Christian Union Mission Week

first_imgIn fourth week, Oxford University’s Inter Collegiate Christian Union will hold their annual mission week, entitled “This is Jesus.”Planned events include talks by Minister Mike Cain and influential American author and cultural commentator Dr Tim Kellar.OICCU President Robbie Strachan explained that the week aims to “give every student an opportunity to engage with the person of Jesus Christ.” He added, “We want to challenge false perceptions and encourage people to come and check him out for themselves.”Next week’s event is set to be one of the largest ever, with a £40,000 budget raised from donations from students and alumni. The money will pay for hiring Oxford town hall for guest speakers and ordering an estimated 14,000 copies of John’s gospel to distribute among students.Justifying the expense, OICCU argue that Oxford students have stated their desire to learn more about Jesus and Christianity. A spokesperson commented, “In an recent survey carried out by OICCU on Cornmarket and in colleges, 70% of students asked considered Jesus to be in some way relevant in Oxford.”Exeter student Joel Richardson said, “Evangelism has to be important to any Christian; if we believe what we say we believe then it’s naturally really important to share the good news with other people.”College Christian Unions have been given funds to help them promote the event in imaginative ways. Somerville are to hold a “Text-a-Pancake Tuesday,” where a pancake is delivered to a student along with the answer to a theological question of their choice. Mansfield students have been invited to a subsidised black tie dinner and some colleges are holding “Grill a Christian” forums, where reps are asked questions about faith.Benjamin Krishna, President of Oxford Atheists, Secularists and Humanists, told Cherwell, “In my opinion evangelical Chris-tianity is lost on a sceptical British public. I think most people in Oxford have grown up learning about Jesus and Christianity and so know enough already to make informed choices.” His society plan to hold their own “Think Week” this term, which Krishna suggested will include “balanced debates and religious perspectives. Most will events end without the neat (Christian) conclusion that you will find in Mission Week.”Another student argued that the mission week was a “clear waste of resources on those who know about Christianity and have rejected it,” instead suggesting that the money would be more useful to a charity.Student Andrew Hansford countered this. “Sharing the gospel is fundamental to OICCU’s purpose. We’d love to see people begin to get to know Jesus, but we’re not here to force anyone to do anything.”last_img

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