By Queenster Nartey
Last week, three members of Grinnellians Seeking Christ (GSC) attended a conference in Minneapolis. Amber Gruner ’13, a member of GSC, heard about the Christian Community Development Association National Conference over the summer through a friend that encouraged her to go. She, and other GSC leaders, have been planning on attending since then.
Gruner, Jenny Peek ’13 and Alexia Klatt ’13 were excited for the trip because of the year’s theme, Reconciliation.
“I was hoping to be rejuvenated and refreshed and to also hear some cool perspectives from Christians about reconciliation in the church,” Peek said.
Last week, the trio made the trip up to Minneapolis for the long-awaited conference.
“It was much more overwhelming than I expected it to be,” Gruner said. “There were thousands of people there. I was amazed at how similar I was with the other people there. I felt that I could ascribe to the group that was there.”
One thing that surprised many of the Grinnellians was the age groups of the people at the conference.
“It was amazing to see so many Christians that were our ages or in their twenties, thirties, fourties or fifties who were living lives of social justice because of their faith,” Peek said. “And it wasn’t just a typical conference. We talked about education, race, and poverty.”
They all agreed that the conference was encouraging because it was interesting to talk about these topics in a Christian context.
“We heard a speaker talk about education and equality and how broken the system is,” Klatt said. “This was a group of people that you didn’t have to convince that there are racial disparity in education. They were really on board of the idea of privilege and oppression, which we learn in our sociology classes here.”
These topics resonated well with GSC’s mission, which according to an email, is to meet students where they are in their faiths and “adhere to Christ’s call for unconditional love, welcoming the participation of people from all creeds, races, ethnicities, genders, regions, and sexual orientations.”
GSC has other plans for this year. This Saturday at 10/10, they will be handing out water and frosted animal crackers. These snacks are an upgrade from last year.
“They put up a fight saying ‘we don’t want plain animal crackers, we want frosted animal crackers!’ So we got an additional 50 dollars to get frosted animal crackers,” Gruner said.
Next week, GSC will be partnering with the SRC (Stonewall Resource Center), for Queer and Christian Bake Night on Thursday night, where they will watch a movie and bake lots of goods.
Overall, GSC feels that they have had an exciting year so far, with lots of new faces and activites.
“Everyone is welcome to drop by to service events and Bible studies,” Peek said.