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Marshall Catholic Newman Center kicks off Praise and Worship Nights

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Marshall Catholic Newman Center kicks off Praise and Worship Nights

Rejoice praise and worship night kicks off at the Marshall Catholic Newman Center across from Corbly Hall.

Rejoice praise and worship night kicks off at the Marshall Catholic Newman Center across from Corbly Hall.

Meredith O’Bara

Rejoice praise and worship night kicks off at the Marshall Catholic Newman Center across from Corbly Hall.

Meredith O’Bara

Meredith O’Bara

Rejoice praise and worship night kicks off at the Marshall Catholic Newman Center across from Corbly Hall.

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As students settle into the semester, campus organizations are just getting started. With a new semester comes new chances to kick start events.

The Marshall Catholic Newman Center, MCNC, held its praise and worship night, known as Rejoice, Tuesday, Jan. 29 at 8 p.m. at the center. Rejoice has become well known within the MCNC community, but it took a student leader to make it happen.

“I have always wanted to do it, because I experienced it in undergrad and have experienced it in other campus ministries, and I personally am a musician, so it seems crazy that we haven’t done it,” said Traci Ferguson, campus minister at the MCNC. “It actually took the initiative of a student leader, Abbey, to sort of say ‘How can I help you achieve this?’ and so then it sort of become a partnership of her making slides and me coordinating music and recruiting music ministers.”

Rejoice is in its third semester, but Ferguson said each semester looks a little different.

“We try to have a theme every semester, and last semester we focused more on the inward relationship with God, whereas now the theme is more a blanketed universal church sort of relationship to the greater community of Christ,” Ferguson said.

Like Ferguson, Abbey Meyer, the student leader who helped Ferguson start Rejoice, said the theme for this year looks at the church as a whole.

“This semester we are looking at what it means to be a church and why being a part of the church and having a church community is such an important aspect of being Catholic,” Meyer said. “That it is larger than just our individual, personal route to holiness and sanctification, and so we are looking at four things we believe about the Catholic church: that it is one, holy, Catholic and [an] apostolic church.”

The theme is carried out through the night in the songs and testimony given by a student, Ferguson said.

“It sort of applies to the songs that we choose, and whomever we ask to give their testimony, we ask that they give something in relevance,” Ferguson said. “So for example, today was one, as in one church, one universal, one capital O capital C, and a student shared her experience with her connectedness that she feels when she experiences the mass, even in a foreign language, that she feels like she is home, and that is really cool.”

With this being the first Rejoice event of the semester, Meyer said she hopes it gives students a chance to step away from everything else and to be with community.

“I hope that it reaches other students where they are at and that it is what they need in that moment and just a time to step away to be one with their church community and be one with their God and just chill out a little bit because school can be a little crazy sometimes,” Meyer said.

Ferguson said Rejoice benefits her as much as she believes it benefits students.

“When we expose the blessed sacrament in the midst of song and prayer and worship it, for me, brings all my focus to that exact moment, and I think that is all that I can ask for, for any programming we have here at this center,” Ferguson said. “I just really want to encourage people to take the quiet intentional time for Christ, and if that means scheduling it, schedule it. “

Rejoice is held at 8 p.m. the last Tuesday of every month at the MCNC, which is located across from Corbly Hall. The event consists of songs; adoration, a form of worship in the Catholic church; a student testimony and fellowship. It is open to all students. More information about Rejoice or other events happening at the center can be accessed through its social media accounts at @MUCatholic and its Facebook page Marshall Catholic Newman Center.

Meredith O’Bara can be contacted at [email protected] 

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