November 8, 2010 —
Two Christian on-campus organizations — Standing in the Gap and Cru — merged in a night of combined worship and fellowship.
Arianna Paver, a member of Standing in the Gap, described the night this way: “Combined events are special because they are an example of the unity of believers. Church is not a building. It’s the people who share in Christ’s love. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ.”
Cru’s president and worship leader Aaron Allwardt said that he, too, appreciates Christian unity.
“Unity is about putting aside doctrinal differences between people/ groups and focusing on the things all Christian groups have in common — Christ. Unity nights are about getting to know God better, spending time worshiping him and get to know some people in other groups.”
The night began with an icebreaker to allow members of the organizations to become acquainted. Some of the tasks included leap frogging over someone five times, shaking hands with someone you do not know and continue holding hands while debating the merits of your favorite ice cream flavor and having someone teach you a dance step, even if they made it up.
After the icebreaker, members from both worship teams led the songs, and both organizations had a member give announcements.
Then Allwardt delivered the message entitled “Following Christ,” which was about Jesus calling the disciples to follow him.
Allwardt looked at the differences in the ways that some of the first few disciples found Jesus and the similarities in their responses.
There were three types of people: seeking Christ, having knowledge of Christ and not having much of an idea or desire about Christ. Yet, despite their differences, they all found something of value in Christ.
Allwardt’s point in the message was that, whether we are seeking Christ or not and whether we have a prior knowledge of Christ or not, we can all find something of value in him.
After the message, the combined worship teams closed by leading more songs together and then praying.
Beth Ritter, a member of the worship team for Standing in the Gap, said “the combined events are an awesome opportunity for us to get together with other Christians.”
She has been involved with Standing in the Gap since her freshman year, and, during that time, she has seen Gap and other Christian organizations change lives, including her own.
“I am a lot happier with where I am in life compared to where I was freshman year and I definitely have Gap to thank for that,” she said.
Although Paver is new to Standing in the Gap, she too has been positively influenced by it.
“Standing in the Gap has influenced my life by helping to teach me to be and make disciples of Jesus Christ. Gap has helped me create a firmer foundation in my own faith so that I can also witness to others, not just on campus, but everywhere I go,” she said.
Both Ritter and Paver emphasized that students don’t have to be a Christian to attend. The organizations are open to anyone. They see Christian organizations as opportunities for students to find support and feel welcomed and encouraged.
There will be another unity night at 7:45 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 10. It is open to all students.