Marena Black (left) and Meredith Johnson (right), two leaders of Oasis speak to the group on Nov 28. Oasis meets every Wednesday before and after school.
Marena Black (left) and Meredith Johnson (right), two leaders of Oasis speak to the group on Nov 28. Oasis meets every Wednesday before and after school.
Mallorie Goodale

Board approves new Oasis club

Freshman Meredith Johnson and eighth grader Maraena Black sat through an hour of nervousness and fear at the school board meeting Monday, Oct. 22. The two were waiting to learn if their club, Oasis, had passed. Johnson, Black and other leaders freshmen Drew Hendrickson and Kennedy Kramer had to request approval from the school board for Oasis to become a student organization at Johnston and Summit Middle schools.

At the next school board meeting on Monday, Oct. 22, the proposal for Oasis to become school sponsored was unanimously approved.

“When we had come out of the meeting, we were jumping up and down and screaming,” Johnson said. “We were so excited about it.”

Even though Oasis is called a Bible study, it is less about reading the Bible and more about living the Bible in everyday life. The club plans on bringing five or six youth pastors to speak. The meetings consist of an icebreaker, music and a theme with related music and the leaders going off the topic using a PowerPoint with Bible verses and movie clips.

“It is about the bible but we decided that we wouldn’t make it where people felt uncomfortable about it,” Black said. “We didn’t want it to be boring and like a normal bible study, we wanted it to be fun so we included games.”

The leaders of Oasis decided not to make the lessons traditional like Adam and Eve but instead to revolve around themes like fear and identity.

Black presented Oasis to the board at the previous board meeting, Oct. 8, as a request for the club to become school sponsored. She presented who the leaders would be, what they would do and the goals of the club.

“I hadn’t written down anything,” Black said. “I didn’t know what to expect and I didn’t have anything in front of me. Once I got going my nerves settled down and I got done, their faces literally looked liked they had just seen a fish flying.”

Johnson and Hendrickson, who attended the meeting, watched Maraena give her presentation.

“Me and Drew were sitting next to each other,” Johnson said. “We were looking at (the board members) faces and we were just beaming.”

After giving her presentation, Black felt reassured.

“I went up there and there was some amazing comments,” Black said. “The head of the school board said ‘you’re so well prepared’ but I felt like I wasn’t prepared at all.”

The idea to start Oasis was inspired by See You at the Pole, which was started by a school in Texas and occurs on the fourth Wednesday of Sept. Students from all different schools around the world meet at their flagpole to pray, read scriptures and sing hymns in the morning before school. See You at the Pole is all student led and not school sponsored. This annual event inspired Black to start a club at Summit called See You at the Summit. Forty-three people attended the club’s last meeting.

“After that, this year I was like ‘well I have to start something,'” Black said.

Hendrickson was also planning to start a bible club.

“I just went into the lunchroom and I was just praying and then God just says ‘Hey you should start a Bible study,'” Hendrickson said.”[Me and Kennedy] kind of started it a little bit but then Maraena got involved because she had done one before and it just started growing and just got huge.”

Each week, the Oasis meeting has a theme that the lesson is revolved around. To plan these lessons, the four leaders get together at Starbucks or a place with WiFi with their laptops and plan out a couple of weeks’ theme and lesson.

“Sometimes we go on websites and just look at ideas, sometimes just God blesses us with an idea and we just kind of roll with it,” Hendrickson said.

The leaders hope the club grows as the year continues.

“We’re going to just see how many kids we can reach in our school,” Black said.

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