It’s homecoming weekend! Tents cover the parking lot near Moseley field, and campus is crawling with graduates back to catch up and see what’s changed. Unfortunately, I missed out on most of this year’s homecoming activities because of work. When I walked into Boon Center after work on Saturday evening, I sat on one of the couches in the lobby, closed my eyes, and took a few deep breaths. My mind wandered to all the things I had to get done in the remaining hours of my day. Emails, homework, tests, and work the next day all demanded my attention.
All of a sudden, I noticed what was going on a few couches over. Three Nyack College Alumni gathered on a couch; two listened as the other talked about her recent struggles in ministry. Though I could not hear all of what she was saying, it was evident that she was doing what she believed God was telling her to do, but failed to see much good come from it. She was facing obstacles in her ministry and felt overwhelmed. The faces of those who were listening were filled with empathy and concern. As the woman finished explaining her struggles, the other two were quick to offer encouragement and advice. Before they all left, they held hands and prayed together.
These alumni could have met at Nyack years ago or just this weekend. Either way, they embodied the feeling of community unique to Nyack College. I have often seen people around campus praying for one another, and encouragement on the Rockland campus has never been hard to come by. Among all the hype and craziness of homecoming weekend, it surprised me to see a solemn group of alumni quietly gathering in Boon lobby. But, when I thought about it, I don’t know what else I would have expected.
The Nyack College that I have grown to love over these past few years is characterized by a community of encouragement and love. I know my close friends would do anything for me and I would do anything for them, but it’s not just that. Though I am extremely blessed to have made such close, life-long friends here at Nyack, I value my entire community. You can feel it during chapel, homecoming, and even classes: an overwhelming sense of belonging. Nyack College students are part of the body of Christ, and the world-wide church, and we know it. We are an unashamed community of witnesses, and we live it out.