Asbury Builds Community on All-Campus Retreat – Asbury University
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March 5, 2020

crowd of students and faculty in a large roomThe entire Asbury University community got in on the action last weekend for the first All Campus Retreat at Bluegrass Christian Camp. Rather than hosting separate men’s and women’s retreats for each class year as in years past, the Student Development team invited all students, faculty and staff to come together for one massive community adventure.

Students have always enjoyed these retreats and looked forward to them, but the decision to combine into one was the culmination of several years of feedback.

“Our desire to have an All Campus Retreat came from several different campus voices,” said Rev. Jeannie Banter, Assistant Director of Spiritual Life. “One driving voice was the students who, throughout the last several years, have asked for more opportunities to foster healthy friendships with members of the opposite gender.”

With a theme of Renew 2020, this year’s retreat offered students the chance to unwind and take a break as midterms loom. A variety of activities helped them relax and have some fun, including glow-in-the-dark Capture the Flag, karaoke and a Zumba session – of which Asbury’s own Rev. Greg Haseloff was a participant. Asbury faculty and staff donated desserts for the weekend and brought their families along to join in the fun on Saturday.

Between the fun and games, the community gathered for worship and messages from speakers such as Dr. Kevin J. Brown, president, Kevin Bellew, Associate Dean of Wholeness and Wellness, and Bishop Linda Adams. The messages centered around taking a break from the business of the everyday to re-center our lives on Christ and His mission for our lives.

“There is something significant that happens when we take time in our lives to pause, unplug, and connect with God and others,” said Rev. Banter. “I absolutely loved watching our students take the risk of pausing and connecting with one another throughout the weekend.”

The risk seems to have played out well. As the first half of the semester draws to a close, Asbury students are turning once again to their exams and projects, but this time with more energy and a stronger sense of community than before.