NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – A worship event spearheaded by students and staff involved in campus ministries at Bethel College continues into its second year.
Bethel campus pastor Amy Barker knew from her conversations with students and with other area campus pastors that a significant number of students were looking for contemporary style worship experience but no one college had the critical mass to pull it off.
With the help of Bethel College resident director Deanna Wisdom and several Bethel students, the vision became reality. Last April, 250 students from seven area colleges congregated at Bethel for the first Crossroads contemporary worship event.
“The first Crossroads last spring was greatly successful due to a huge turnout,” said Max Wedel, sophomore from Tucson, Ariz., one of the students instrumental in getting the program on its feet. “The other events since then have been less well-attended but successful nonetheless.”
Since the first gathering at Bethel, two other Crossroads events have been held, one at Sterling College and the other at Tabor College in Hillsboro. Earlier this fall, students from other colleges came to Bethel for a concert by the Christian singer-songwriter Jonah Werner.
The next Crossroads will be held once again at Bethel College on Tuesday, Nov. 28, at 8 p.m. in Bubbert’s, the student lounge/snack shop on the east end of Schultz Student Center. Students from Central Christian College in McPherson, Tabor College, Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina, Hesston College, Sterling College and McPherson College are invited to attend. The organizers of the event hope to have a good turnout of Bethel students, as well.
“Bethel College has a diverse population,” said Peter Goerzen, senior from Goessel, “and I think there’s a substantial minority of students who come from a praise-and-worship-type background, which requires a greater number of people in order to work.”
A Bethel praise band comprised of students Wedel, Tyler Doerksen, junior from Prescott Valley, Ariz., Jesse Goertzen, junior from Goessel, and Michael Unruh, junior from Peabody, will perform. Peter Goerzen will deliver a short message. There will be a panel of students from each college to answer questions and refreshments provided by Druber’s Donuts in Newton.
Primarily, the goal is to give students the chance to informally interact.
Caley Ortman, junior from Marion, S.D., said, “This is just a good chance to get together and be strengthened by others around us. It almost has a campus revival feel about it.”
“Crossroads helps students come together and meet other people who share a common faith, and to form bonds through music, laughter and occasionally some more serious stuff,” said Wedel. “But the big idea of this thing is fellowship.”
Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and has been named a Top Tier college by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1998. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at www.bethelks.edu.