The Center for Christian Service and Leadership is continuing a mission of ministry to the ACU community with its solitude and community postcard series.
The postcards feature places around campus to spend quiet time with the Lord and ways to connect more deeply with friends.
“So often in life we just start doing things, life and ministry, if that doesn’t work we get friends to help, then when that doesn’t work, then we pray,” said Jen Rogers, director of student ministries for the CCSL. “This is the opposite way that Jesus teaches us, first we must spend time alone with God; it is there that we hear we are the Beloved.”
Themes of solitude and community have been the current focus of the CCSL. The postcard series is based on Henri Nouwen’s article, “Moving From Solitude to Community to Ministry.” Rogers stressed the importance of the principles in the article.
Each solitude series postcards features a picture of a place around campus that can be used as a place to enjoy quiet time with the Lord. Each picture is accompanied by a reflection written by a member of the ACU community.
One location featured in the series is the Sewell Garden, located by the Lunsford Foundation Trail outside of the Hardin Administration Building. The reflection on the back of the card was written by Dr. Mikee Delony, assistant professor of English. The reflection gives her perspective on dealing with spiritual “storms” and getting the most out of solitary time with the Lord. Delony attributes her inspiration for the reflection from a sermon she heard one Sunday morning.
“We all start melting down, things get hard. I stood back and asked ‘how can I deal with things?’ We all go through storms,” Delony said.
Rogers said the best thing to do is to take this card and your Bible and go to these locations.
“Sometimes people don’t know where to start,” Rogers said. “It can be daunting to spend time in solitude. People always ask, ‘how can I do that?'”
The other component to the postcard series is community. Rogers stressed the importance of celebrating and embracing each other. She believes these cards can help create times for friends to connect on a deeper level.
One of the community cards Rogers discussed depicted the discipleship meal. The card suggests getting a group of people together to share a meal. The reflection poses three questions to promote discussion, encouragement and spiritual growth.
Nouwen’s article, “Moving From Solitude to Community to Ministry”, was also used this semester in a freshman small group Chapel and a freshman emerging leadership group.
Rogers said the CCSL is still looking for people who would like to get involved with this project. Those interested in suggesting a location for a postcard, or even writing a reflection for a card, can email Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org. Copies of solitude and community postcards and Nouwen’s article are available for free in the CCSL offices, located in the lower level of the McGlothin Campus Center.