Mercyhurst University’s Campus Ministry traveled to Pittsburgh to attend Coalition for Christian Outreach’s Jubilee Conference. The theme of Jubilee 2017 was “Every Square Inch” – the idea that God’s love should permeate every square inch of the world.
On Feb. 17, over 3,500 college students, joined by a myriad Christian speakers and leaders, gathered together to celebrate the Christian faith for a weekend. A total of 30 individuals from Mercyhurst attended the conference, including students, Campus Ministry staff and five alumni.
Throughout the conference there were four main gatherings, as well as four workshops and late night options on Friday and Saturday. Each gathering had live music and speakers, focusing on a different aspect of the biblical narrative: creation, fall, redemption and restoration.
Speakers included Christian rap artists, such as Lecrae and Propaganda, as well as pastors and political activists, like Anthony Bradley, Ekemini Uwan and Sho Baraka.
The workshops provided opportunities to learn more about faith and how to integrate it into various majors and, ultimately, careers. The topics ranged from art and music to education, politics and science.
Other workshops discussed more general topics, such as the basics of the Gospel, or how to integrate faith into racial issues.
The conference provides the opportunity to understand and learn about new ideas. Many students view it as a safe place to engage in difficult conversations. Ryan King, a junior majoring in Intelligence Studies with a double-minor in Psychology and Political Science, has attended Jubilee twice and enjoys that aspect of the conference.
“One of the things I love about it is to see people come together in unity in a world that seems to love things to be divisive. It’s also a place that you can freely express your beliefs and your love of your faith without fear of being judged,” King said.
Jenell Patton, Campus Ministry, said Jubilee is a reminder of the importance of faith community.
“I think the first thing is that it lets you know you aren’t alone in doing our faith. We live in a time where we think we can do our faith in our rooms because things can stream on the internet. What people really desire is community and connection,” Patton said.
King said he believes that Jubilee is a way for people to communicate ideas and gives hope to change things that are broken.
“It’s amazing to see so many people who are truly in love with and on fire for their faith,” King said.