Religious organization connects Kent State students at home

Emily Powell Reporter

With campus closed and all student events cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, students across Kent State campus have been forced to adjust to cancelled meetings and plans.

H2O Church Kent is a Christian organization offering resources for college students and young adults in Kent. H2O Church has built a community of students on campus who practice faith and worship together.

Throughout the semester, H2O Church held weekly worship gatherings Monday nights, along with Sunday worship followed by lunch in the Student Center on campus.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak and the lead of government, health and university officials, H2O Church’s leadership team made the decision to cancel all worship gatherings, life group gatherings and group activities through April 13, which they announced in a letter to the community along with a video.

H2O Church has recently updated their website, which now includes Bible study resources, livestream worship, books and podcasts.

Hunter Chenevey, a senior criminal justice major who is interning with the church has been a member of H2O Church for three years and said he has developed a lot of friendships through the program.

“My favorite thing is getting to be in a community with other people,” Chenevey said. “Whether that’s through hanging out and eating meals together or going through the Bible together.”

With classes online and social distancing encouraged across the country, staying connected with friends has become more challenging, which is why H2O Church has provided communication resources for students.

“All of this has hindered the sense of community we all have but for me, I’ve been able to Skype, text, FaceTime and call all my friends to stay connected,” Chenevey said. “I’m real thankful for technology that keeps us connected.”

H2O has also stayed active on its Instagram, offering highlights, posts and resources dedicated to informing students and keeping them updated and involved from their homes.

Through H2O’s website, students are able to access a printable Lent devotional, which began March 15 and will conclude on Easter Sunday. 

Students are able to share their location with the church through the “finding community” map on the events and updates page on H2O’s website to stay connected during these times. 

Nadia McGinnis, a sophomore communication studies major, has been a member of H2O Church for over a year and a half and got more involved with the church in the spring semester of her freshman year. 

“H2O has been diligent about keeping everyone connected,” McGinnis said. “The staff have made themselves readily available to talk and life groups have done group Skype calls, stayed active in GroupMe and have continued to grow and connect virtually.” 

McGinnis advises other students to take this time to be present and connect with the people around them.

“I talk to people in H2O every day,” McGinnis said. “They are my best friends and are people that I regularly talk to anyway, now we just have to be more intentional.”

H2O Church has made it a priority to keep students and community members connected during these different times.

For more information on H2O Church and the resources they are offering students, you can visit their website or their updated Facebook page.

Emily Powell is the religion reporter. Contact her at [email protected].