Bonnie graduated from Georgetown in 2013 and is the Director for Chi Alpha. She is passionate about having fun and coming up with creative ways of doing ministry here at Georgetown. Bonnie is extremely adventurous and can often be found taking students on bike rides to other states or trying to convince them to do the Tough Mudder.
Welcome Week, as it is known in Chi Alpha world, is typically the first six weeks of classes every Fall. So kinda a misnomer, but Welcome Six Weeks sounds awkward.
Welcome Week for me bears a lot of resemblance to graduation day.
It’s exciting, it’s fun, and it’s the culmination of something you’ve prepared so hard for while being utterly terrifying at the same time.
When I look at the things I love most about Chi Alpha, it’s the people. It’s the students that I live life with. It’s the jokes that come when playing ridiculous games at retreats. It’s the hours of work spent setting up and tearing down.
Because ministry in a nutshell is moving heavy things long distances. And Jesus. Ministry is about Jesus and moving heavy things.
And when I think about those people that make my life great, a lot of them share one thing in common: they discovered Chi Alpha during Welcome Week. Some were given a snow cone, others joined in for a late night glow-in-the-dark volleyball game. They got free burgers and bubble tea and were given an invitation to check out what we are all about.
They started as guests and became family. And I only risk sounding that cheesy when I’m stating the truth.
When I think about the impending Welcome Week, I’m not thinking about how many students will be at our first service (though sometimes my insecurities creep up and cause anxiety), but instead I’m thinking of the people who are going to become part of my family.
Some of my favorite memories in Chi Alpha (and there are a lot of them) happen at retreats. At our most recent Pray + Play Leader’s retreat, there was a sense of excitement that filled the air. Not solely for the people there, but in anticipation for the people who weren’t there yet.
As I looked around the room at the people that I love and admire, I remember that at one time, they were all at Chi Alpha for the first time. And I know that next year, our retreat will have some new faces of people who we have yet to meet and some who still have no idea they will even be coming to Georgetown.
How cool is it that Jesus orchestrates things like that?
That’s why what we work so hard during Welcome Week. All the sticky syrup situations. All the DC rush hour driving to pick up supplies. All the set up, tear down and repeats.
We do it all not to recruit new members, but to our welcome our new family home.