Our blogging hiatus comes to an end as we approach the start of a new school year this week! But, before we get in to the days of classes and studying, let’s take a look at what happened only two weeks ago at SPO’s biggest event, The School of the New Evangelization training program. Over 200 students from 29 universities throughout the country gathered at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota for this 8-day training program. The students stayed in dorms on St. Thomas’ campus and spent their time learning from SPO staff, campus ministers and clergy and building community.
A typical SNE day begins with the men and women gathering in their dorms for Morning Prayer, followed by breakfast and a larger group session. After the opening session of the day, students attend different talks, depending on the track they have chosen. This year’s tracks were Mission, Communion and Holiness (listen to these talks here!). Next, the students gather for lunch, and afterwards break into small groups meetings to discuss what they have experienced so far in the day.
Free time after small group usually includes an option for team sports or walks along the river. Everyone gathers again for dinner, followed by after meal entertainment and a social night (this can be as a group or as men and women separate). The day always ends with community Night Prayer in each of the men’s and women’s dorms.
This year students did something a little different at SNE by participating in the Gather4Good service day, serving 11 sites in the Twin Cities area. Students were also lucky to be a part of Elegate , a special night for young adults in the Twin Cities, where the Gospel message was proclaimed and responded to with prayer and praise music by special guest Matt Maher! The week came to a close with a beautiful commissioning mass for the students who will be serving as Missionaries at SPO’s 11 chapter campuses.
Here’s what the SPO Ohio students had to say about their SNE experience!
“SNE was powerful for me…I really enjoyed the time building sisterhood and sharing with my small group. Elegate was incredible! Being given such an opportunity to respond to the movement of the Holy Spirit and respond to the Lord's invitation made it my favorite event of SNE.” –Camille Brady, Texas State Alumna and Mission Leader at West Virginia University
“SNE 2012 in one word (is) unexpected… God challeng(ed) me…and showed me how far I had come in a year, how much He loves me, and how great the plans are that He has for me. I went to SNE excited to be with friends. I came back convicted that I am a royal daughter of God and His obedient missionary…”– Kara Shockey, Student Missionary at the Ohio State University
“I really enjoyed the day trip and the service trip…I liked being able to serve out in the community… I (also) enjoyed the women's nights. It was great to have fellowship with my sisters and just be women together.” – Lilvia Gomez, Texas A&M Alumna and Mission Leader at the Ohio State University
“SNE was a great week of…prayer…worship, missionary training and fellowship. …(It) was a great opportunity for me to get to know not only the people that I will be living and serving with in Ohio, but also get to have fellowship with SPO members (from) all of the campuses we serve…Through the Holy Spirit, I was able to dig deeper into my faith and express my love for the Lord verbally in a totally new way. The joy and love I felt at those very moments (is) immeasurable and invaluable.” – Eddie Luersman, Student Missionary at the Ohio State University
“(At SNE I learned) that I will be able to outreach to those who want or need it. I also learned the importance of beautiful love and how to hear that 'sweeter song'. It has truly changed me for the better and it is making me think twice about my life and my priorities. Thank you SNE!!" – Ian Dort, Student Missionary at the Ohio State University