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Annual OC Lectureship offering encouragement from 1 Peter

The 66th annual Oklahoma Christian University Lectureship is offering practical advice to encourage Christians facing adversity.

The lectureship’s theme, “To God’s Elect,” derives from the first verse of 1 Peter, to whom Peter addresses the beginning of the book, “To God’s elect, exiles scattered…”

Discussion topics during the lectureship will include service, homosexuality, pornography, suffering, reaching out to others and understanding Scripture.

The lectureship kicks off Sunday, Oct. 2, with worship led by Keith Lancaster from the Cullman Church of Christ. Following worship, physician and missionary Kent Brantly from Fort Worth, Texas, will deliver a message based on 1 Peter 4:10, “To God’s Elect: Serving Those in Need.”

Brantly traveled with the medical mission group Samaritan’s Purse to Liberia in 2014. While providing aid work to Liberia’s residents, Brantly contracted the Ebola virus and was the first to receive the Ebola vaccination. His recovery drew national attention.

Following Brantly’s message, the musical group Acappella will perform in Hardeman Auditorium. The first night will conclude with a book signing of Brantly’s book, “Called for Life.”

Throughout the lectureship, those in attendance will have the opportunity to hear from a variety of speakers, including Wissam Al-Aethawi, a Christian convert from Islam from the Sunset Church of Christ in Detroit, MI, Jerry Rushford from Pepperdine University and Chris McCurley from Oldham Church of Christ in Abilene, Texas.

Oklahoma Christian Bible professor Stafford North said this year’s theme was selected because of its relevance to the issues in today’s society.

“This year we chose 1 Peter because it has so many practical lessons that fit today’s circumstances,” North said. “So we developed most of the lessons out of that text.”

According to North, in 1 Peter, Peter is writing to churches undergoing persecution in order to foster and embolden their faith.

“He’s wanting to encourage them and strengthen them with what they have to face,” North said. “A lot of those lessons apply to us because we are in somewhat similar circumstances today. Society is gradually moving away from a Christian point of view and we want to help people prepare for that.”

North said the lectureship provides applicable faith advice to students as well as church leaders.

“I think a lot of these will be useful to students as they are trying to develop their own outlook on a lot of these topics,” North said. “We’re bringing in really good speakers from around the country, so I think they would find these to be very helpful.”

North first began attending the annual lectureship in the spring of 1952 when he arrived at Oklahoma Christian. According to North, the lectureship brings people together from across the country to grow in their faith, and students should not hesitate to take advantage of the resources the lectureship offers.

“It’s interesting to me that people come from lots of different places to hear these things,” North said. “Students have got them right here, they just have to walk through the door. They have a good opportunity to hear some things that are right here on campus.”

For more information and to register for the lectureship, visit their website. All speaking events are Ethos-approved for students if they walk in the east doors of Hardeman Auditorium.

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