Hey college students,
In planning for the Fall, we were working on some assumptions about your lives. Tell us how close we are.
You’re pretty busy.
You’re interested in a lot of things, and as a result, you’re often invested in a lot of things — sports, extracurriculars, clubs, campus ministries. Hopefully, you’re also invested in serving the local church or non-profits that are doing really important work in the community.
You’re focused on your school work (well, some of you) and getting decent grades so you can graduate on time or continue your education in a good grad program.
You probably don’t sleep too much.
You live most of your life with earbuds in or your phone out or your laptop opened.
You go to Chipotle and Rise Up. A lot.
Because of your schedule, you have to be super intentional about your prayer life, your spiritual growth, your reading of the Bible, and because of your schedule, sometimes that proves to be too difficult.
We have tried to develop a ministry that can offer an alternative to the above, even if for 30 minutes a week.
It’s called “methods.”
Here’s the plan.
On Wednesday nights from 9:30-10pm, we will gather at Asbury UMC (in one of their fancy, but comfy rooms) for a time of prayer, guided meditation and reflection, and reading.
The lighting will be dim.
We will probably light some candles.
We won’t ask you to talk.
We won’t ask you to pray out loud or read a liturgy.
We won’t play any icebreaker games.
You will only be asked to sit, to listen intently, to engage what is read or spoken, to reflect (sometimes in writing; we’ll give you a notebook), and hopefully, to be led by the Holy Spirit.
At TRP, we champion the use of our intellect. We work hard for “good readings” of the Bible — readings that are set within their proper historical, literary, and canonical context. We try not to settle for something cheap. We don’t avoid the big questions that are raised by our reading of the Bible or by our social or political context.
We believe that people appreciate theological depth, and we strive to explore it with them.
But we also realize that we need to champion the activity of the Holy Spirit in our lives:
- to read the text, for example, and allow God to speak to us through it
- to practice long held meditative or contemplative methods which are more focused on us listening than us asking or questioning or critiquing
- to be open to something a bit more mystical than our typical (and perhaps cynical), historical-critical engagement with our faith
So for 30 minutes that is what we plan to do.
We hope it will be a time to breathe, a time to receive, a time to rest.
And we are hopeful that the methods practiced here will become part of our regular routines.