Campus Ministries holds 2020 fall retreat virtually, in person

August 31, 2020
by Kenzie Burks, Staff Writer

August 31, 2020

Uncertain, but thankful. These words best describe the recent Campus Ministries Fall Retreat. 

This year’s retreat theme was “The Good Shepherd.” It included breakout sessions such as: “Trusting the Good Shepherd with Your Finances,” “Following Jesus in a Post-Christian Pandemic World” and “How Students Can Share the Good Shepherd with the World.”

Campus Ministries (CM) Director James Taylor and student leaders Hannah Walker and Martha Womack worked together with Ouachita students Bethany Duncan and Cameron Conner and Second Baptist Church of Arkadelphia to create a fun but safe and socially distanced fall retreat for students at Ouachita. The small team who planned the retreat couldn’t have done so without the speakers for the event, Chris Brunne, Scott Duvall, Rachel and Charles G. and Quantel Williams.

“The biggest struggle was that we didn’t really know even if we could do it, probably a month before the event,” Taylor said. “Thankfully, we had people who were really flexible working with us.”

Students were able to attend breakout sessions via Zoom. (photo by Sarah Dean)

Taylor and his team adapted well to the many differences in this year’s event compared to previous retreats. The breakout sessions were held using Zoom, and Friday night’s worship service was livestreamed on Facebook. Both allowed students to participate in the event either virtually or in person.

“Instead of an overnight retreat, it was just one night of worship,” Taylor said.

The rest of the semester will still be eventful for Campus Ministries, even with the COVID guidelines. With life groups kicking off next week, the CM leaders are making adjustments for in-person worship and larger group gatherings as the semester continues. Noonday and Refuge are also still happening, just in different capacities than before.

While an online retreat was not the most ideal circumstance, the CM team is thankful to have been able to host their annual retreat.

“I’m thankful that we were still able to have it, even though it was really different,” Taylor said. “I’m glad we were still able to gather together and worship, and we’re figuring it out along the way.”

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