By Olivia Miniard, Contributing Writer
On Wednesday night, September 2, God had something besides homework and business in mind.
Most people dread Mondays, as the rest of the week passed in a blur filled with homework, socializing and being a part of different groups on campus. Sometimes our brains are so wrapped up with our crazy schedules and our separate lives that we forget to be still and notice the people around us. However, God didn’t want it to be in an ordinary Wednesday. He wanted it to be something special, so He spoke through senior Molly Bramble to our community with one powerful word: Mercy.
Before the Oneness event began, students from all classes gathered together, talking with one another, sitting on blankets and lying down in the grass. The Student Ministries (WORD, WHATT, WHAM, WHIM and Student Chapel) gathered around to pray before they started. Packs of water bottles were scattered throughout the Green along with a piece of paper that had information on what would happen that night (a group prayer, some lyrics, etc.). Student Ministries had a chair member from each group brush upon what their group stood for, what they do and what their visions were for the future.
The main focus that evening was on WORD. Bramble lead a discussion on Matthew 18, which involved the students gathering into groups and discussing questions she asked throughout the message surrounding the theme of mercy. Molly poured out her heart on the matter to challenge the student body to reconcile and seek mercy in all situations.
“The Lord taught me that mercy is the heart of reconciliation, and reconciliation is the heart of unity,” Bramble said. “In order to experience deeply rooted unity, or ‘Oneness,’ we must be absolutely sold out to the idea of living a lifestyle of mercy towards one another on a daily basis.”
During the event, Bramble asked questions that hit students close to home, leading them to be vulnerable other students they may have never know before.
Tommy Otley, chair of WHATT, led community prayer. Otley challenged students, through prayer, to love one another and extend mercy as seen in the parables of Matthew 18. Communion was taken as a fellowship offering as members of WHAM led worship. Some students went up and took communion together; others went up to pray or write down their thoughts onto a banner what God was laying on their heart. The sound of reconciliation among students hummed below of sound of acoustic guitars and harmonies coming from worshipers spread across the Green.
“I can easily say that the Oneness event is a memory that I will take away from Asbury,” said Senior, Wes Curtis. “I loved everything about it, but the thing I loved most was that they gave people the space to connect with God. We all don’t connect with God in the same manner and it is so vital to give people the opportunities and space to hear God in their own unique way.”
Although the official dismissal was around 10:15, much of the crowd stayed around for another hour to pray, worship, or reflect on the Mercy of Jesus.
Freshman Allison Irvin thought the Oneness event was a great experience. “It was amazing to see so many people gathered together and worshiping God, and being open to sharing their lives and personal experiences, many of whom were strangers to one another. I look forward to attending the next event.”