The Salt Company starts a new year of college ministry

Mary Pautsch

“Five, four, three, two, one!”

As students counted down and the clock struck 8 p.m. on Thursday, The Salt Company began a new semester of unity and worship for Christians on campus.

The Salt Company is a campus extension of Cornerstone Church, and has been celebrating their faith for over 40 years at Iowa State.

A live band welcomed students with music that reflected the group’s beliefs as a worship started. People let loose as they listened and got to mingle with each other.

Vanessa Chapman, sophomore in industrial technology, has been attending Salt since she first came to Iowa State as a freshman. She said that the music in the service has a major impact on her.

“I always love the worship music,” Chapman said. “I can just always feel the spirit running through me when I listen to it.”

After the music died down, the crowd was asked to take a seat in the grass beside Hilton Coliseum. Bible readings were discussed, relating the symbolism in the stories to everyday struggles young people may have with their faith.

Stephen Jones, freshman coordinator of the Salt Company, added that the group wants to make sure anybody has a place, regardless of how these struggles may affect them.

“Whether you think you’re really good, and good enough for God, or you think you’re really bad and not good enough for God, you can still find family here,” he said.

Jones also spoke about Salt’s connection groups and how they can also help new students at Iowa State not only overcome hardships, but also make close friendships.

“We want to create a place where you can be known by someone at Iowa State, and have a smaller community here with 8 to 12 other people,” said Jones. “There’s tons of laughter, tons of friendship, but also it’s where you can say ‘here’s the hard things I face, here’s who I truly am.'”

The evening concluded with more music with a final psalm verse and group prayer. Then, students were encouraged to get up and find a connection group leader they can meet with weekly. Connection groups are found all around campus and Ames, with options to meet both on and off campus.

The Salt Company also has weekly services at Cornerstone Church on Sundays at 8 p.m. For Claire Solsma, sophomore in agriculture communications, this is her favorite part of the week.

“Salt just enlightens the soul,” she said. “It brings out such a happiness in me every time I come here and I just feel great after I leave.”

Students who were unable to attend the kickoff celebration are encouraged to meet for weekly services. There they can get in touch with a connection group and get more involved in the ministry if they wish.