Today: Apr 23, 2024

Christian Fellowhip reaches out to the Southern community with prayers

Sean Meenaghan — Photo Editor
Christian Fellowship members in a prayer circle outside of Engleman.

CHRISTIAN CARRIONSpecial to the Southern News

Between the stress of the academic workload, family problems, and relationship issues, life can seem particularly overwhelming to a college student these days. However, there is one organization on campus that is trying to help Southern students cope–and they’re just a prayer away.

Southern Christian Fellowship, a religious campus organization whose goal is to reach out to students and teach them about the Christian faith, is offering prayer to those who need it every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the center of the academic quad.

Students who pass by the group are greeted and asked if they would like prayer regarding any aspect of their lives, from girlfriend problems to bad grades to, in some cases, terminal illness. The group of students lay their hands on the individual; together, they pray for those issues to be resolved.

“People have things to pray for, and people are receptive to prayer,” said Jasmine Wilborne, a junior and member of the prayer group. “Prayer is a way to interact with God, and we interact with our deepest core needs, which are trust, and hope–the foundation of something strong.”

“Everybody needs prayer–sometimes it doesn’t even matter if you’re Christian or Catholic,” said Malcolm Smiley, also a member and photography major from the Bronx, N.Y.

This is the first time the Southern Christian Fellowship have attempted this sort of public outreach. As can be imagined, there was some trepidation involved in the decision to go forth and display their faith to the student body.

“I can’t speak for everyone else, but personally I was a little nervous,” said Christine Shryver, 22, a senior. “I recently came to Christ, and before I was a Christian, I was the kind of person that would see someone reading a Bible and say to myself, ‘Wow, they’re a freak.’ But now I know how (non-believers) think, so I was kind of like ‘Wow, I don’t want someone coming up to me and telling me I don’t belong here’ or something like that,” Shryver said.

Despite their initial reluctance to pray with and preach the gospel to strangers, the Fellowship says the reaction to their presence on campus has been extremely positive.

“The first day was last Wednesday, and it was pouring rain,” Wilborne said. “We asked these girls if they wanted to pray with us, and they did, and they stayed out there with us the whole time.”

“Some people have said ‘No, I don’t want prayer’ but nobody has been blatantly disrespectful,” Shryver said. “Everyone’s been pretty open to it.”

Some students were so open to it, in fact, that they signed up to join the Southern Christian Fellowship on the spot.

“I’ve been looking for something like this on campus,” said Liz Saunders, 17, a freshman who signed up after being prayed over by the other members. “I hope to grow closer in my relationship with God, and branch out to other Christians and the SCSU community.”

Through this outreach program, Southern Christian Fellowship ultimately hopes to teach students about Jesus Christ, and teach them to teach others.

“It’s relieving that Jesus is there to love me and that I can then go out and love people the way that He loves me,” Wilborne said.

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