Why a Young Alumni Gives to UKirk UTK

The first time I stepped inside UKirk, it was the first Wednesday of my freshman year and just from that initial service, I knew I had found the place for me. Let me start off by saying that I have never been an extremely religious person. I have always questioned many aspects of Christianity and my beliefs continually changed throughout college. If I had to guess, I’d say everyone believes something different than the person next to them. So knowing that I probably didn’t believe the same as many of my other Christian friends, I really wasn’t looking to become a part of a ministry. I thought I would go once or twice and then not really think about it anymore. Little did I know that I would end up spending so much time at UKirk, it was like a second home. Despite being unsure of my religious beliefs, the kindness and joy emitting from everyone at that first Wednesday night service convinced me that I needed to stay and from then on, my love for UKirk continued to grow and grow.
I guess the biggest reason I started to donate to UKirk is that I just completely fell in love with everything about it. I adore all of the friends I made and genuinely looked forward to Wednesday nights while at UT. However, the main aspect of UKirk that sticks out in my mind is the overwhelming encouragement to question and search for what you believe and then the support that came with the answers you found. I realized it was ok to be unsure about everything; unsure about religion, life goals, future career, etc. It was ok to break everything down and try to build it back up in a way that made sense to you. Basically, it was ok to not be ok. Because, regardless of what path you might take in life, you are and always will be surrounded by love and support from God, friends and family. UKirk surrounded me with that love and gave me that support during a very hard four years of my life, and I will always be grateful for that.
So I wanted to help UKirk, because I think everyone deserves the chance to feel that feeling. I hope every single person that enters UKirk whether it is for just a couple of minutes to grab a coffee or couple of hours to enjoy dinner and service eventually feels the goodness that resides there and knows that they are loved and supported.
Claire Rowcliffe
UKirk Alumna

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