Identity Project Splits! New Groups For a New Age
Contributing authors: Alex Herbers, Kyle McCallum, Ian McCullough, Elli Rozler
As many of our Identity Project workers age out of college, the time has come to graduate to the next stage of ministry. Working in the post-college age group has its unique challenges, but it brings a new world of opportunities. Forge and Smash 3.0 are rising to the challenge. Continuing to work among the college-age group is the new fellowship group "Tamarack" which gathers as many young folks as are willing to continue doing evangelism on Kent State's campus.
FORGE The name “Forge” serves as the conceptual focus for our new fellowship group. Forge, which is predominantly post-college, is focused on forging ahead into adulthood and maturity while being refined (as in a forge!) along the way. Forge has a focus on going out into the community to meet people—various members have joined groups and clubs, and many prayerfully go out weekly in an attempt to evangelize and make new friends. Forge meets in the clubhouse at Hunter’s Lake on Tuesdays at 8:00.
Forge has been experiencing tremendous blessings and answered prayers, which has contributed to an excitement that is immeasurable. We pray for continued success in our men’s discovery group, as well as open doors within the community. Forge was formed with members from Atlas and Nova, and is led by deacons Tommy McCartney, Logan and Jess Tiller and Ian and Adi McCullough.
SMASH The much-anticipated 2022 update – Smash 3.0 – increases capabilities and streamlines purpose. Smash 3.0 is now a group of people in their mid-20s, with a number of young, married couples, that is focused on meeting and serving people in the community. The current deacons are Greg and Lina Morscher and Alex and Lydia Herbers. We serve the young and underprivileged through Big Brothers Big Sisters, the elderly in a retirement/nursing home ministry called Mimeo, and just about every age group in-between. We hope to expand with discovery groups in the near future. The Lord has brought seekers to us from unusual avenues, and we look forward to more of the same with the updated group. We currently meet in the Freedom Fellowships Study Center on Tuesday nights, but we hope to meet in a home soon.
As for our fellowship itself, the purpose remains the same: discover and hone our God-given gifts “for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:12) We’ve received an infusion of many men (and some ladies) from the former Nova Homechurch. It’s been amazing to see love and unity grow so quickly in this group, and it’s exciting to think how God could creatively use us as friends, servants, and lights to the world.
TAMARACK Tamarack is a new fellowship group for college students formed from the merging of students out of Nova, Atlas and Smash. At our conception the name Tamarack was chosen because it sounds cool and is reminiscent of the epic pit stop on our way to Florida Spring Break: the Tamarack in West Virginia. Tamarack, however, is a type of tree uniquely found in Kent. It also takes on meaning for our group as Paul says in Colossians 2:6-7, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” The goal of Tamarack is to lead people into a relationship with God and help them become firmly rooted in Jesus.
Beginning with a bang, Tamarack has been an incredibly fun experience. We are a big group with a lot of people to get to know, but with a united vision, there has already been much to celebrate. We’ve seen God truly bless us getting to participate in his work and already seeing several students decide to invite Jesus into their lives. Please pray for our discovery groups. Joe Prillaman is currently leading a co-ed group on Monday nights and the women have another group on Saturday mornings. Tamarack currently meets on Kent State’s campus at the CUE Tuesdays at 8:30 PM. We pray spirit-filled people are raised up and find their purpose with the Lord within Tamarack. The current deacons are Adam and Anele Esterle and Zak and Elli Rozler.