CONNECT retreat hopes to build community on campus

By The Beacon | September 4, 2014 12:50am

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By Vinci Halbrook-Paterson |

It’s been years since there’s been a special retreat offered for first years here at UP. This year, however, that’s not the case. Campus Ministry is excited to announce that freshmen can come to the first ever CONNECT Retreat on Sunday, Sept. 7 from 1 p.m. through 9 p.m. Mass.

First, you might ask us, “Why a retreat for freshmen?” Although there are many reasons, the primary one is this: Many first years come to campus, year after year, looking for a way to get involved in Campus Ministry. Most of the time, they are really looking for a community of people with whom they can explore their faith and grow spiritually.

Unfortunately, this has not always been easy for first years to find at UP. This retreat will facilitate community based on sharing experiences of faith and spirituality, including service, prayer, worship and theological discussion. We hope that new students will leave the retreat with positive relationships upon which they will be able to rely for the rest of their time at UP.

Second, you might wonder, “Why is it called “CONNECT?” Well, Campus Ministry feels that spiritual growth happens best in a strong community. What is a community, then, apart from a series of interpersonal connections? Dozens of sophomore, junior, and senior student leaders will be present at the retreat to help freshmen fortify their connections with each other, with older students, with the UP Community in general, and, most importantly, with God.

The day will consist of music, celebration, games, discussion, faith-sharing and getting to know all the ways in which students can grow in faith. Finally, it’s essential to note that all first year students, with their diverse perspectives and belief systems, are welcome at this great day of community and connecting.

CONNECT Retreat is on Sunday, September 7th from 1-9 pm. Sign up by Thursday, September 4th on www.up.edu/campusministry. Any questions can be answered by Campus Ministry at ministry@up.edu.

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