Each spring semester, OBU dedicates a week, called "Focus Week," to encourage members of the OBU community to strengthen healthy relationships with God and one another. Features for 2013 Focus Week, Feb. 11-16, include a video series on love, sex and dating; a special guest presentation by a key leader from Focus on the Family; a relationship forum in the dorms; and a couples' retreat.
The week will begin with a presentation of "The New Rules for Love, Sex and Dating," a series of messages by Andy Stanley, senior pastor of North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Ga. The series is broken into four parts that will be presented Monday, Feb. 11, and Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 10 a.m. in Raley Chapel's Potter Auditorium; Monday at 9 p.m. in GC 218-220; and Wednesday at 8 p.m. in GC 218-220. Chapel credit will be offered for all four sessions.
"The reality of life and relationships is a challenge at any age and in any culture, however, the college culture and the pivotal age of those in college can make life and relationships exceptionally challenging," said Odus Compton, OBU student ministry director. "Andy Stanley will lead us to a biblical reference point for honest discussion about love, sex and dating. I believe that these topics need to be breached and addressed at OBU now as much as any time in my history here."
Students are invited to attend a "Real"ationship Forum in the lobby of WMU Memorial Dormitory on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m. The forum is designed specifically for OBU students desiring to discuss love, sex and dating in the context of a panel who will guide the discussion.
"The forum is a great opportunity to engage with members of the OBU community, staff and students, and hear from their experiences regarding relationships," said Holly Hays, WMU resident director. "Our panel consists of individuals from a variety of life circumstances, from a married couple, an engaged female, a dating female and a single female. We want to encourage a healthy perspective of all relationships. We will encourage and challenge the fact that actively keeping company with Jesus includes having healthy community and relationships."
Friday, Feb. 16, Jackson Dunn, marriage and family ministry director for Focus on the Family, will speak in a chapel service at 10 a.m. in Raley Chapel's Potter Auditorium.
The "Growing a Healthy Relationship: OBU Couples Retreat" will be held in the conference/youth center at Immanuel Baptist Church in Shawnee, led by Dunn and his wife, Krista. The annual couples' retreat is designed specifically for married, engaged and seriously dating couples. The theme for this year's retreat is "Communication: Key to Relationships."
"Focus Week offers our campus an opportunity each year to explore God's heart for relationships as exemplified in the life, death and resurrection of his Son," said Dale Griffin, OBU dean of spiritual life. "The depth of God's love can be explored again and again with a freshness that is always needed to strengthen relationships with each other and with him. After plunging into the many treasures we will discover in God's Word regarding his heart for love and relationships, we will want to declare again with the psalmist, 'I love you, O Lord God, my strength' (Psalm 18:1)."
For information about Focus Week events, call the OBU Spiritual Life offices at (405) 585-5700.