Written by Stephanie Casey-Stevens.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into when Edith Robles asked me to be one of the people in charge of Without Ceasing, a 12-hour student-produced worship event in LaDue Auditorium, while she studied abroad this semester. Sure, I’d gone to the event twice before and helped once, but I definitely did not know all of the preparation that went into it. During the first few weeks of school, we
corresponded over Skype and talked about the basic things that needed to be done—setting a date,checking out the rooms, etc. Throughout September and the beginning of October, Natalie Jones, Taylor Likes, Cody Ripperger, and myself began to meet and discuss what we wanted to improve and do this semester. We quickly decided on the date of October 25-26 because it was a good point in the semester where we could avoid conflicts with Thanksgiving Break and the large amount of work that comes with the end of the semester. We wanted everyone to have the chance to come worship without conflict and enjoy a great break from the stress of classes.
Taylor talked to many bands and individuals about leading worship, but it wasn’t enough. We did not want Without Ceasing to only be about worshiping through music and prayer, we wanted to make a difference and give people the opportunity to tell their stories. We asked four people to share their testimonies (Jon Bair, Christie McMahon, Cody Ripperger, and Paul Anders) and gave three different organizations (The Red Thread Movement, International Crisis Aid, and 31 Bits) tables to raise awareness and money for their causes.
As the week came closer and closer, the day finally came…Without Ceasing. It was definitely the busiest day of our lives. We ran all over Greenville picking up tables, equipment, and snacks, then set up the prayer room and hung testimonies and prayers on the walls. When we finally finished, it was 8 PM and time for Lloyd Nicks’ band to kick-off off the night. Unfortunately, a member of the band’s amp blew the electricity on one side of the auditorium; however, maintenance was able to fix it within twenty minutes so we could continue the evening. Throughout the night we could see that God was working in our favor and fixing anything that went awry. We definitely had the best turn out for the late hours (2-5am) that we have ever had. We also loved the change of having communion in the morning led by Pastor Shalom Renner of Greenville’s First United Methodist Church.
It was an amazing experience to help organize something that touched so many people, and we all felt blessed to be a part of it. We’re all definitely looking forward to next semester’s Without Ceasing.