I remember vividly being a fresh-faced college freshman walking along and admiring “Fraternity Row.” The large beautiful homes proudly displaying their Greek letters and emblems. I couldn’t wait to go through rush (the rigorous process of visiting each sorority and ranking them while they in turn rank you…not stressful at all…HA)! I desperately wanted to be part of the social and philanthropic aspects of sorority life. The Greek population at Ball State University in the mid-nineties only counted for about 20% of the student population. I successfully navigated rush and got into a sorority that I loved! It felt so special. I shared something in common with all the men and women that had chosen to take the plunge and rush a fraternity or sorority. Even though we may have been in different houses, we all came together under the category of “Greek life” and being part of that group felt really good. It was a sisterhood I could depend on, fun, laughter, and friendships that continue to this day. Some of my best days have been spent with my “sisters” and I look back fondly at those memories.
Picture it…Bid Day of Fall 1993 a day of nerves and anxiety in spades! In college, after you have visited every *house and met all the girls (you choose them but then they have to choose you back). Then all the girls who participated in rush are gathered in the gymnasium for the big reveal. You’re given an envelope containing the “magic words” that you’re expected to leave unopened until told otherwise and wait patiently with it on your lap while the people in charge give you the spiel about how it was a difficult process and some people may be disappointed blah blah blah. Finally, the go ahead is given and you find yourself ripping open your envelope with lightning speed to see where you will be pledging your love and loyalty for the next four years of your college existence (and more if you choose to become an active alumni).
*At Ball State sororities didn’t have houses, we had suites.
I clearly remember opening my envelope and seeing my first-choice sorority! Looking back, I wish I had saved that card that clearly had Welcome to Alpha Phi written in script. It was so exciting and new and wonderful! I was giddy with the thought of being part of this special group. I had four amazing years with my sisters and best friends. Parties, fraternities, Alpha Phi does a lot for the American Heart Association and it was great to be involved with that on a charitable level.
Then you graduate and unless you get directly involved with the Alumni or choose to work for a fraternal organization it pretty much moves to the back of your consciousness. Jobs, houses, spouses, kids, dogs, laundry…life. It can leave you feeling lonely…accept that there is a “Greek System” available to us and it’s through the community in our churches. As a body of believers, we are all in the special club! It’s the club of Salvation and your Bid Day card says Welcome to Eternity with the Prince of Peace. How awesome is that?!? Within that club we have different choices. The Tri-Delt’s (Methodist), Pi-Phi’s (Lutherans), Kappa Delta’s (Presbyterian), Evangelical Alpha Phi’s. Even though we are different and that’s a place that could easily divide us, we are under the larger umbrella of God. As believers we have an opportunity to proudly display our “letters and emblems” and invite people to join. Yes, this is a very special club but unlike the girls gathered around me on Bid Day who were openly crying because their envelopes didn’t have the beautiful script writing they were expecting. God is offering salvation and everyone is invited.