Christian student groups gather for Interministry Worship Night
Seven Christian groups at Yale came together Sunday for the first interministry worship session in recent memory.
On Sunday, Dec. 5, over 80 Christian Yalies gathered in Linsly-Chittenden Hall room 101 for an Interministry Worship Night.
Yale’s Christian community is split into several different ministry organizations, including Christian Union, or CU; Yale Students for Christ, or YSC; Chi Alpha; Black Church At Yale, or BCAY; and Athletes in Action. Although each ministry represents Christian students, the ministries usually operate independently of each other, with no institutional precedent for a joint event like the one held Sunday. But for an hour and a half on Sunday night, the groups all met together to engage in group worship.
“It’s pretty clear in scripture that God wants us to unite as one body,” Dan Pai ’23, who is affiliated with YSC and CU and organized the event, told the News. “It’s pretty important to set aside our differences and come together to worship God, and, in doing so, to serve others as well, as one body … not only worshiping, but spreading that love to others.”
According to Pai, the team that led worship consisted of students from YSC, CU, the United Church at Westville, or UCW, and the a capella group Living Water. The worship team featured a drummer, two keyboards, guitars and several vocalists. A projector displayed song lyrics behind the musicians.
Students stood and sang along, occasionally lifting their hands and swaying with the music.
“I definitely walked in with just a lot on my mind,” said Katherine Matsukawa ’23. “But it felt warm. I felt just an incredible sense of belonging.”
After a few songs, the first worship team took their seats and a second worship team rotated in. During the transition, Han Choi ’24, who is involved in YSC, led the group in a prayer for Yale and New Haven.
Choi prayed specifically for “revival,” a renewed, widespread passion for Christianity. He believes that God loves Yale students and the people of New Haven.
“If the love that we receive from Jesus is real, if everything that I believe and everything I experienced is true, I want to share that,” Choi told the News. “I want every single person to experience that love.”
After Choi’s prayer, the worship team played instrumental music while everyone at the event prayed individually or in small groups, either silently or aloud.
For many students, the event itself was evidence that Christian revival on campus is already happening.
“We didn’t even publicize that much,” Pai said. “It felt like everyone had a yearning or a desire to come together.”
Although Yale is a secular institution, the Interministry Worship Night gave students a sense of the strength and energy behind Yale’s Christian presence.
“It was so amazing to see so many believers united and just worshiping God,” said Toni Oluwatade ’24. “I’m from the south, so I’m used to being with a bunch of Christians. But to see so many Christians at Yale was kind of shocking. It was so nice.”
According to Pai, students began thinking of this event last winter. The event was almost entirely student planned, with students across ministries collaborating to reserve a space, rehearse music and consult with deans about COVID-19 restrictions, among other logistical challenges.
Different ministries contributed supplies to make the event possible, Pai said. Elm City Vineyard Church even contributed a drum set, and the Yale operations manager allowed the students to store equipment in LC overnight.
“I haven’t been in a group where everyone was so on the same page,” Pai said.
Pai hopes to host another interministry event next semester for Easter. Smaller scale events, like a game night this Saturday organized by Matsukawa, will continue to provide an opportunity to form interministry friendships.