For Joey Smart, an Ohio University junior, he found himself struggling to keep practicing his Christian faith while on campus.
“Back at home we would go to mass every sunday, but now I only go a couple of times a year while I’m at college,” Smart said. “I still go because I think that keeping the relationship with God is important.”
Having fellowship is important to many people, including me. When I came to OU, it was a struggle finding people who had the same values I did, or if they didn’t, finding people who I could share my struggles in the walk of faith.
Many students at Ohio University who wanted to find fellowship joined organizations such as Cru, Young Life, or even Kappa Phi, a Christian sisterhood, to find people who they can go to and hold each other accountable in their faith.
For one, it was a decision that she wouldn’t trade for anything else in the world, even though it took some major persuasion.
“My friend suggested Kappa Phi and after some heavy prompting I gave in,” said Jayme Pollock, an Ohio University senior. “It was a great decision and rejuvenated my walk with Christ. He showed me I could find good fellowship even in college and reaffirmed my faith.”
One other way Christians find fellowship is going to retreats: a place where people go to have fellowship with one another and foster friendships while learning Scriptures in order to
A retreat is a place where Christians can go and “rejuvenate” from the stresses of the world. They come to worship, fellowship and most importantly, replenish their faith with God. Usually, the retreats have time where Christians or other religious sects can pray to their deities in order to reconnect.
Ever since I was a kid, I went to retreats and found myself in a place where it’s safe to talk about my struggles without the fear of getting judged for it.
According to the Canon Beach Christian Conference Center, retreats are important because the whole “body” of Christ can feel refreshed. http://www.cbcc.net/retreats/resources/benefits-of-a-retreat/
Though there are different levels of activeness people can have regarding religious practices, and retreats are one of them. According to Metamorpha, it’s sometimes a time where people can find direction in their spiritual journey when they feel lost or confused. http://metamorpha.com/retreats/
Now, I’ve personally been a counselor for these retreats for a little over six years. Every year, I find young Christians wanting more information or wanting more time to find out if their faith is truly theirs. I find that fulfilling in a way that is serving them and at the same time, testing my own strength in my Christian faith.
Regardless, fellowship is a way of holding each other accountable as well as having some fun in the process. People are not meant to wander alone or to be alone. Perhaps that is why fellowship is important. Because, we are never truly alone in our struggles, rather, there are people out there that genuinely care.
Watch what some kids did at a retreat back at the Korean Central Presbyterian Church of Cleveland.
In the end, no matter what level of activeness a Christian is taking, there is one reminder that is always constant.
“I will always be one of God’s children,” Smart said.