Sharing faith draws students to two nondenominational groups

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Office of student life offers benefits for campus organizations.

By Collin Quezada

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

Two informal groups on campus offer students an opportunity to meet with others who share common religious beliefs for fellowship and Bible study.

Sociology sophomore Hector Morón, a member of a Christian ministry group called the Navigators, described his association’s presence on campus.

The group meets at 1 p.m. Mondays on the grassy knoll west of Moody Learning Center to “talk about Jesus, study the Bible, and interpret the gospel,” Morón said in an Oct. 5 interview.

“We eat pizza from the Loftin Student Center and just converse among those who are interested,” he said.

The Navigators’ first Monday Bible study was Sept. 18.

The group has attracted eight to 16 people in the four meetings this semester, he said.

A similar group, Inner Varsity, is a Christian fellowship designed to “build a community of people, regardless of belief, that learn and grow together,” theater sophomore Matthew Benavides said Oct. 6 in an interview.

“We’re not here to push religion on anyone,” he said, stressing the importance of ‘building a family,” which is the group’s goal.

Inner Varsity meets at 10 a.m. every Tuesday at any picnic table west of Moody Learning Center to engage in casual recreational activities and weekly Bible study.

“There are quite a few opportunities at SAC to learn about Jesus,” Morón said.

Morón said several misconceptions typically attributed to religious institutions have hindered the growth of student-led groups, the biggest being people misconstruing Christianity as nothing more than “a rigid set of rules we must abide by.”

“It’s not about the rules,” Morón said. “For a Christian, it’s about loving Jesus and acknowledging his sacrifice for us, and everything else will follow in time.”

Benavides shared this attitude, saying that the pursuit of contentment in one’s life is a common objective among individuals.

“We all look for satisfaction in our lives and whereas some turn to relationships, substances, and other means, we turn to God,” he said.

Morón encouraged students to open their minds to all possibilities.

“When I first became a Christian, I acknowledged that I wasn’t living the life I wanted,” Morón said.

“I began loving Jesus, focused on understanding and interpreting the Gospel, and the pull of temptation began to lessen on me.”

These groups are open to individuals of all religious affiliations, with members encouraging others to seek them out for more information.

Although all students are allowed to congregate on-campus, Mark Bigelow, interim director of student life, encouraged these groups to become recognized student organizations.

“We want students to view this campus as a hotspot for student activity,” Bigelow said in an Oct. 19 interview. “You’re either a club or you’re not, and to form a club, you need an adviser to help register you with student life.”

Bigelow added that official clubs enjoy benefits, including holding meetings in sanctioned areas, participating and hosting fundraisers and having full access to recruitment tools provided by this college.

Clubs holding religious significance that are registered with student life include the Baptist Student Union, the Methodist Student Center, the Catholic Student Center, the Church of Christ Student Center and the Latter Day Saints, according to the Alamo Colleges website.

Students interested in joining either of the informal groups may contact Morón at 512-586-0953 or attend one of the weekly meetings.

For information on forming student organizations, contact the office of student life at 210-486-0125.

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