On Jan 26, 2016, SGA brought Men’s Worship Night back to Johnson, and it filled Old Main’s chapel with the beautiful sounds of both song and community.
The event has been happening at JUTN roughly once a month for about five years now, but it took a break last semester, which is why some freshmen might have assumed it was something new to the campus.
According to Stephen Moore, a senior student and prominent member of SGA, “The guys who had been planning Men’s Worship had either graduated or hadn’t had the time to get involved and do it last semester, so we really wanted to bring it back.”
Stephen claims it has always been a positive experience for him and the other men on campus, so he personally felt a great need for it to return this semester.
Caleb Jeffries, fellow member of SGA, agreed, and Jeffries knew just the man to kick it off.
Father Aaron Wright welcomed the students who came to Men’s Worship Night with a smiling face, open arms, and the very same booklets he uses at his own church, Old North Abbey.
The service began with worship led by Tanner Rutherford on guitar and Kirby Waggoner on the hammer dulcimer.
The songs, leading with “Creed” by Rich Mullins, bled seamlessly into the theme of Father Aaron’s sermon, which has to do with the traditions of Christians and a special emphasis on communion.
“We thought that we might maybe explore a couple different traditions in regards to the Lord’s Supper,” said Stephen. “[Father Aaron] is obviously Anglican so he had a little different take on communion than a lot of us [students] were used to.”
That is what everyone in charge was hoping for.
Father Aaron made it very clear at the end of the service that he wanted us all to “keep it weird” as we carried on with all our own traditions at our own churches.
He said that even though traditions are good, it must always stay new in our hearts. The weirdness and awkwardness is what keeps the Spirit alive.
When Father Aaron had finished passing out communion, Tanner and Kirby finished the service with “How Deep The Father’s Love,” and the men’s voices boomed.
“We had a vision.” Stephen concluded. “We wanted to see the men and women have this time of worship where they can experience community with one another at an even deeper level than what you could get at community groups.”
All in all, he and the other leaders consider the event a victory.
Men’s Worship Night will happen two more times this semester.