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Campus ministries use Fall Break to build bonds of community

Fall break for Oklahoma Christian University students offers opportunities to become more involved with local campus ministries.

Jay Mack, the campus minister at the Memorial Road Church of Christ, said his college group is preparing for their second year fall break trip.

“We really see the importance of community building,” Mack said. “It’s really hard to form bonds when we’re only interacting and getting to know each other for an hour or so on Sundays and Wednesdays.”

According to Mack, the Memorial Road campus ministry always has a mission trip planned for spring break, which is why they keep their fall break plans less strenuous.

Thursday, 40 members of the Memorial Road campus ministry will travel five hours to a retreat spot in Table Rock Lake, MO.

“I’m getting students away from their apartment or dorm room, away from the library, classroom and campus because I know they’re college students and need their rest,” Mack said. “Students are just excited about getting to sleep and relaxing but doing that in community with one another.”

Mack said if a student does not feel like they are a part of a campus ministry, they should go on one of these trips.

“You could jam pack three days of activities for the students, but then it begins feeling like they are not on a break from school,” Mack said. “There is not a set schedule for our fall break trip for that reason. The campus ministry staff and I make sure meals are planned and prepared but students are allowed to decide how they want to spend their time without worrying about following a strict schedule.”

The group meets for worship in the evening with community games available and a campfire to conclude each day.

“Our fall break trip creates the space we need to build stronger relationships for our community,” Mack said. “Those relationships are a commodity that are invaluable because they make all the difference in the world to us.”

The Memorial Road campus ministry group will return Sunday morning.

Another local campus ministry program is taking a different approach to growing their community.

Students from the Edmond Church of Christ’s campus ministry are able to show their sense of community by serving those in surrounding areas.

From Oct. 20-22, the campus ministry, alongside the rest of the Edmond congregation, are participating in Mission Edmond.

“Mission Edmond is a church-wide effort of the Edmond Church of Christ to reach out in to the community and serve our neighbors,” Evan Burkett, Edmond’s campus minister, said. “Our students are invited to help over the break. It is so good to see the church working side by side, inter-generationally in the community.”

Those participating in Mission Edmond are able to select to serve in projects from one to three days of their fall break.

Each day begins at 8 a.m. with breakfast, devotional, prayer and making sack lunches before heading out into the community to serve in a variety of projects.

Projects for students include lawn work from landscaping and tree trimming to painting, cleaning, minor construction projects, singing and visiting nursing homes and assembling military care packages.

Each evening concludes between 5 and 6 p.m. with a devotional, prayer and a meal.

Thursday and Friday are both full work days, with Saturday functioning as a ‘clean up’ day to finish projects with plans to conclude around noon.

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