“I came so that they might have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
On April 28, 2016, The New Jersey Mission Center hosted their Saint Paul’s Outreach Annual Benefit Banquet. Over 300 guests participated in an inspiring evening centered on the Gospel, faith, and mission.
Discipleship: The Challenge and the Costs
The recipient of this year’s Servant Leader Award was Dr. Robert P. George. Dr. George is an internationally renowned scholar and Princeton University’s McCormick Chair in Jurisprudence. Among his many accolades, he has been called “the most influential Christian thinker in America.” A strong defender of life, marriage, and religious liberty, Dr. George has staunchly defended these, even in the midst of cultural backlash.
Far from an academic lesson, Dr. George’s keynote address, “Ashamed of the Gospel: The End of Comfortable Christianity,” was a proclamation of the truth of the Gospel, the demands and costs of discipleship, and the challenge of taking up the cross in the midst of a culture hostile to Christ’s message.
Dr. George’s words resounded deeply in the hearts of all who gathered. At the end of his remarks he received a sustained standing ovation and thunderous applause.
Abundant Life - Powerful Transformation
Dr. George’s remarks were followed by a message from Mission Center Director Ed Moccia. SPO Student Missionary Tara Curry, a third year undergraduate student, delivered a moving testimony on the powerful impact SPO has had on her life, particularly calling her back to her Catholic faith. Tara shared very candidly about succumbing to the pressures and “fear of missing out” of the party culture. Mission Leader, Ryan O’Shaughnessy came up next. Ryan delivered a moving witness on the Lord’s call from life as a self-proclaimed atheist to full communion with the Church and SPO Missionary.
This year’s Banquet will be remembered not just as an annual fundraiser, but a proclamation of the Good News and a joyful invitation to participate in the commission Christ gave to his disciples after His Resurrection, “Go and make disciples...I am with you.”