Classapalooza: Elements 2013

It’s back this year!  The fun, the crazy, the awesome, and the mysterious adventures of Classapalooza!  It’s just around the corner, and closing in fast!  On Saturday, May 11th, 2013, the memories shall begin shaping.  From freshman taking on the green of earth, to sophomores embracing the cool blue waters, to juniors dancing silver among the wind and air, finishing with the fire-red of seniors, the elements will accumulate and meet their matches.  Which element will rise victorious?  Only time can tell.

Events for students will all begin at 3pm ,and much like last year, there will be a chalk art competition, body painting, a volleyball tournament, a dunk tank, the warrior challenge,  music, dancing, food, friends, craziness, and more!  Team competitions will be held, and sign-ups will be in the student center soon!  Lunch will be available in the cafeteria, but dinner will be served at the event.  Prepare for yum and keep on the alert for more information to come!!  It is going to be nothing short of spectacular!

The One About Respect

Submitted By Allison Gossage

Ever since Aretha Franklin sang the hit song in 1967, the whole nation has been singing about respect. And who doesn’t want respect, right? Today, I have an urgent message to share about sexual assault. Nobody likes talking about it, but maybe that is one reason it is so prevalent. Statistics say that one in three women and one in six men will be sexually assaulted at some point in his or her lifetime. Chances are, you know someone who it has happened to. Maybe they haven’t spoken up because they are ashamed or in denial or disbelief themselves. I hope that someday the taboo associated with sexual abuse and assault will no longer exist, but for now all I can do is be more open about my story and encourage others to know that they are not alone. If you are reading this and you are experiencing shame resulting from a sexually abusive situation, there are some things I want you to know.

1. You’re not alone. It happens to so many people, and yet many people do not have the courage to talk about it. When you are ready to talk about it, go to a trusted friend or adult. We even have two wonderful counselors right on campus; if you talk to one of them, you can be 100% confident that what you say to them will not leave the room. If you aren’t ready to talk to someone face-to-face, www.loveisrespect.org has a peer advocate system where you can chat online – confidentially, of course – with an individual around your age who has been trained in counseling victims of dating abuse.

2. It wasn’t your fault. I know, I know. Before it happened to me, I would always tell people this. I just couldn’t understand how someone who had been a victim of such a heinous act as sexual abuse could believe it was their fault. And then it happened to me and I found myself doing the exact same thing. Don’t let anyone tell you that you were asking for it because of what you were wearing or what you said. Don’t let them tell you that you allowed it because you didn’t verbally say no; silence is not consent.

3. If you’re not okay, that’s okay. If you are okay, that’s okay too. Okay. Let me explain this one. There is no such thing as an abnormal reaction when it comes to sexual assault. You may be emotionally numb following the incident, or you may have feelings of shame and disgust. You may want to talk about it, or you may not be ready to. Whatever you are feeling (or not feeling), it’s completely normal.

4. Don’t be afraid to talk about it. I know I said this already, but this time I am speaking to everyone – not just sexual abuse survivors. I know not all of us are the most sheltered individuals, but especially on a Christian campus, there are things we just don’t like to talk about – this is one of them. Guys, whether you talk about it or not, it still happens. Avoidance is not abolition. Don’t be afraid to take a stand and raise awareness, because this is real life.

5. Healing is possible. It is definitely not a quick and easy process, but don’t give up hope. Healing comes when you share your story with those who will listen, offer wise counsel, and pray with you. This is why we have the Breaking Free ministry. We have cards for you to write down what you are struggling with, and you can put them in any of the boxes labeled “Breaking Free.” This can be anonymous, or you can write your name on the card so that the Breaking Free team knows exactly who to pray for. The team meets weekly to pray for each individual who submitted a card as well as for the campus as a whole. There is power in prayer, and it really is so freeing to share your story and know that you have people praying for you.

Resources:
www.loveisrespect.org
www.rainn.org

Allison Gossage is a sophomore at TFC. She is on the leadership team of Breaking Free, and is passionate about helping others find true freedom in Christ. 

Midnight Kickoff to 24/7 Prayer

Prayer is a word that can conjure a variety of images, from the kneeling bar and the backs of wooden pews for the more traditional, to the arms raised no-holds-barred praying of more charismatic believers. Prayer looks different in every culture, family or group, and every person puts their own personal spin on prayer. So what is prayer exactly, and why is it so important?

Prayer is often defined as communicating to God, and so our culture has assigned the value of spoken word to prayer. Prayer is often viewed practically as “a person speaking to God.” But in reality prayer is so much more. Prayer is not only communication with God, it is also communion with God. This does not mean that prayer is only the Eucharistic expression of taking communion with bread and wine; prayer is unity with God. Prayer can definitely include the aspect of talking to God, but it is much broader than that in its full expression. Prayer can incorporate music, meditation or even just living our lives in such a way as to live aware of the presence of God. This is why the Bible commands us to pray without ceasing. It does not mean that we are to constantly talk to God, although talking to God is definitely a good thing. In fact, we would probably all benefit from talking to God more. But what would be of even greater benefit would be to broaden our perspective of prayer, quiet ourselves, and learn to listen for the voice of God.

There is an organization that believes that this sort of unending prayer is crucial to what the Lord is doing in this era of time. It is called 24/7 prayer, and according to its website, the organization is “an international, interdenominational movement of prayer, mission and justice that began with a single, student-led prayer vigil in Chichester, England in 1999 and has spread, by word-of-mouth, into 100+ nations.” 24/7 Prayer is a decentralized organization, meaning that there are a lot of other organizations which are under the Spiritual covering of 24/7 Prayer, but establish their own distinct form of the ministry. Basically the goal of 24/7 Prayer is to do just that: create missional communities of believers who are mobilized into prayer, justice and mission.

One such organization is Campus America, which is specifically geared toward developing these types of communities on college campuses. Lula McAmis is the leader of this prayer ministry on our campus, and her heart is to foster this culture of prayer on our campus. McAmis has been transformed by her time involved in this intentionally prayerful lifestyle, and she has said that “this Jesus, this beautiful Jesus, was completely different than I had ever been taught. Those weeks in the prayer room taught me what christian community was all about. First, we love Jesus well. Then we can love each other well. Who wants to be a part of a family that doesn’t love?”

We host weeks of 24/7 Prayer every semester, and McAmis says it is “the week that we invite our campus to come and be with the Lord, all day every day.” Students can sign up for hour long slots of prayer, and the goal is to have every hour of the day covered in prayer by at least one person. This is where the idea of prayer being more than words becomes of utmost importance, because it can be really difficult for the person who is not practiced in that kind of prayer to pray consistently for an hour. Prayer is a discipline, and no one is disciplined unless the discipline is practiced. “The important thing is not that you’re always thinking words to Jesus. the important thing is that you know who you’re talking to and you spend time sitting with him.” Prayer goes beyond this week of prayer, and the goal of the organization is not just to create “events,” but to create the desire for people to dive into a lifestyle of intentional prayer and communion with the Lord. The prayer team meets in the prayer room (the little room across from the student center,) M-Th nights from 8-10 on a weekly basis.

This semester’s 24/7 prayer week is going to be held the week of April 1st-7th. There will be sign ups online and in the Student Center, as well as further information spots during chapel. Finally, McAmis encourages anyone who has not been to “not be intimidated by the prayer room. We are normal people.” In a very real way prayer brings us closer to God, and closer together as a community on mission with God. We can only impact our world with the love of God if we have it living in us. So be a part of the movement; join us in prayer.