10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 — Finally, after a week-long circulation of Facebook and Instagram promotion, the Christion Union (CU) began their events week from 31 January to 4 February. With a focus and theme of “Something More,” the CU hoped to encourage students to learn and acknowledge God’s presence within the University we study, the community we love, and the society in which we live. Taking place in a large, welcoming, and very warm marquee on the library lawn, the CU began their endeavors and their generous hospitality, hosting many lunches for the hungry and stressed students of St. Andrews, all with an extravagant amount of donuts!
Taking a worldly approach with the Bible, the Christian Union placed a strong emphasis on the important societal issues happening across the globe. With three different speakers and two different topics each day, the students of St. Andrews were able to explore, navigate, and understand how the gospel and God can change your perception within the world we live in. Some of the many important and pressing topics discussed this week included, “Injustice,” “Suffering,” “Destruction,” “Loneliness,” and “Division.” Ensuring that every voice was heard and ideas were challenged, the CU held various panel discussions and Q/A’s for students to question the speakers’ topics. However, the CU Events Week was not only filled with debates and discussion, but it also included nights of exotic food, poetry, music, and warm delicious toasties.
In having a discussion with the Christian Union Events Coordinator, Capri Mancini, the President, Catherine Torrens, and the Vice-President, Rory McNeight, students were given insight as to why the Christian Union feels led to host an events week, who they are doing this events week for, and how they are encouraging students to continue their spiritual journey within St. Andrews.
What was your main goal through this event?
“Our main goal in putting this event on was to give every student in St. Andrews the opportunity to hear and respond to the good news of Jesus Christ. We wanted to create a safe space for discussion and debate, where people come together and explore whether or not there is “something more” to life (as well as enjoy some great food)!”
How did you come to choose the topics of your talks/discussion — or — Why did you feel the need to discuss these certain topics to our students through the views of Christianity?
“We chose topics which we felt were particularly pressing for students at the moment (e.g. climate change, feminism, ect.). I think that sometimes people think Christianity is a barrier to exploring these topics — that the two are mutually exclusive — which is not the case at all! Christianity is for everyone, and we really wanted to get that across by looking at particularly topical issues.”
If you had to describe the overall outcome of Event’s Week in one word, what would that be?
Are there any other events St. Andrew’s students should be looking forward to?
“Keep your eyes peeled for our annual Starlight ball (complete with a ceilidh) and our performance of “The Mark Drama,” a play which portrays the life of Jesus according to one of his followers Mark. Both of these events will be happening later this semester. If you want to learn more about what was discussed during the recent week of events, you are SO welcome to come along to our Explore groups where you can dive deeper into the big questions of Christianity. We also host International Cafes every other Monday night in the Baptist Church on South Street where there are some seriously phenomenal foods from around the world.”
How has the Christian Union helped or supported your university journey?
“The CU has been such a blessing to my university experience. The community of CU around me has been such a joy and sharing my faith with others is always exciting and challenging. I have met some of my best friends and some of the most interesting people through the Christian Union and our events, and I am so thankful for the outreach and support I have felt from the CU during my time here.”
What are some resources for students who are interested in learning about Christianity can use in their journey towards faith?
- Explore Groups — the small groups mentioned earlier.
- Uncover Mark — a small study book which takes you through one biblical account of Jesus’ life.
- Meet with a CU member — an opportunity to meet up with one of our members to chat.
- Hall Groups — meet in halls of residences on a Tuesday night.
- More information on all of these are available on our link tree (https://linktr.ee/saucu).
Overall, this is what I’ve come to understand: Christians are not immune to suffering and are not blind to societal issues. Instead, they use the gospel and God to ensure their endurance throughout times of hardship, create change, and evoke courage in others to do the same. Therefore, Christian Union is more than just a place of fellowship, it is an embodiment of where love, encouragement, friendship, support, and understanding can be found. I hope that through their annual Events Week, you were able to partake and witness this love for yourself and maybe even be encouraged to join or further your curiosities at 19.30 on Tuesday evenings in the Baptist Church on South Street. There will be friendly faces at the door, warm greetings in the pews upstairs, singing of worship in the moments that follow, and friendly embraces as the evening comes to its end.