ACT2 program revamped, moved to dormitories due to dwindling attendance

ACT2 was created in 1999 by Eastern students in the Student Chaplain program in order to be “a ministry that works to serve those who are always serving,” the mission statement says. It was meant to be created to look toward the second century church of Acts 2 and emulate the community atmosphere and discipleship as best as can be done on a college campus.

During a typical ACT2 meeting, attendees worship, fellowship and break bread together in the community atmosphere that is fostered.

Student chaplain Joe Smith took over as head of ACT2’s student leadership team this semester when ACT2 attendance began to decline.

However, Smith is unsure of why the downfall is occurring. “My guess is that students sit in lectures all day, then chapel, then Grow Group, and this is just another thing,” Smith said.

Junior Jon Heinly, a chaplain from Kea, agreed with Smith. “There’s a lot of places that students receive spiritual input,” Heinly said. “I think ACT2 was becoming too much like another chapel or Windows. There’s often not an interest in one more thing.”

Students like spontaneity. This is why worship on Kea-Guffin Hill was so well attended, Smith said.

So, the leadership team decided to make major changes. “We wouldn’t look at the decline as a negative thing, we’d let it shape our vision of ACT2,” Smith said. “We’re trying to allow that to help us to go back to the original vision, which is being about community and learning from one another.”

And this why the team decided to move ACT2 into the residence halls. “It’s more about where we live. We want [students] to get together with the people [they] live with and are involved with on a regular basis and foster worship together.”

Also, Heinly added, it is much more convenient to meet in the residence halls because it is in a smaller, more intimate space and does not involve the time-consuming task of setting up and tearing down equipment in the Dining Commons.

The ACT2 leadership team, led by Joe Smith, is also comprised of students Chris Micklewright, Rachel Malikow, Debbie Pearce, Elizabeth King and Jon Heinly.

“I hope ACT2 continues to provide a place for students to growth and mature in faith,” junior Debbie Pearce, a chaplain from NCH, said. “I would love to see more students come to ACT2 as they are to worship, partake of the bread and wine and fellowship together. They can even come in their pajamas and fuzzy slippers!”

March’s ACT2 will be held in the Hainer basement.

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