August 19, 2009
College-age students from across the state are invited to attend the fifth-annual "Saturday in the Park," a day-long back-to-school celebration Aug. 29 hosted by Oklahoma Baptist University Campus Ministries. About 650 people attended last year's event.
The free celebration, following the theme "Crazy Love," is intended for new and returning OBU students and Baptist Collegiate Ministries students from across Oklahoma. The event officially begins at 4 p.m. with a variety of games at Woodland Park in downtown Shawnee, but the park's swimming pool will be open from 2-6 p.m. with an entrance fee of $2. Bands will play from 7-10 p.m.
"The purpose of the event is to make known the glory of God," said Dale Griffin, OBU dean of spiritual life. "The purpose of the event will be achieved through worship in song and a personal challenge offered by Christian communicator Afshin Ziafat. Music will be provided by Price Hill Band and the Robbie Seay Band."
The inspiration for the theme is based on the Scripture passage 1 John 4:9-10 and the story of the prodigal son found in Luke 15:11-32. It reflects the love of God - a radical, crazy love - displayed by the forgiveness made possible by Jesus Christ on the cross. The story of the lost son demonstrates God's enormous grace and love.
"The theme Crazy Love is all about the immaculate and astronomic love Jesus Christ has for us as He demonstrated on the cross," said Jered Bell, a sophomore Bible major from Magnolia, Texas, and chair of the event. "It is a love like no other. It is radical. It is unchanging. It is the same love God calls us to share."
Ziafat is a popular speaker during Super Summer and other student ministry events. Griffin said he has an amazing testimony of commitment to Jesus Christ at a personal cost.
Price Hill is a high-energy, power-packed worship band from Austin, Texas. Formed in 2007, their mission is to spread their passion and love for Jesus Christ by utilizing their God-given gifts of creativity and musical ability, and by building relationships with people and other ministries.
Based in Houston's Ecclesia Church, the Robbie Seay Band has a reputation for their unique style of worship music, grounded in community and in the life journeys of each of its members. The band is known for an alternative worship style that features raw, insightful lyrics coupled with an equally edgy and engaging sound.
"This event not only opens doors to new friends and fellowship, but it also ignites a worship experience that may be new for many people," Bell said. "Amidst the great music, speaker, games and food, there remains a strong spirit of worship in which students begin to understand what it truly means to shine as a light for our Savior King.
"If a student wishes to kick off the semester with a great college experience, then Saturday in the Park is definitely one of them."
Saturday in the Park began in a backyard in 2005. Griffin and a student leadership team had a vision of students gathering outdoors for a time of recreation and worship to kick off the new school year in an atmosphere of commitment to the glory of God, and a commitment to enjoy each other in Christian fellowship. Around 250 students attended the first event.
For more information about Saturday in the Park, contact the OBU Office of Spiritual Life at 405-878-2377.
To learn more about the guest artists, visit their Web sites: http://www.afshinziafat.com/, http://www.pricehillmusic.com/ and http://www.robbieseayband.com/.