Being a student can be difficult, with financial challenges, a school course load, social life and mental health to be concerned about.
The Campus Church – Refresh (CCR) is a place students in hard times can go and be surrounded by other students who are struggling with similar things.
Campus church has been around for roughly 10 years; since University of Ontario Institute of Technology opened its doors, said Naomi Laserna, current worship director at CCR.
This group is not just a Durham College or UOIT club but it is a part of a bigger organization called Power to Change. Power to Change connects students all over Ontario, Canada and the world. It began in 1951 at UCLA by founders Bill and Vonette Bright. It was called campus crusade, when the program was all over the United States. By 1968 there were more than 60 Power to Change programs at colleges and universities across Canada.
The organization is a group of people who believe in Christ, who want to spread the word of the Lord and help students find their way through Christ.
“On average we get around 30 students each week, and we spend our time socializing, singing songs and each week we bring a new speaker to address issues that students face and relate it back to the Bible,” says Laserna.
The main thing that they try to get across is that it is not a place for only Christians, it is open to anyone from any religion who can come and feel welcome in a safe place of worship.
During their last gathering on Dec. 2 they brought in speaker Douglas McIntosh. He enhanced the thought and meaning of spiritual lostness. It not only brought up a lot of reflection for students but also a lot of personal discussion within the room.
During Laserna’s first year, she didn’t really know what clubs she would want to join. UOIT held a ‘get involved fair’ and Laserna noticed that Campus Church had a booth. She then noticed a face that she knew very well. She talked to her friend who was part of the Campus Church and learned about it. From that moment she has been an active member within the club.
“I had no idea a place like this existed with these people who are so welcoming and nice,” said Laserna.
She felt that she could be part of their community, she went to a worship service and enjoyed how much she could grow and learn about faith and the Bible in a safe environment.
Campus Church – Refresh meetings are held Fridays at 6:45 p.m. in room SW109. Bible studies are held Monday to Thursday from 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. in room C309. Both these services are free of charge.