Sorry I've been MIA from the blogosphere for a few months! CJ and I got engaged in December, right before Christmas (hooray!), so between wedding planning and thesis writing, I haven't had the time.
Anyways, here is an excerpt from my latest thesis chapter (about my experience with the Navigators in college).
There were roughly 100 or so students in the chapel that first Friday night, and everyone seemed friendly and genuinely excited to be there. The worship team consisted of vocals, piano, acoustic guitar, and bongo drums and felt more calm and mellow than any of the other groups. I found myself relaxing, able to unwind from the stress of that first week of classes and to simply enjoy singing to God. And the best part was that when the meeting was over, everyone gathered for an “After Navs” activity, this week at the house of the head campus staff couple, Dave and Cathy Bowman. I piled into a car with a group of people I’d just met and headed off to see what it was all about. After all, I figured, there was nothing to lose. I didn’t feel like crashing frat parties with the other girls on my floor, and there wasn’t much else to do in a college town on a Friday night.
The Bowmans’ house was warm and comfortable, a standard Pennsylvania middle class home complete with quilts, nature paintings, and a wood-burning stove. In the various rooms both upstairs and down, students and staff members mingled, playing games, eating brownies and chips and carrots, laughing, talking. People were quick to introduce themselves, to invite me join in whatever happened to be going on. I was impressed. Instead of spending their Friday nights out partying, these people wanted to be together. Instead of hooking up with random strangers, they appeared to be building something that felt, even as a newcomer, like community. This was exactly what I was looking for.