Rutgers Orthodox Christian Campus Ministries holds Jesus Awareness Day
The bouncy house, cotton candy and free hotdogs in the middle of the College Avenue campus were not only fun and games, but also meant to celebrate Jesus Christ.
The Rutgers Orthodox Christian Campus Ministries celebrated Jesus Awareness Day by offering students free food, playing games, religious trivia and providing information about Jesus and their organization.
The goal of the day was to raise awareness of Jesus Christ and correct any misconceptions about who he was and what he has done, said Michael Mikhail, president of the organization and a School of Arts and Sciences senior.
The event was intended to spread awareness of the life and death of Jesus, as well as his personal and historical significance to each individual, according to their Facebook page.
Games, stations and inflatable’s were meant to depict the events throughout his life and learn about who he was.
The Rutgers Orthodox Christian Campus Ministries aims to spread the love of Jesus throughout Rutgers by answering questions and being there for those in need, according to their Facebook.
“We want to give people an outlet of hope if they need it without shoving it in anyone's face," he said.
Even though the focus is on Christianity, we also want to have fun, said Michael Mossaad, a Rutgers—Newark graduate student and a member of the organization.
Jesus Awareness Day is celebrated on campus once a year in April, he said.
The event was open to all. It began at 8 a.m. and continues to 6 p.m.
Many of the attendees were curious about Christ, Mikhail said.
Mossaad said the organization used the day to reach out to people and made many connections on campus.
“We tried to make it personal by asking what Jesus meant to them,” he said.
Many people came up with their own opinions, interacted with the different informational tables and have asked good questions, he said.
Bringing awareness of Jesus is important to students, Mikhail said.
“Student on campus deal with a lot of problems,” he said. “Some feel like there is no outlet and turn to other things like drugs to fill voids temporarily that only Jesus can fill.”
Student knowing about Jesus will help them avoid self-destructing outlets, he said.
Many people do not know who to talk to or turn to about their problems, he said, but Jesus is there for everyone.
Apart from discussing Jesus, the event also encouraged students to attend the organization's weekly meetings from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays in the Cook/Douglass Lecture Hall, Mossaad said.
Each week, a guest speaker who is also usually an orthodox priest gives a lesson and sermon, followed by a group prayer, he said.
Michelle Abdmessih, a Rutgers—Camden first-year student and a member of the organization in Camden, came to the event with other members in support.
She is member of the Orthodox Church, and the organization allows her to be a part of the same community at school, which she said is “really nice.”
This day was meant to explain the basics of Christianity by focusing on the moral teachings of Jesus and religious doctrines concerning Jesus, Mossaad said.
“Our goal is to try to not even convert anyone, but just give information to people who might not know a lot about Christianity,” he said.
Noa Halff is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in journalism and media studies. She is an associate news editor for The Daily Targum.