Many students at Erskine participate in some sort of small group, whether bible study or fellowship or both. These groups are a great way for us to take a break from our studies and hectic schedules, and to relax and refocus.
Besides the typical bible study, there is a tradition of small groups based on four principles, summarized by the acronym PASS: Physical, Academic, Spiritual, Social. The idea is that these are four of the most important areas of life that we have to keep in balance, especially as college students; small groups use this acronym to structure their weeks of activities. For example, in my own experience we did a scavenger hunt for a physical activity, played Apples to Apples for an academic activity, had a discussion based on a scripture passage for a spiritual activity, and made a meal together for a social activity.
My freshman year I was in a women’s small group, and it was a great experience. Having that fellowship with other girls led to some great conversations, from silly to serious, and the way we all supported each other really impacted me. This year I asked my friend Victoria if she would like to start one with me, and so we have. We decided to make the group centered on Bible study, though we do try to incorporate PASS – even if it is just by making muffins together to eat during our discussion, as we did for the last meeting.
The theme of our small group is body image. We decided that because this is a common problem that virtually every woman struggles with, it would be a relevant topic for a woman’s small group. Through the guidance of two books, we are approaching the struggle through a Christian perspective and with lots of discussion to understand and work through some of it. There are usually eight to ten of us every meeting, and though we only meet for an hour every other week, it has been a great group so far – diverse, and all great young women. There is something beautiful about a gathering of sisters in Christ, discussing, praying, and helping each other in our struggles, and I am thankful for all of them.