Every year, Southern Nazarene University (SNU) dedicates a week to compassionate ministries. This year, the focus is “I was…” based on Matthew 25:31-46 when Jesus says, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Compassion week will be September 17-21, providing people with numerous opportunities to serve in various ways.
This year, each day holds a new activity to serve as Jesus called His people to serve in Matthew 25:31-46. The first day will be focused on water poverty, providing a showing of the documentary Thirst as well as the beginning of a week-long water and clothing drive. The rest of the week will include a tour of the Salvation Army, serving at Feed the Children, making blankets for the Homeless Alliance, and visiting Southern Plaza.
Compassion Week is not simply about serving for solely one week; as Brianna Yates Grantz, Senior Class Campus Ministries Representative, said, “Compassion Week isn’t just about one week. Our goal is to assist students in finding where their passions and skills align with their dreams and goals.”
Not only does it help students figure out how to intersect their passions and dreams, it also provides an opportunity to see where those passions and dreams intersect with God’s Kingdom.
Sadie Crouch, Campus Ministries Exec., said that their main focus for Compassion Week is to expose students to a variety of service projects and make students aware of the needs of Oklahoma City. Crouch commented on the intention of the service projects, saying: “We are helping people, but we are involving ourselves in their lives. Rather than using money, we are using our time and energy because college kids have that capability.”
The intention of serving is not only to help others but also to begin breaking down the boundaries between the “us” and the “them.” By serving those that we are not surrounded by on a regular basis, we begin to develop empathy and compassion for the “others” in our lives. Compassion Week is not simply a means of learning how we can serve in our own individual lives, it is a way in which we can practice the love and hospitality of Christ within our community.
If you are interested in serving, there are many opportunities in a variety of areas coming up on September 17-21:
Sept. 17: Thirst showing @ 8pm in the Heritage Room
Sept. 18: Salvation Army tour from 3:00-4:30pm
Sept. 19: Feed the Children from 4:00-6:00pm
Sept. 20: Make tie-blankets at Kingdom Come @ 9pm in Broadhurst
Sept. 21: Play music and meet new people at Southern Plaza from 1:00-3:00pm
There is also a water drive all week long in which if you give a case of water bottles, you will receive a card for a free Chick-fil-a sandwich. The clothes drive will also take place all week long, and if you participate in 2 or more service events, you will get a free t-shirt. Come out and serve your community this upcoming week!
(Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash, logo by Kristin Harry)