What is Merge?
Merge is a campus ministry centered around our weekly worship service that meets on Wednesdays at 9pm—Come early, meet new people and grab a free T-shirt! Our sermons aim to promote critical thinking about our religion and how we can live out our faith in our everyday lives. We celebrate communion every week at Merge—EVERYONE is welcome, so bring a friend, dress casual and enjoy our awesome music! We can’t wait to see you!
Am I welcome here?
Yes! As long as you are a college-aged student in the Bloomington-Normal area, you are welcome to join us for worship, small groups, or one of our other events! Merge is a fully inclusive campus ministry, so all people are welcome — if you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community, a member of any denomination (or no denomination!), or a member of another religion, you are invited to join us. When we say all people are equally loved by God, we mean it!
What does your service look like? What do you preach about?
Each service is designed to fit around whatever the sermon is about that week, for instance in the past we’ve had a Queer Eye sermon where we put lights up that were in bright rainbow colors. Each week is different so that everyone can feel like they’re experiencing the space for the first time again.
Our motto at Merge is “Belong. Believe. Become,” which for us means that we want Merge to feel like a place where students can belong, where they can figure out what they believe, and where they can become the person God is calling them to be. The sermons we give every week are based around this core belief, and we hope to reflect that message with every Wednesday night worship service.
How long are your worship services?
Our services are about an hour long. Many people usually stay behind afterwards to chat or help clean up the worship space. If you don’t want to stay afterwards that’s cool too, everyone is free to come and go as they please.
Do I have to dress up?
Absolutely not, we are a judgement free zone, and everyone here is in college too, so we get it if you need to show up in PJ’s. We’ve all been there. There is no need to show up in your “Sunday best,” we’re just happy to have you with us, no matter what you look like.
That being said, please wear clothes at least, public nudity is still a crime and you can get arrested walking across campus like that.
How can I get involved?
- Come to our weekly worship, Wednesdays at 9pm.
- Join a small group, we offer new ones every semester that are meant to help students grow in their faith as well as make some new friends.
- Join us on retreats and mission trips.
- Like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and Snapchat.
What other services do you provide?
We do a lot to try and make sure that students who comes to Merge feels like it can be their home away from home. The photo above is our space that is located in the basement of Normal First United Methodist Church behind Milner Library (come in the side door closest to the library), so we’re a very short walk from ISU’s campus. As you can see, we have a comfortable space to study, relax and hang out with friends, with plenty of tables, comfy couches, a ping pong and a pool table, Wi-Fi, free printing, TV, and a fully functioning kitchen! Our prayer room is also located in this space.
What church/denomination are you associated with?
Merge at ISU Wesley is the official United Methodist campus ministry for college students in the Bloomington-Normal area. While we are connected to the United Methodist Church (UMC), you don’t have to be a member of the UMC (or any church) to be a part of Merge. We are our own ministry, although we helped to launch an open and inclusive church in town. If you are looking for a Sunday morning worship service, we recommend visiting one of the many United Methodist churches in our area.
I have more questions…
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