Medical Christian Fellowship: As you may have noticed from this email we have changed our name. Medical Campus Outreach is now Medical Christian Fellowship. The name MCO has served us well over many years, and we believe that the change to MCF will build upon this rich history. Some of you have a long connection to MCO and others have only known us for a year or so (maybe less); regardless, we hope you can appreciate our reasons for implementing a name change.
First, for clarity we desire to have Christian in the name. All too often we meet students who have no idea what our group is or does. OR we have students attend events not knowing that it is a “Christian” event and they sometimes feel frustrated that the name wasn’t more clear. Having Christian will help to remove this ambiguity. Second, outreach is something we value, but it is often a word that can be easily misunderstood. One student brought up this point at a recent meeting; she felt that people unfamiliar with MCO or who are non-Christians can feel like they are the ones being reached out to, and some feel offended by that. I think this is a fair point. We truly want people to feel welcome and not like outsiders or worse, some kind of project (because they aren’t!). Third, by including the word “fellowship” in our name, we are intentionally stating our hope that MCF will be a catalyst for building and sustaining community. One of the main values for MCF is to BE a community of people who encourage and care for one another as we journey together. Finally, the new name creates some synergy with the graduate school group on campus which is named Graduate Christian Fellowship (GCF). Although this is not a primary reason for a name change, it is a nice bonus as we identify with our brothers and sisters in Christ at Vanderbilt.
We hope the name change will help to clarify and communicate the mission of MCF and that students will be drawn to join us on this journey of learning to follow Jesus. Stay tuned for information about the upcoming MCF events!