The final Kingdom Experience for this semester was held on Dec. 10 in the Metcalfe Gathering Room. The service had a similar structure to November’s Kingdom Experience, held on Nov. 12.
Last night’s service began with a prayer from SGA’s Director of Student Ministries Danielle Wilson, followed by scripture readings from 1 John 4:7-20, read by senior Steven Rodriguez, SGA director of publicity. Then, the group of about 40 students and faculty entered into worship led by professor Matt Henry and his wife Mandy Smith Henry.
Throughout the service, there were two students, sophomore Abbe Svarplaitis and freshman Christopher Sibilia, who set up next to the worship band and painted on canvases.
“The idea behind painters is that we often become small minded about the ways we find acceptable to worship God,” Wilson said. “The idea of trying to fit into the mold can hinder individuals and cause them to stop worshipping all together. For this reason it’s important to show the many ways we can corporately worship God.”
Rodriguez appreciated having the painters.
“I really enjoyed how there were two people painting the whole time and how they could worship with Art,” he said.
After the worship and prayer, people broke off into small groups. There were 15-20 small group leaders, creating even smaller groups than last month’s Kingdom Experience.
“The purpose behind having a large number of small group leaders is that no matter how many people show up, the small groups will be small,” Wilson said.
Each small group dialogued about the scriptures that were read at the beginning of the service; the theme was love.
“God has been pressing me all semester to grasp the love that God has for me and for others. To recognize the power that this love has,” Wilson said. “God chooses to see us in ways we often refuse to see ourselves and others. God makes space in God’s Kingdom for all, even the worst of sinners God calls beloved.”
There were about four to five people in each group.
“This allows for a more intimate setting and gives every one the space to talk with in the group. Also, it allowed the small group leader the ability to connect with each person,” Wilson said.
“I loved the small groups,” junior Ashley Cook said. “My group leader was great and was willing to talk to me about stuff going on in my life.
Kingdom Experience will continue throughout the spring semester.
“Anyone who would like to volunteer, just shoot me an email or stop by the SGA office. Anyone is welcome to join and help out,” Wilson said.
“I can’t wait to see what Kingdom Experience looks like next year,” senior Julianna MacFarland said.