By Lauren Matheny, Lifestyles Editor
The religious life and church relations staff will host a Youth Service Day on March 7.
Youth Service Day was developed to introduce United Methodist high school students to OCU. United Methodist youth groups from around the state sign up each year for the day of service and worship on the OCU campus.
The day’s agenda includes tours of the campus, an introduction to the Methodist presence on campus, visits from Admission’s staff members, and lunch. In the afternoon, the youth group students will travel to sites across the city to serve the community. Common sites include area schools, fellow neighborhood churches and community gardens.
After an afternoon of service, the students will return to Bishop W. Angie Smith Chapel for an evening worship service.
OCU students are the leaders and organizers of the day, said the Rev. Rodney Newman, director of student religious life.
“The Bishop’s scholars are directly involved with every facet of this event,” Newman said. “It’s one of the major forms of outreach to the United Methodist youths in Oklahoma, so it’s a major accomplishment that our students put it together each year.”
In addition to providing service for the community, the event also introduces prospective students to the campus in a unique way.
“We want them to be aware of OCU and consider us as an option when they make their college plans, and it might help to know the strength of our ministry here,” Newman said.
The day is an important step in the learning process of the OCU students who help, Newman said.
“This day helps them to learn leadership, but it means more to them,” Newman said. “Our students get to tell their stories, and take a moment to stop and think about what OCU really means to them. I don’t think we always have the chance to appreciate that in our everyday lives. This gives them a chance to share that with younger students.”
Michael Horn, the main organizer of Youth Service Day and youth minister junior, said the day will provide a lasting memory for high school students.
“My hope is that the kids find a love of serving and fellowship,” Horn said. “Sure, I hope they come to OCU, but that isn’t what the day is about. The main thing is coming together as one to serve our community.”