Echoing love and joy
Tunnel Worship moves back to East Campus location as temperature warms
Tunnel Worship will move back to the East Campus Tunnel from its temporary home in the DeMoss Grand Lobby mid-March or later as the temperature rises.
Tunnel Worship is an acoustic worship gathering held at 9 p.m. every Friday night.
“Currently Tunnel Worship is being held in the Grand Lobby of DeMoss because of the cold weather,” Braxton Mann, the lead student behind Tunnel Worship said.
“It has been too cold for many of the instruments we use. Once it gets a little warmer we will consistently be back in the tunnel.”
Mann and his freshman year roommate Jonathan Shirley started Tunnel Worship in fall 2014.
Mann and Shirley would play their instruments in the tunnel and the music drew other musicians to join them.
When in the tunnel, the sounds from instruments and voices reverberate off the tunnel walls.
“The tunnel represents an ‘in-between’ place where anyone is welcome to join,” Mann said, “It symbolizes a community of broken individuals who need grace.”
Mark Anthony Rizzo is a core leadership team member for Tunnel Worship.
Rizzo has been a part of the event since the second meeting in 2014.
He switches between planning the event schedule and playing the cajon, a box drum.
“Tunnel Worship has seen exponential growth within the years and continues to expand weekly,” Rizzo said.
A usual Friday night in the tunnel is packed full of students three or four rows deep singing praise songs.
A band faces the crowd, leading the group for about an hour of worship.
Tricia Tanner, harpist and member of the Tunnel Worship leadership team, was invited by Mann to join the team in the spring 2016.
“I have always wanted to have a more accessible outlet for sharing harp music, and I can’t think of any better outlet than playing indie, cool worship music for the Lord,” Tanner said.
Tunnel Worship has impacted students across campus.
Student Bettina Poe has been a regular worshiper on Friday nights and the time she spends with other students intimately worshiping Christ has connected her with God and refocuses after a long week.
“It is what I look forward to most at the end of a week of college,” Poe said.
Students who take advantage of Tunnel Worship said it strengthens their relationship with God and brings people together. Often, attendees will walk away with a new friend.
“It is a time where students can come and feel like part of the community and have the opportunity to worship in the midst of the chaos that we call college,” Rizzo said.
Poe said the people she has crossed paths with through the tunnel have personally impacted her life.
While joining the gathering may be intimidating at first, Poe said it’s a privilege to worship in an informal setting.
“People I have met at the tunnel are some of the most genuine and kind people I know with incredible hearts for our Father,” Poe said.
Tunnel Worship is a tight knit community with the purpose of worshipping God, but Mann said it is also a place to meet people of differing backgrounds and ethnicities.
“I have made a bunch of friends through tunnel worship,” Tanner said. “It’s an awesome experience.
Music brings people together, and after praising everyone is left with a Jesus glow.”
Tunnel Worship has existed for three years, and Mann is still enthusiastic about Friday nights.
“It is a tiny reflection of what heaven will look like — people of every tribe and tongue singing praise to the creator,” Mann said.