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Manna Connect

Dear Manna Alumni,

Whether you graduated a few months ago or several years ago, we are very excited to invite you to a new special weekend event called Manna Connect, October 19-21. The purpose of the event is to bring together alumni and undergraduates for vocational development and spiritual encouragement. As you may recall from your own experience, undergraduates are eager to receive professional and life guidance from those who understand their particular interests and concerns. As an alumnus/alumna, you have the opportunity to contribute powerfully to a current student’s personal and professional development. You will also have the chance to receive encouragement and perspective from other alumni. We are especially excited for the Commissioning Service on Saturday night as we celebrate the past, present, and future of Manna. These are exciting times for Manna, and we look forward to seeing you soon at this special inaugural event (please register here)!


Blessings,

David H. Kim

Samuel Chez

To find out more about this weekend and see David give a brief introduction to Sam Chez, watch this short video:


Weekend Schedule


FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19:
8:00pm – 11:00pm Screening of “La Source” documentary film, followed by general discussion.
(Friend Center 004)
     
Manna Connect opens on Friday night with a screening of “La Source”, a documentary film that follows the efforts of Josue Lajeunesse, a custodian at Princeton University, to provide his hometown of La Source, Haiti with a sustainable clean water source. Upon learning about Josue’s mission, Manna students sponsored a benefit concert in April 2010 as part of Manna’s annual Seek Justice campaign, successfully raising $10,000 to support this initiative through a non-profit organization named Generosity Water. These proceeds directly funded the construction of clean water infrastructure for the villagers, who previously endured long and treacherous daily treks to access potable water. Come and join us for a screening of this award-nominated documentary, narrated by Don Cheadle, which will be followed by a general discussion. Open to both Manna alumni and undergraduates.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20:
10:00am – 12:00pm Worship
Talk #1: David Kim, “Where We’ve Been”
Board presentation
(Princeton Theological Seminary, MacKay Campus Center, Main Lounge)
     
12:30pm – 1:30pm Lunch with mixed alumni groups (Nassau Street restaurants)
     
2:00pm – 5:00pm Alternative Career Fair (Computer Science Building and Friend Center)
     
5:30pm – 7:00pm Dinner with mixed undergrad/ alumni groups (On-campus locations: eating clubs & dining halls)
     
7:30pm – 9:00pm Commissioning Service, with reception to follow. (University Chapel, reception in Chancellor Green Cafe)

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 21:

10:00am - 12:00pm Worship
Talk #2: Sam Chez, "Where We're Going"
Campus Ministry Update
Development Presentation
(Princeton Theological Seminary, MacKay Campus Center, Main Lounge)
     
12:00pm Dismissal / Free time



Registration

Cost: $30 per person

Registration Deadline: Oct 5, 2012
What do my registration fees cover?
Registration covers the various costs associated with event venues, snacks, printing, and other administrative expenses. It does NOT cover lodging or meals, in the interest of granting alumni flexibility to make their own decisions about such matters. (Information on recommended lodging options can be found on the “Lodging/Accommodations” page on this website). The registration fee is particularly low this year because there will be no outside speaker. In future years, speaker fees may impact registration costs.

Is there financial aid available?
We recognize the substantial costs that some alumni, particularly those traveling from distant locations, will need to bear in order to attend Manna Connect. If the cost of your attendance is a significant obstacle, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Financial assistance is available – please do not let registration or travel expenses be an obstacle! Your request will be responded to in confidence.

If you would like to assist our efforts to maximize alumni attendance, please feel free to donate funds beyond the $30 registration fee via Manna’s website and add “Financial assistance for Manna Connect” as a memo item. These amounts will be used specifically to enable other alumni who request financial assistance to attend Manna Connect.

Will child care services be provided?
Yes, childcare services will be provided at no cost. For each Manna Connect event, volunteers from Westerly Road Church’s congregation as well as designated Manna alumni and undergraduates will be available to care for any young children. An adjacent room has been secured alongside each event, and will allow parents to fully participate in each event while enabling them to check in easily on their children. Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for additional details as well as any specific questions or concerns.


Accommodations

Option #1: Friday night and/or Saturday night

The Double Tree by Hilton (4 miles from campus)
4355 US Route 1, Princeton, NJ, 08540
Queen bed (up to 2 people): $148 per night OR
Two double beds (up to 4 people): $148 per night

Transportation:
  • Free shuttle service provided by the hotel to and from Princeton available by request from 7:30am to 9:15pm. (You must request 1.5 hours in advance)
  • Andy’s Taxi and Limo: 609-462-6963. Cost estimate = $16-20

Option #2: Saturday only

Erdman Center, Princeton Theological Seminary (8-min. walk from Palmer Square)
Twin bed (1 person): $65 OR
Double bed (for couples*): $65

Campus is within walking distance.
Erdman Center is NOT available on Friday night.
*Bed is not quite queen-sized and couples may not find it as comfortable as the hotel

To Reserve for Either Option:

Contact Dennis Lee ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) with any specific questions regarding either option, and he can help arrange individual reservations and coordinate roommate groupings.


FAQ

What is the purpose of Manna Connect?
Manna undergraduates are eager to receive professional and life guidance from alumni who understand their particular interests and concerns. Manna has matured enough as an organization that many alumni now have the vocational and life experience to give back meaningfully to current undergraduates as well as younger alumni. Promoting such encounters will both encourage alumni and strengthen the undergraduate ministry.

Is this a new version of the alumni retreat?
Yes and no. Yes, in that Manna Connect will replace the retreat as the central annual gathering for alumni. No, in that the purpose of Manna Connect is not just to provide a reunion for alumni, which is what the retreat had started to become, but to promote meaningful interactions between alumni and undergraduates. You will still be able to see all your old college friends, but that is not the primary goal of this event.

Why should I come?
Discerning vocational direction after college is a difficult challenge, and many of us would have benefited from the counsel of those who came before us. As an alumnus/alumna, you have the opportunity to contribute powerfully to a current student’s personal and professional development. You also have the chance to glean from the unique perspectives of other alumni. No group is better suited to serve our current students and alumni community than other alumni who have gone through similar experiences.

Shouldn’t alumni focus primarily on their local church?
Certainly. Manna Connect is not meant to detract from alumni participation in their local communities, and it would be a failure if the only result were heightened alumni dependence on Manna. That said, this kind of annual event can provide a jolt of energy and encouragement for alumni as they return to their local church settings, and it can especially function as a source of stability for alumni in the years immediately after college when many struggle to establish roots in any one location.

What if I am not sure about my own career or life?
Manna Connect will minister to alumni as well as undergraduates. Coming back to Manna creates space for alumni to reflect upon their own situations and to advise themselves as they advise others. Catching up with old friends and interacting with new alumni from different classes and fields also provides encouragement and fresh perspective. You don’t need to know all the answers to your own questions. God is present and at work in ways we don’t always understand, and forums like these are one way he speaks to us. And, if nothing else, those of us who do not feel entirely certain or content with our own decisions can forewarn undergraduates of the challenges or pitfalls of various paths we have taken.

I feel too old to come back to Manna.
The draw to Manna Connect is not just nostalgia or sentimentality — though we suspect, deep down, you still sort of miss Manna. :) It is an opportunity to give back to a ministry that would benefit from the wisdom and perspective of those who are a few years ahead. Manna needs its alumni to give back to the undergraduates, and not just for financial support. Please consider sharing your own story with a student who can learn from your experiences.

P.S. You probably won’t be the oldest one anyway, and you’ll end up enjoying it once you’re actually here — we promise!

How can I help?
Lots of ways! All alumni will have the opportunity to participate in the Alternative Career Fair. You can also volunteer to lead a group discussion with undergraduates and other alumni about your particular field. Finally, you have the option of participating in mixed meals of undergraduates and alumni where you can continue your conversations in greater depth. You can indicate your interest in any of these opportunities on the registration page, and the Alumni Steering Committee will follow up with you.

 
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