S. MICHAEL HUTCHESON
Nearly three dozen men congregated in the Gentile Gallery last Thursday for a night of conversation and fellowship at Drink and Discuss, hosted by the Men’s Ministry group.
A crowd had already gathered well before the event, which began at 9 p.m., and lively conversation and jovial laughter quickly filled the room. The men enjoyed the selection of alcoholic drinks: beer and several varieties of both red and white wines. Juice was also provided for attendees under the age of 21, and every table was well stocked with chips and snack mix.
The Rev. Matt Russick, TOR, opened the discussion with prayer, and then a panel of five men, led by Bob Siemens, the director of the Office of Evangelization, shared their testimonies with the group. The night proceeded with a refreshing frankness, and the men were able to discuss otherwise uncomfortable issues, such as masturbation and pornography, with complete trust in each other. “This is the way it’s meant to be,” said Siemens, “to be able to talk honestly and openly.”
Matthew McCloskey, the head of Men’s Ministry, emphasized the importance of having “open and vulnerable conversation.” The group hosts several other talks and parties on campus, but the focus is always on developing a brotherhood of trust. More than just a support group, Men’s Ministry’s goal is to help the men grow in their faith and “find their identity as sons of Christ,” according to McCloskey.
As the night continued, Siemens opened the discussion to questions from the floor. The men asked a wide variety of questions, but the conversation continued to return to the topic of good Christian fellowship. The panelists repeatedly emphasized the importance of having a group of men to help and support each other. One of them, Dale Brewer, said, “We’re meant to be a band of brothers.”
After the discussion drew to a close and Russick charged the attendees to “go in peace,” several of the groups still remained behind to socialize. The night’s discussion helped to “completely break down that brick wall with a group of men who want to help each other,” said Caleb Magowan.
As the men left the J.C. Williams Center laughing and jesting, it was clear that the event succeeded in fostering a greater sense of brotherhood among all the men in attendance.