By Abby Bryant
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (July 24, 2017) -- My name is Abby Bryant, and I’d like to invite you to be a part of Adoration 2017 … but first I’ll introduce myself and explain how a campus-wide worship event led to the idea of gathering 1,000 churches for a night of worship!
As a college student, I had the privilege of serving as intern at the Wesley Foundation at East Tennessee State University. I was the Tuesday Night/ Freshley intern from my sophomore year to senior year. With this position, I had opportunity to meet and greet everyone who came to Wesley.
Each Tuesday we met at 6 p.m. for a free meal provided by an area United Methodist church. After dinner, we had worship. I was responsible for getting to know the new people and getting their information so we could keep them updated on Wesley events through email.
The new freshmen students received my invitation to attend Freshly on Wednesday nights. Freshly is the Bible study for freshmen and transfer students that only happens in fall. We met at the cozy home of the Rev. John and Lisa Ousley. John is the director of Wesley. Lisa works at ETSU as a nurse and professor. Along with weekly worship and Bible study, we gathered together for mission opportunities.
I recently graduated with my degree in dental hygiene and enjoyed being a part of the Wesley through all four years of college. While I was at school there, I met with leaders from other Christian organizations and together we had a collaborative worship event in the school's auditorium. God was glorified, Christians were encouraged, and students heard the gospel as a result of the end-of-the-year worship event. We started this Campus Wide Worship event two years ago, and I hope that it continues as new students become leaders at the different campus ministries.
It was really good to see many students come together for a night of worship. I think a lot of times we as leaders get competitive and want to see our own ministry planning more events or hosting more members than the next campus ministry -- but it’s not about any of that. Ultimately, we all have the same goal of bringing people to Christ and strengthening relationships with God through accountability, prayer, and Bible study. This event did just that in a public atmosphere on the campus of ETSU.
My friend Thomas Cook was one of the leaders who made Campus Wide Worship event to happen. Thomas has a gift of bringing people together, and he felt God calling him to bring 1,000 churches from all different denominations together for a night of worship and prayer.
At a time when money was tight, God called Thomas to give up $1,000, and after wrestling with that decision he finally gave in. Once Thomas obeyed by giving up the $1,000, he felt God calling him to gather 1,000 churches to worship Christ and serve the community, which thus began the event called Adoration 2017.
Our hope is that different denominations with the same core beliefs can unite at ETSU on a much grander scale. The United Methodist Church in my experience is pretty good at getting churches together for district or conference events. I believe that participating in Adoration 2017 will build relationships even more widely throughout the community.
On Sunday, October 1, 2017, we invite you to join the 1,000 gathering at the newly built ETSU football stadium for Adoration 2017. The vision of Adoration 2017 is “to see 1,000 different churches united under the authority of Jesus Christ and Appalachia restored from drug abuse.”
Along with uniting the Body of Christ, Adoration 2017 also intends to bring awareness to the local prescription drug abuse epidemic that is plaguing our area, while sharing ways we can join together and reverse the epidemic. If you want your church to participate, speak to your pastor about serving as your church’s representative. Then visit www.adorationlife.com, click on “join the 1,000 today!” and sign up.
Only one person from each church can serve as representative, but the entire church is invited to attend Adoration. (In the event of bad weather, Adoration will be held in the ETSU mini dome.)
3-5 p.m. - Prayer Initiative
5-5:45 p.m. - Check-In and Fellowship
6-8:30 p.m. - Adoration
Abby Bryant is a member at Allen Memorial United Methodist Church in Athens, Tenn.