March 2, 2024

West Colony worship event encourages creative praise and expression

Praise and worship are often personal aspects of an individual’s relationship with God. Certain methods of praise work well for some but not others.     The resident adviser staff in West Colony at California Baptist University recognized this and hosted their first “Praise as you Please” event Jan. 31.

Soft lights hung and worship music played over the area in West Colony as students and staff members gathered for worship.

The inspiration behind the event was the way everyone worships differently. For some, music is the mode of praise; for others it is art, silent prayer or writing. Because of these varied expressions of praise, Colony RAs set up several stations to give students a chance to worship in whichever way
they wanted.

The stations included watercolor painting, writing, drawing and s’more making. In addition to the tables, there was a prayer wall. At the wall, students could both leave a prayer request and take a prayer request to pray for that night or throughout the week.

Joshua Gladney, junior exercise science major, said the event was supposed to draw all types of people together, despite differences in
preferred worship styles and personalities.

“It’s called ‘Praise as you Please’ because basically everybody has his or her own creative way of connecting with God,” Gladney said. “We wanted to set up multiple tables with different things on them that would allow them to express their faith in God and love  for others.”

With unity in Christ as the theme for the event, students gathered and worshiped in many ways while
worshipping as one.

“We wanted all sorts of people to come. Some people might not necessarily connect with just worship music or just writing to people, so we wanted to try to broaden the horizons and see how we can get the most people here in West Colony and Colony, in general,” Gladney said.

As part of the prayer wall initiative, prayer team sign-ups were available for students to sign up to pray for requests throughout the semester.

“So in all of Colony, if someone has a prayer request they can drop it in the box and then random people sign up so that these will be delivered every week to their apartments so that they are being prayed for all week,” said Caleb Bell, junior criminal justice major.

“Praise as you Please” created a space to take a breather, step out of the busy week and experience worship in both a personal and communal way.

“I’ve had a really busy week so this (was) a really good way to wind down,” said Emily Armstrong, senior kinesiology major.

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