By Seneca Ransom

As many Malone students have seen there is a new type of life group being advertised all over campus. These life groups were added a bit quickly as a new structure at the end of last semester. The life groups are quickly gaining attention as they are attended by students living in their respective dorms. The residence hall life groups here on campus were spearheaded by Kat Gritter, the program coordinator in the office of Spiritual Formation. Gritter has history working to
promote community on campus as she has worked as an RD in both WWF and Heritage. “We underestimate the learning that happens late at night, after a long day of classes and practices,” said Gritter. “Intentionally placing a Life Group in the midst of this relaxed, authentic, and grassroots community seemed to fit the ethos and hopes for Life Groups.” Much of the intention for these life groups were to create an atmosphere where students were comfortable engaging in spiritual training with their peers. This was very important to Gritter and the office of spiritual formation as a whole.“ We wanted students to lead these Life Groups,” said Gritter. “If Life Groups were going to maintain the authentic feel of each building, it would need a resident that knows the culture and community well. Technically, all of our Life Groups are led by staff, faculty, or an ordained person; however a student can lead a Life Group if they are guided and mentored by a staff, faculty, or ordained person. This gave me the opportunity to help guide, mentor, and give a sense of direction as needed for each Residence Hall Life Group leader.” When it comes to developing residence hall life groups there comes the question of who will lead it. With limited time at the end of last semester Gritter had quite the challenge. “We had made our decision to expand our life group program in May last year, so it didn’t give our office much opportunity to set up an interview process. I decided to ask other students I respected about who they wanted
to lead a life group in their building. I also asked the CAs/RDs and various Student Development staff members for their recommendations. Afterwards, I began making phone calls, sometimes not even knowing the student very well. As I would hear back from students about their willingness to
lead a Life Group, almost everyone talked about how they felt the Holy Spirit nudging them to take brave steps. It is amazing how the Holy Spirit works.” One of those spirit led students is none other than Jeneca Shar, a Blossom resident and sophomore nursing major. Shar is leading the resident hall life group “Let Your Faith Blossom”. Shar received a call from Gritter this past summer after being recommended by her RD Sarah Gregory of Blossom and WWF. Shar used time to pray
about the decision, ultimately finding that she was called to lead a women’s life group in Blossom. As for the purpose of “Let Your Faith Blossom”, Shar hopes to, “help people build
up their faith.” She hopes to help those not introduced early to “church life” coming into Malone. She acknowledges that she is still trying to grow in her faith. Shar said, “it’s been very helpful that I’m not the only one who thinks these things and struggling about it.” She finds it important to
have a group discussion that allows participants to develop their faith. Shar hosts “Let Your Faith Blossom” on Tuesdays at 6:50 pm, in the Blossom 3 lounge. Tyler Moomaw, a junior middle childhood education major, in Devol Hall is also leading a resident life group this year. Moomaw’s group is called Living for Jesus as a Devol Dude. Moomaw was also approached by Gritter this past
semester. Moomaw agreed to lead Devol’s lifegroup because he “ loves to invest in people, and it was an opportunity to speak into a lot of people’s lives.” He hopes to incorporate a lot discussions throughout the teachings and, “a good base of community, trying to grow the community in Devol.”
This life group Moomaw says, is trying to discuss and teach, “what it is to live for Jesus as a man.” Moomaw has leadership experience on campus already as a CA for one of the campuses College Experience classes. Moomaw hosts the weekly lifegroup in Devol’s main lobby on Mondays at 7.
The new resident life groups appear to all have a focus on deepening students faith in a more intimate and community based way. Gritter and the Office of Spiritual Formation has
done extensive research to ensure that not only are students having a variety of SFO’s, but qualified students are leading them here in the residence halls. You can see what your residence life group is and when on the Life Groups page on the Malone website

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