space in a way that is honoring to each other and to the Lord. Further explanation of communal living expectations can be found on the Resident Policy/Procedures page.
Once a month the Monday night activity will be focused on growing, living, playing, and enjoying each other. These will be organized by Firs staff and inclusive of all members.
Each monday the meal will be planned, cooked, and served by two members of the group. They will be responsible for all aspects of the meal except the cost. That will be provided by the Firs. The shopping list must be available ahead of time so that the food is available at the correct time. Each “cook” can show love and intention to the group by choosing food that works for all.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
In life there are times that the Gospel is shared through words, and more often the Gospel is shared through the way we live. The Collegium is not designed just for those looking to go into vocational ministry. The way that we work, the way that we live is of the utmost importance. We desire to give you an opportunity to do life with intentionality.
One of the Monday night events will be focused on life skill training. From understanding how to put chains on tires to understanding how home loans work, it is important to have the skills to take on the world before us. These classes will be taught by highly skilled people of differing fields.
We will be taking a number of personality profiling classes. Enneagram, Myers Briggs, Strengths Finders, etc. These are tools to better understand how God has made us and how we serve Him better in our work/relationships.
Residents are recommended to find and experience all that mentorship has to offer. As Timothy was taught by Paul, so we ought to find help and direction from those that have gone before us. We will offer help in identifying and securing a mentor for each resident as they desire
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
1 Peter 4:10-11
The day we met Christ the biggest event in our lives took place. There is nothing more required unto salvation. But … God chose that we would remain on the earth and spend our lives in service. Not out of some heavenly need, but because in service to God we get to experience the love that he has for us and all of humanity. There is no greater joy.
One Saturday per month we will serve the local community. This will take many different forms.
Each member of the Collegium will spend the summer directly after their year working for a Firs summer program. Firwood, Fircreek, Retreat Center, Lifeguard, Kitchen, Administration. Jobs must be applied for and we will work with extenuating circumstances that may not allow this. The hope is that you will exemplify the first Timothy 4:12 lifestyle. Setting an example to the other staff.
Throughout the year there are many opportunities to work for the Firs. Kitchen work at the Retreat Center, Chalet and Firwood are available on a sign up basis. There are also available part time jobs in housekeeping and other areas. Working these hours is not required but a great way to supplement income and build community while participating in the ministry work of the Firs.