Popcorn With the Gibsons
President Tim Gibson and his wife Nancy Gibson have opened their home to the first years of each house to take part in Popcorn with the President. It’s an evening of eating popcorn, enjoying light conversation, and focusing on fellowship.
The Gibsons are opening their home this fall on Tuesdays and Fridays. This event is not only intended for social purposes, but to teach important lessons. The first step of the event is taking the time to respond to the invitation. The Gibsons introduced this aspect to teach the responsibility of RSVPing. They even added an RSVP pro tip: read carefully, respond timely, and arrive promptly.
“It is so important that all of the first years know that they are known,” Mrs. Gibson said. “I think that once you feel known you are less likely to find yourself making some bad decisions. You realize my house knows me, my community knows me, the leadership of this community knows me and is praying for me, and hopefully that will factor in and help in the decision making process.”
When arriving to the Gibsons, students were greeted with a warm welcome-- first a sign pointing where to drop off shoes, bags, and coats. The next sign directs students to find their name tag and another one points to the party favors.The next sign leads straight to the popcorn station.
“It is so important that all of the first years know that they are known. I think that once you feel known you are less likely to find yourself making some bad decisions.” — Mrs. Gibson
The popcorn station had different types of popcorn flavors, different candies and goodies. Once everyone was settled, the light conversation took over. President Gibson and Mrs. Gibson asked questions alike to, “What are you thankful for today?” and “What’s one thing you like to do when you have free time?” These questions opened up the conversation amongst the girls who responded with light answers about thankfulness for fellowship, community, family, friends, and love.
“It's so easy to feel lost and anonymous even in a crowded room sometimes,” President Gibson said. “So having questions that everybody participates in answering helps draw them into that dialogue and that conversation. I think it makes the next conversation that much easier to enter into. We don’t want you guys to feel like you came to King’s and you have this expectation that it is going to be small community. We don’t want that to not be the case. We want it to be the reality of what you expected and hoped this community would be.”
Once they opened the floor for questions, the Gibsons offered up some advice for first-year students at King’s. Mrs. Gibson’s elaborated on the importance of grace, both individually and communally. She recommended finding a mentor outside of college. She also advocated building relationships with older students at King’s who can can offer insight. Sticking with the theme of community, she also recommended reaching out to others and offering your help to the others within the student body.
“My hope for the first years at King’s would be that they can have that sense of community,” Mrs. Gibson said. “Out of that they can flourish and contribute, and grow, in ways that we all hope to when you go to college, and you send your kids off to college. I want King’s to be that for each other, and that comes from building intentional community and allowing each person to contribute in the ways that God has gifted them.”
“We just want you guys to feel like you belong, and you are a part of this and we care about you. We are just going to live life together.” — General Gibson
This is the first official class General Gibson will head as president. As such, he says the freshman class hold a special place for him. The Gibsons made it known that no matter how long a student is at King’s, they are a part of the community. Their efforts are simply just getting started with Popcorn with the President.
“I think [Popcorn with the President] is one of the things we can contribute to building community at King’s,” President Gibson said. “It is not an extraordinary effort, but just watching the smiles and hearing the conversations shows it’s still a meaningful effort. I don’t think it has to be something that’s superhuman and lasts all evening to be meaningful. We just want you guys to feel like you belong, and you are a part of this and we care about you. We are just going to live life together.”