By Marietta (Mary Beth) Barrett

Northwest University hosted three events to aid students through the election season: two Election Night Prayer Gatherings and a Post-Election Reflection.

Both election night gatherings took place on Nov. 3. The first Election Night Prayer Gathering was a time of guided prayer that the Campus Ministries Team led in Butterfield chapel from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. ASNU hosted he second Election Night Prayer Gathering from 7:30 pm to midnight and provided an open space for prayer in Argue HSC.

ASNU President Kameron Goetz, states that ASNU wanted to provide a space for whatever students needed. We felt a safe space “was a need that needed to be met,” Goetz explains.

HSC was quiet with the reflective thoughts of the students there.  The building was full of silent prayers.  ASNU Vice President Gracie Robeson went to pray for our nation. “Prayer and biblical truth is needed now more than ever,” Robeson explains.

Robeson took the time to pray for each state and that “the Lord’s will be done.”  Afterwards, she had “this sense of peace” and was reminded that “God is still God.”  She enjoyed the chance to pray for our country because focusing on the Lord rids us of negative thoughts.

In addition to spaces for corporate and individual prayer on election night, MOSAIC hosted a Post-Election Reflection on Nov. 4 in HSC 231 and 233, which created a space for open dialogue and independent reflection amongst students. MOSAIC members were also available to talk with students.

If students were on the quieter, more introverted side, they could share their thoughts on the room’s white board.  Several questions about the election were written, and students could reply on sticky-notes. Students in need of de-stressing could also find solace in the calming act of coloring.

Photo by Marietta (Mary Beth) Barrett

The purpose of this event was for students to have a place “to come and process,” shares Blake Small, the Director of Multicultural Life.  He wanted to allow tough conversations to be had and for discussion to be made.  Most importantly, though, “I want students to leave with a conviction or a challenge in their heart(s) of ‘how is my faith guiding me in the conversations I have with others about politics,’” Small explains.

Photo by Marietta (Mary Beth) Barrett

In addition to structured events, NU faculty members and student leaders provided ample space throughout the week to have conversations with students and help them process through the election season.

The heart of how NU deals with political conflict and stress comes down to faith.  Small says it best, when he says, “our faith is our guiding foundation.”  It is about letting the Holy Spirit and the Word of God guide us through this challenging time.