Religious gatherings for QU students offer belonging

For students who are looking for religious gatherings to lead them in prayer or faith, or are just looking for a quiet and accepting community on the campus of Quincy University, students needn’t look any further.

QU offers many social religious gatherings, from Night Prayer, Agape, Ignite, to Coed Bible study, Men and Women’s Bible Study, and even off-campus sites, such as The Crossing.

Night Prayer is held every night of the week at 9:30, in the cozy, quiet setting of the Campus Ministry House, a two-story brick building located at 823 N. 18th Street, across from the Student’s Center. This is where students gather and read from the Liturgy of the Hours, offer prayers for loved ones and afterward, talk about any subject under the sun, play board games or play a couple of rounds of Spyfall, an online game where players guess who among them is the spy.

“Night Prayer, which is part of the Liturgy of the Hours, is traditionally a Catholic prayer, but it is broadly acceptable by most Christians because the majority of it is praying the Psalms from the Old Testament, which all Christian denominations accept. So, everybody is welcome,” Joe Niemerg, a junior, said. “If you believe in prayer in any sense, it would be beneficial.”

“Yeah, we do prayer, which is always a good consistent thing to do, especially if it’s everyday,” Ethan Ensinger, a sophomore, said. “And then there’s various community afterwards, other than just talking, we’re playing games, we’re having extended conversations, big and small conversations. I would say that, overall, the community I found in Night Prayer has become one, if not my favorite things about QU.”

Agape is held every Wednesday night at 6:30 at the Hawk’s Nest, under The Cafe. With pizza and La Croix sparkling water offered, people can walk in to discuss the meaning of a song’s lyrics or a scene from a movie and how it personally relates to them. The group also discusses topics that relate to current events that some QU students may find relevant.

“We [Campus Ministry] were brainstorming, praying about like what students need and what is really important to have on a college campus, and we just talked about the necessity of open conversation,” Jessica Howell, director of Campus Ministry, said. “Good and authentic and respectful dialogue, because we’re losing that in our culture and it’s especially important in college age for students to be able to dialogue effectively and to keep their minds open so that they can discover the truth.”

(From left to right) Grant Wilson, Joe Niemerg, Jessica Howell, and Jill Janes practice evangelizing at Agape, in the Hawk's Nest.
(From left to right) Grant Wilson, Joe Niemerg, Jessica Howell, and Sophia Williford practice evangelizing at Agape, in the Hawk’s Nest.

The Crossing, located at 150 S. 48th St., holds a young adult service every Tuesday night at 7:30, called the Collective. It is a church service for college age adults, ages 18 to 29. The service features rock band quality performances and thought-provoking sermons.

“Collective was formed because we had a group of young adults that were really wanting to get another group of young adults their age, just to give them a place to go with messages geared towards them,” Lindsey Hall, a member of the leadership team at Collective, said. “The Collective is just here to get young people to hear about Jesus, to start a personal, intimate relationship with him and kind of start asking questions.”

A small crowd of friends embrace and chat with each other at the end of the service at the Crossing.
A small crowd of friends embrace and chat with each other at the end of the service at The Crossing.

On Thursday nights at 8, David Beuttel hosts a Coed Bible Study under The Cafe. Beuttel is a high school/college minister at Madison Park Christian Church, which is located at 4700 Broadway St. in Quincy. Coed Bible Study started in the beginning of fall semester and studied mostly from the Book of Mark.

“We’re all created by God to reflect His image and I think when we get in our own silo, so to speak, of school work, of teams, of clubs, of all those things, sometimes we can feel alone, feel isolated,” Beuttel said. “So, that’s really the goal, just community.”

“Everyone’s welcome,” Beuttel said. “It would be cool for me to see people from all faiths, all non-faiths, just to hear their story, because I think in the middle of a story, is where we find common ground, and from common ground we can actually build a community. Even if you don’t know who God is, don’t believe in the Christian faith, if you’re interested in having a good group of people to trust and lean on, and have some questions in life that maybe you could get answered, come and check it out.”

David Beuttel reads from the Bible under the Cafe.
David Beuttel reads from the Bible under the Cafe.

In addition to these gatherings, there is Ignite, Men’s Bible Study and Women’s Bible Study, the schedules for which one can find on the Campus Ministry page on the QU website. These groups are all inclusive and welcoming, so anyone can join.

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