Small Worship Groups Help Students Help Each Other

Leo Rosales and Saddia Bunting sing during a meeting of Authentic Faith.

Southwestern’s Student Life And Development (SLAD) team has made it a priority this year of drawing students closer to Christ by helping them build bonds with each other. They believe that the best way to describe the impact they want to have on the campus is with scripture. “Let us not neglect meeting together, as some have made a habit, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as your see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25). For where two or three gather in My name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20).

The SLAD team makes this happen by offering students the opportunity to create Small Groups. A Small Group is a collection of students that meets at least once a week and studies God’s word together with one or more student leaders. What makes this so successful is that each group is specifically designed to suit the needs of various students on campus.

Each Small Group is intended to serve a specific group of people, and is designed to create community among the students, and for students to find other people that they have things in common with. Some groups meet early in the morning, some meet around lunch time, while still others meet later in the evening. They don’t all happen at the same time, so students can choose the group that meets at the time that’s best for them and that focuses on the theme they are interested in. Small Groups were created to give students a chance to connect with other students on campus in a way that allows them to earn their required worship credits.

TJ Simmons leads out in Bible study during a meeting of Authentic Faith.

“I want people to help each other,” Tyler Drumm, one of the leaders of the small groups for SLAD explains.

For those who like to worship early, two different groups are available. The first group is called Rise and Shine and is run by Viviana Martinez in Harmon Hall. Even though it takes place in the women’s residence hall, it is open to anyone who wants to come on Thursday mornings at 6:30 a.m. The second morning small group is Morning Meditation led by Lindsey Johnson and meets in the basement of Harmon Hall in the gym. The group focuses on stretching and listening to God’s word and meets on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 7:30 a.m.

Two small groups meet every week around lunch time. Daily Lifehouse is led by the SLAD team and takes place in the SLAD office. This group comes together at noon every week day when they study the weekly lesson from the Sabbath School Quarterly and let people share their viewpoints on the lesson for that day. The second one is Overwhelmed and is led by Jennifer Thenor. The group meets at the duck pond from noon to 12:30 on Mondays and Fridays. This group is meant to be a safe space for people to come and release their stresses in life when they are feeling overwhelmed.

Later in the afternoon there are even more small groups available. Pray More Talk Less is a prayer group that meets on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and is led by Edgar Restrepo. This group meets at a variety of times, a factor that gives students the chance to go when it is most convenient to them. On Mondays and Wednesdays, the group meets from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. On Thursdays, the group meets from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Fridays the group meets from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. You can find this group in the prayer room in Evans Hall.

If you and your partner are looking for a group to attend together, then try Raising the Standard. This group is led by Judy Cuevas and Jason Fuller and they meet from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays in the SLAD office or in the cafeteria. This group meets once a month and focuses on developing Godly relationships with a student’s significant other. The women meet with Judy and the men meet with Jason.

Another group that meets on Tuesdays is Nothing Holding Me Back. Meeting at 7 p.m., this group is to help women on campus develop a meaningful relationship with Christ in a smaller group setting. They meet in Harmon Hall led by Yaritza Ramirez-Robles.

There are other groups that meet at 7 p.m. during the week. The first one is Ukighted Prayer and it is led by Dino Tsatalbadidis in the Mission Room. His group wants to promote the power of prayer and how it can affect your academic life. The second group, Steps to Christ, meets at the library in study room 2C from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. Jonathan Rios and Kevin Rodriguez lead this group and the focus is on reading the book Steps to Christ by Ellen G. White and studying it together.

Another group that meets during the week and meets in the late evening is Authentic Faith. The group is led by TJ Simmons and Aribelle Metzger and they meet from 8:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the Student Center on Wednesdays. This group’s purpose is to help students build an honest and authentic relationship with God with support from their peers.

For residents of Harmon Hall, a convenient Small Group to consider is His Princess, which meets at 10:30 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays in Room 215. This group is led by Elizabeth Aguirre and focuses on the devotional His Princess and discussing it together.

The last small group is Building Bridges. This group is led by Michael Musante and they meet on Sundays at 7 p.m. This group puts emphasis on building relationships with everyone around you. “They, enjoy food, fellowship, and friends while engaging in a study on the repairing and building of relationships between the disciple and God, family, friends, and neighbors,” Musante said when asked what his group will be doing this semester.  The group meets at 525 Heather Lane in Keene.

If you would like to get in touch with any of these leaders or start a small group of your own, contact the SLAD office.

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