Monday, May 5, 2008

End of the semester at Arcadia

We recently hosted the final meeting of our campus fellowship. Since then Ashley and I have spent some time thinking over the past eight months of our involvement with ACF. We’re encouraged by what we’ve witnessed, and excited about the potential we believe next year holds. We feel like some critical building blocks are in place so next semester we (ACF) can hit the ground running.

Last September and October the weekly meetings largely consisted of praise and worship, prayer, and discussion (of either a Scripture passage or a pressing topic in the lives of the students). People would convene, sing songs, listen, talk a little, and then leave. While we were always thankful students were attending (about 8-10 on average), it was apparent that the group was missing a sense of community and fellowship.

A blessing in disguise, we lost our meeting place on campus at the beginning of the second semester. Another club reserved it for the semester and we were left without a place to meet. We tried a dorm lounge, but it was double-booked. We tried another lounge in a different dorm, but it just wasn’t conducive for the type of setting we hoped to achieve. Since Ashley and I had been hosting the After Party, an open-invitation hang out immediately following the ACF meetings, the student-leaders asked if we could begin meeting in our apartment.

A concern I had, which proved to be a non-issue, was that meeting at our place would make the After Party moot, and it would quickly wear through its usefulness. What I didn’t take into account was that our home provided the ideal setting for worship, open discussion, and prayer. The momentum we so quickly lost by being “homeless” for a few weeks at the start of the semester was eventually reversed and we saw the group size increase (about 10-14 on average) and the sense of community within ACF flourish. Students were sticking around to talk, watch TV, and play games... and the free food didn’t hurt, either!

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