Talk into the Phone #2: Human-Sized Elephant Head



Hannah, scenario: you still have the same body, but you have the head of an animal. What animal is it, and why?

My favorite animals are elephants, so I’d probably pick that. Plus it would be really fun to have an extra limb to pick things up with and eat with and such.

Now, would this be the size of a regular elephant head?

No, it would be proportional to my body, because otherwise I’d be falling over and all that jazz.

How did you end up in Agape?

When I came to college, I knew I wanted to be involved in a church or some group on campus, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted that to be or look like, and so I started visiting a few churches in the neighborhood and thinking “should I be involved with that and do things during the week?” It wasn’t until October that Emma Haney invited me to Agape; she had been already so she dragged me there. So I go and there are all these crazy people and I didn’t know anybody. I snuck in a group with her, even though I wasn’t supposed to. I felt like it was different from my youth group and that was kind of what I was looking for; I thought “oh, this is college, I shouldn’t just be playing games all the time. This has a purpose.”

What draws you in? What keeps you coming back?

I would say the people. Definitely. I feel like that’s the classic answer, but it’s definitely a community. You can walk all around campus. Yes, there’s those friends that you see from classes or your job, but if you see someone from Agape, you feel like there is something binding you together; like they are your family in a different way.

Why are you a Christian?

I was born and raised a Christian, I think; my dad would do bible studies every morning before school, and go to church every Sunday. I think I had a really rough time my freshman year of high school; going through a lot and my family was going through a lot, so I started questioning God. I started questioning why these things were happening, and I really separated myself from God. Through that, I found that without him, things weren’t good. It was lonely and scary and this world that I couldn’t comprehend, and still can’t comprehend. So, I realized that yes, I don’t have to know all the answers, but God wants me to question him and be real with him- we can’t hide anything from God anyway. I think throughout the rest of high school and a lot of college, Ive been trying to come into my own faith, and not the faith of my parents or family, necessarily.

Why would you say that is? Have you found a reason that it’s for you?

I definitely have those roller-coaster moments where I’m asking the question, “why am I a Christian, again?” and I keep coming back to the fact that I can’t live a life without God.

What draws you to Jesus? What is it about Jesus that keeps you?

His grace. He’s not legalistic; that’s really what I struggled with in high school: the legalism of the Bible. I was struggling with all those questions and kept missing the idea that Jesus is the opposite of legalism; he’s full of forgiveness and of grace. Its such a simple thing that I just kept missing.

I’m also drawn to his forgiveness. I kind of feel like Peter sometimes, where Jesus asks him “do you love me?” and Peter keeps saying “yes, of course I do.” And I say that to God all the time, but at the same time Peter denied Jesus and I deny Jesus all the time. But Jesus loved Peter, and Jesus loves me that way, too. I have to remember that, because I think I get drawn into the legalistic side and not being perfect or good enough, and I have to remember that Jesus loved Peter and Jesus is grace.

What gives you hope?

In Agape, we’ve been studying the Trinity. In every passage, we’ve talked about how this isn’t the end. This isn’t what God intended. I think what gives me hope is what is coming.

Where do you experience grace?

I think, like when I talked about how my faith is a roller-coaster sometimes, where I turn away from God and go back to him. I’ll go on tangents where I read the Bible every day, and then don’t read it for two months. But also with people, I’m the same way. Especially people who I can tell love Jesus in the way that I do, and then you can see his grace through them, too.

How have you experienced it through people?

More recently, I feel pulled in all different directions as a senior. I feel like I’m not giving enough, and I’ve felt grace through that. People have definitely been forgiving.

What are some of your favorite books?

The Year of Biblical Womanhood, I know Emma talked about that one, but I really liked it. Also, Frank Peretti books- he uses really good imagery, and its hard for me to imagine God or Jesus or spiritual things in real life, so I really like how he does that. Also, for more secular books, I’m a big fan of Cormac McCarthy (The Road, No Country for Old Men, etc). I really like post-apocalyptic books, but also his use (or non-use) of grammar, it makes things interesting.

Any parting words?

You can’t be a perfect Christian or leader. It’s impossible. Just remember that Jesus is grace.

Agape & Ecclesia: Week 5


Hey err-body!

Thanks to everyone who made it over to the Palm Court for worship last night. We learned more about the Holy Spirit and jammed out to Give Me Faith by Elevation Worship!  Our worship leaders absolutely killed it, but here’s the original version in case you missed it.
Also, here is a shameless plug for our annual CCC Retreat!  If you attend the retreat and don’t think it was worth your $50, I will personally refund your money!
P.S. You’re gonna love it.
Here’s the link: CCC Retreat
Here’s the schedule for the week:
Wednesday–Agape at 7:30pm in Damen MPR.  Please join us this week for our study on prayer 🙂
FridayHot Dog Ministry at 10pm.  As of right now, the plan is to grill out in front of 6438 N Lakewood Ave. We’ll be passing out free hot dogs in the spirit of hospitality to neighbors and students! Come to Agape on Wednesday to sign up for a time slot and to learn more.
Sunday–This weekend is family weekend!  We love family.  7:30pm.
For more information about who we are, or if you want to follow us on social media/join our facebook groups, look no further:
Keep it trill ya’ll

Talk Into the Phone #1: Don’t Cry For Me, Patagonia (or, Emma Haney teaches Tyler geography)


Emma, you have $10,000. You have to spend it by tomorrow. What do you buy?

I would buy a trip to Patagonia in Argentina.

What’s in Patagonia?

Just like really awesome mountains and hiking and views and penguins.


Yeah they have penguins.

Are they like cold penguins?

Yeah- it’s the furthest south. You can take a shuttle from the end of Patagonia to Antarctica.


Yeah, I’m just really obsessed with Argentina so I really want to go there, especially to Patagonia.

How did you end up in Agape?

I had a really good experience in my youth group in high school and really strong group of friends and really good community, especially my senior year. I went to college telling everyone that I met that I had led my Christian club at my high school, just hoping that someone would be like, “Oh my gosh! You’re a Christian?! Me too!” Like, really embarrassingly desperate to find other Christians. So, eventually it kind of worked because I met Hannah (Reiman) and she was like “oh, there’s this Bible study we were thinking about going to,” and I was like “YOU LOVE JESUS?! I LOVE JESUS!” and I went to Agape and I remember someone talking to me right away and I remember when I left, I called my mom and said “Mom, I found them! I found my people!”

What drew you into the community?

I think just the community that I saw and the fun that people were having and also the goofiness and sass I saw from certain people was definitely something I resonated with. I think the combination of loving Jesus and being real, authentic, silly people was something that really drew me in and kept me coming back. It was a place to read the Bible and ask hard questions, but also to be silly.

Why are you a Christian?

Sometimes it kind of surprises me that I’m still a Christian because I’ve spent a lot of my college experience being really challenged by my faith and being confused by it and becoming more educated about Christianity and the Bible from viewpoints outside of the church. It’s been really challenging, but I just can’t shake Jesus, so I don’t know- I just feel like any of those times that I get confused or more frustrated, I just have to come back to Jesus and remind myself that the words and actions of Jesus are what drew me to faith in the first place, and I think that they are what draws me back every day.

You said that you couldn’t seem to “shake Jesus”- what would you say draws you to Jesus?

I think Jesus is really weird and funny and also, just the grace and the way that he reaches for the people that no one else is reaching for. So, when I would read the gospels and see Jesus loving children and loving women- women nobody else wanted anything to do with or women that people wanted to throw stones at and kill. The fact that Jesus sees those people and loves those people that the world doesn’t love- that’s what draws me in.

Also, I have “lol” written in my Bible because I think some of the things he says and does are really funny, and silliness just matters to me.

What breaks your heart?

Hmm. A lot of things. I think the thing that breaks my heart most is the way that we will make assumptions about people and never try to understand them. I think I see that in everything that breaks my heart- my heart is broken by mistreatment of people with disabilities and with mistreatment and everything that gets said about immigrants, especially immigrants from Latin America, and any kind of slander in general. I think that’s the root of a lot of problems in the world- people not trying to understand people they view as “the other.” I think that’s something that Jesus is really good at; I think of the woman at the well and the story of the Good Samaritan, which are really good examples of loving the “other,” so that breaks my heart when that’s not what happens.

What has God done for you that you couldn’t do for yourself?

He’s brought me where I am, in terms of being at Loyola. Like, I never thought that I would study Special Education or that working with people with disabilities. That has felt like a direct call from God, and I don’t think I could have figured that out on my own. He really paved the path for me to come here, financially and spiritually and everything else. I think that, in recent times, that’s been the most obvious act of God in my life.

Who is one author or thinker or prophet or whoever that you would tell everyone to listen and pay attention to?

Yeah, I’ve recently become obsessed with Sarah Bessey- she’s an author who wrote “Jesus Feminist,” and has a new book coming out in November that I’m excited about. I think that she asks a lot of the questions that I ask, but she’s more graceful than I am. Her writing is very beautiful and poetic and she gets at a lot of truths that I know in my life, but she’s able to articulate them. I just really feel like her writing draws me closer to Jesus when I feel lost. She’s definitely my favorite.

Any parting words to anyone who would read this?

I would say, don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions when they come. My experience has been that God is big enough to handle it. Don’t be afraid of using the brain that God gave you to ask the questions.