In the midst of the chaos of finals preparation, a group of Manhattan residents — many of whom are Kansas State students — will gather on Sunday night as part of MHK Worship‘s largest semesterly event.
MHK Worship is a group of Christians who gather together to pray and worship, often times through music. Andrew Carnes, senior in management, and Blase Pivovar, senior in marketing, are both involved in MHK Worship.
This Sunday in the Wareham Opera House, the group will congregate in one of its larger gatherings to participate in worship and music — an event called MHK One.
“We do it [MHK One] once a semester — it’s essentially kind of geared towards our mission of uniting the city together — that’s probably the truest extent of it,” Pivovar said.
Pivovar said MHK Worship is based on a similar group at Colorado State University.
“We had a friend that attended Colorado State and essentially gave us the dream/idea to start with on our campus,” Pivovar said.
Outside of MHK One, the group gathers for smaller weekly and monthly meetings.
“We do weekly prayer sets or small gatherings with a little bit of live music, just for people to sit, just kind of a quiet space,” Carnes said.
MHK Worship is not affiliated with a specific Christian ministry in Manhattan.
“The heart of it is to bring together the different church and Christian communities here in town,” Pivovar said. “So I guess we are kind of our own ministry in a sense, but it’s in the hopes of bringing people from a lot of other ones together.”
Carnes said each member of the group’s nine-person team is responsible for different aspects.
“It’s kind of a collective effort between the nine of us to put these events on,” Carnes said.
Carnes plays the guitar and Pivovar plays the drums during the musical portions of worship nights. Carnes said he, Pivovar and another member of their team grew up worshipping together. He said that they did similar things in their hometown of Kansas City and wanted to bring the concept to Manhattan.
“We just really felt like we’d rather devote our time to something like this,” Carnes said. “It’s a passion of ours — music is passion of ours, worship is passion of ours. It kind of felt like a natural thing for us to do. We love worshiping, and our faith is a really significant part of our life and it would feel unnatural to not be doing.”
Pivovar said he noticed a polarized community at K-State when it came to ministries. He said he felt like there was a stereotype attached to different churches and wanted to help unite those communities.
“I just felt like maybe division here on a college campus was pretty high in the faith community so I think we had this idea of what if we can help in the way that we can — through music, essentially — bring a lot of people together in one space where [it’s] maybe less of a big deal of like what church, or like maybe one specific thing you believe,” Pivovar said.
Pivovar said the entire program is paid for through community donations. The student leaders are not financially compensated for their work.
“It typically costs about $800 to bring a sound system into the Wareham and have production guys to run it, and also it costs to rent out the Wareham,” Pivovar said. “And every semester they fundraise by the community, so it’s not one specific church organization funding. It’s the people of the city, come in and they’re giving five or 10 dollars.”
Pivovar said they are often surprised by who shows up to their events. Carnes and Pivovar stressed that while the majority of people who attend MHK Worship events are Christian, it isn’t a requirement.
“We don’t really specifically target certain groups, it reaches who is supposed to reach,” Carnes said. “Whoever is supposed to be there is there.”