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A Worship Service with the Western Massachusetts HOUSE Church

A Report by Michelle Anderer '15

Organized at the Helen Hills Hills Chapel one frosty Sunday afternoon, a small group of students sit comfortably in a circle on black bean bag chairs as they begin their own private Bible study session.

Students who participate in the Western Massachusetts House Church group report that their meetings started out as a casual after school affair. They would meet in the home of an engineering professor until the popularity of the meetings forced them to find a bigger space to accommodate all of the new students. Though a portion of the group has since graduated, dedicated members don't pass up the opportunity to organize future meetings.

The talk began with an animated discussion about the similarities and differences between Judaism and Christianity. Christina, a junior at Smith, argued that the two were more similar to each other than one tends to believe. "In reality, they both came out of the same set of beliefs." The girls then went on to discuss the benefits of "changing your path" in life despite the uncertainty. One student reflected on a friend she knew who had gone to law school, only to realize that she hated the idea of being a lawyer. Going on to choose a career that differed in many ways from her original field, she reported that her friend was much happier after taking the leap to change her path. Listening to this example, a fellow student nods and agrees: "You can find yourself doing things you never thought you'd be doing before, and that's okay."

Ruth, a local resident, agreed that God supports you when you create a new path for yourself. "It's almost like, when you step off the edge of a hiking path, these stepping stones appear. God will keep placing new ones in front of you as you continue to go on. You don't know how many stones there are going to be, but you know that they will be there when you get to them." After reading several passages from the Bible and sharing a reflective discussion centered on finding your own way to nurture Christ anew, the meeting was concluded over gluten-free brownies, much to the delight of the intimate group.