This year, social clubs approached recruitment slightly differently by banding together for an all-club worship event. The worship night occurred on Sept. 14 in Fair Commons lobby and was open to all social club members and potential recruits on campus.
The idea for an all-club worship event came to Ashley Whiteside, chaplain of the social club Alacritas, last year. After observing tensions between the clubs on campus, Whiteside decided that proposing the idea to unite for an event would help to bridge the gaps between clubs.
“I really thought that [the social clubs] could overcome differences and stereotypes to worship God as a group,” Whiteside said. “The reasoning behind the night was to come together as a collective group of social-service clubs and praise God. We all are very different in our own ways and that’s what makes coming together for a common goal so beautiful.”
Whiteside introduced the idea to officers of other social clubs during an officer training session at the beginning of the semester. Camarada chaplains Briana Schraub and Sophia Duckworth were enthusiastic to organize the event, and took charge of booking the room and renting sound equipment from CAB. Luke Stafford chose the songs and sought out musicians from each of the clubs to perform.
Various volunteers represented their clubs by performing or speaking during the worship night event. Club members read sections of Romans 12, the chapter chosen as the focus for the evening.
“I really think that [Romans 12] is a wonderful section of the Bible that reminds us to overcome our differences and unite together in Christ,” said Whiteside.
The club chaplains, who were each also present during the worship event, decided to emphasize the theme of unity throughout the night. As organized all-club events do not happen often, the chaplains hoped the message of unity and togetherness would help members to remember that their similarities are greater than their differences. It also gave members the chance to get to know one another better and to introduce themselves to new recruits, who were also invited to attend.
“We wanted to show the new recruits what is really important to our club,” said Schraub. “Also, we wanted to give the clubs an opportunity to bond with one another over the thing that we all have in common: our love for God.”
Club members usually spend the week preceding recruitment focusing on their individual clubs and increasing their individual recruitment numbers. The new idea to include an all-club event, however, gave recruits the opportunity to be exposed to all social clubs at once.
“No matter what club we are in, we all have a home with each other,” said Duckworth. “We wanted to start the year off with something positive and I think it was very successful.”
Club chaplains hope the all-club worship night will be the first of many more to come. In fact, the possibility of making the worship night a once or twice semester event is being discussed amongst the clubs.
“I would love to see this event grow over the semesters so we can continue to gain relationships over all the social clubs,” said Schraub. “I would say it has created a deeper bond with our individual club, Camarada, as well as with the other clubs. I, personally, intentionally interact with the other clubs after that night.”
After the success of the all-club worship night, different events may also be on the horizon for all clubs to host together. As the social clubs focus on serving the community and AU’s campus, an all-club service project may arise sometime within the coming year. Combining the efforts of all of the clubs may offer the opportunity to serve in a greater way than one individual club could.
“I think that we could make a bigger impact on the community around us as well as within us if we can overcome our differences and stand strong together as brothers and sisters in Christ,” said Whiteside.
Members from each social club agree that the worship night certainly set the stage for a new perspective on social club recruitment.
“I hope that everyone was able to take away the fact that we are trying to make a change on this campus and that letters or a club name that you belong to is not who you are,” said Whiteside. “Your identity is in Christ and in Christ alone.”