Nov 18, 2008

Scarlet thread weaves communion and student body together

by Amanda Thomason

Students and faculty had the opportunity to attend Liberty’s communion service, The Scarlet Thread last Wednesday. About 3,000 students, faculty and a few local youth groups attended this walk-through service between 2:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

The event began with a walkway of hymnal lyrics, names of God, photos and scripture hanging on curtains for each person to reflect on. Before participants proceeded to communion, they were to take a small scarlet thread with them. While waiting for their room, there was time for reflection and thanksgiving.

Cross-shaped tables, candles and flowers filled the room where communion was given. Each person was led to a table to pray. Papers with scripture and different things to be thankful for were laid on every table.

“With it being Thanksgiving, I thought it would be engaging to have students sit at a cross-shaped table with fellow students and have a time to give thanks as well as celebrate the Lord’s Supper together,” Liberty’s Vice President of Spiritual Affairs Dwayne Carson said.

Campus pastors, faculty, staff, Resident Directors and Resident Assistants read from scripture and led a time of prayer. Under the authority of Thomas Road Baptist Church, communion was served. Once communion was finished, ushers led each person to a final room of worship and prayer.

Music played while there were opportunities to pray, worship and reflect. The middle of the room had a place of surrender, with paper and pens to write out prayers and place them into a box.

“I thought the service was very different than anything I have ever done before,” freshman Alyssa Huffingham said. “It was cool how we walked through first and then had the opportunity for a quiet time after; it was a very worshipful experience.”

“It was a memorable and refreshing time of worship with our hall. Communion is such a sweet time for personal reflection of what our Savior has done for us,” Resident Assistant Monica Cardenti said.

Communion services are times where Spiritual Life Directors (SLD) have the chance to serve participants. They worked as table attendants, guides, greeters and ushers. A total of 160 SLDs served in some way on Wednesday, according to Associate Director of SLDs Michael Miller.

Head ushers sophomore Jason Lock, junior Tyler Harris and senior Ian MacIntyre aided in the production of the service. They worked alongside Miller to make sure everything ran smoothly and all the elements of communion were prepared.

“I love the administration-production side of the communion service — there is a huge sense of accomplishment and satisfaction as the pieces of the puzzle begin to come together,” Miller said. “I also love to get to work alongside my SLDs, as I do closely in this type of event.”

The theme behind the service was inspired by W.A. Criswell’s book, “Scarlet Thread,” based on a service he gave at First Baptist Dallas, according to Carson. He wanted students to venture visually from Genesis 1:1 to the cross, where they would take communion.

Students took time out of their schedules to have a moment of reflection and thanks for God.

“I liked how the communion was not rushed as it can be in some churches, but instead they explained it in detail,” sophomore Lindsay Evans said. “I especially enjoyed when the guy spoke to us about needing to get right with God before taking communion because it is such a serious moment.” 

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