Shelly Kim, PC ’15, Editor, Social Media
My biggest complaint since freshman year regarding the Christian community at Yale was that there were too many. On one hand, I was ambushed starting my first days of freshman year with love, baked goods, smiling faces of people who wanted to be my friend and people who wanted to mentor me. As long as you make even the smallest effort to seek a Christian community, you are bound to find more than you know what to do with. There was a point when I was going to 4 different Bible studies, 2 large group meetings, and 2 church services on Sundays so that I could figure out where I would best fit in, grow, and be able to serve. #Christiancollegestudentproblems
This probably doesn’t seem like much of a problem; and I guess it isn’t. But once I decided on which ministries I wanted to be a part of, I realized that many of the friends I had made throughout the deciding process were scattered in different places. While I was very much convinced that all the different Christian groups I had seen were good, fun, (and not heretical–haha), and that they catered to different personalities, my frustrations grew. There were times when I was able to worship next to my suitemates or with members of my a Christian a cappella group if we were singing before a large group event. But why wasn’t that every week? As believers, we all ought to have the same heart for God and a shared vision of the Kingdom and eternity. So why are we not worshipping, learning, and growing together?
There must have been many others who felt this frustration. The students and leaders of the various groups worked together to organize the first joint large group meeting in recent years.
“Come Together”, November 1, Battell Chapel
The moment we walked in, we were greeted by friendly faces and asked to sit with others from our residential college. The heart behind this was to introduce us to other people in our college that were believers. Then we had a powerful time of worship. The various staff and ministers of the different Christian groups introduced themselves. Each Christian fellowship had one staff member read a “Letter to the Church”, inspired by Revelations 2-3 (see previous blog article titled “A Letter to Yale” to read one of the four letters read that night). The letters were a beautiful reminder of where to fix our gaze, what to hope and pray for, Whom we are loved by, that we must continue to press on. I have no doubt that the Lord was well pleased with their words and that He was with them as they wrote. It was fascinating to see the different ministry staffs and their particular personalities, their various ways of writing and interpreting the “write a Letter to the Church” assignment, and their different deliveries. It reminded me that each of these groups have their own strengths and styles that appeal to and make sense to different types of people, and that this is a good thing.
Then, we had a time of sharing, where anyone was free to talk about what they see God doing in his/her fellowship/life/friends’ lives, or ask for prayer, etc. Brandon Wang (JE ’14), shared about what he feels God is doing at Yale. He began by saying, “When I first came to Yale as a freshman, I felt a cloud of spiritual oppression.” He proceeded to explain that since last year, he has seen God work in people’s lives, bring people to faith, increase in number the amount of freshmen who were seeking to join Christian community and get involved. At one point, Brandon asked all the freshmen in the room to raise their hands. About a third of the room raised their hands. Praise God!
We ended the night with more worship and delicious snacks.
My favorite thing about Come Together was to take a few minutes to go to the back of Battell Chapel, stand in the last pew, be alone but at the same time able to look at all the familiar and not-familiar people there deeply engaged in worship. Most of my closest friends were all in the same place at the same time, singing and praying to the same God. It was magical.
“This is just the smallest sliver of a glimpse of what Heaven will be like,” I thought.