On Feb. 25, more than 200 people enjoyed OIMC Youth Day, filled with friendship and worship, on the campus of Oklahoma City University.
More than 25 OCU students volunteered for hosting duties that day. For many years, the OCU University-Church Relations team annually has welcomed youths and their families, from the churches of the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference, for this special day.
The cooperative event is planned by OIMC youth members and by students from the Wesley Center, the United Methodist campus ministry at OCU.
The day began in Freede Wellness Center, where teams participated in a three-on-three basketball tournament and individuals competed by age category in a free-throw contest.
After lunch in the student cafeteria, everyone gathered in Watson Lounge of the chapel building. A panel of faculty and students addressed life on campus. Christina Mallory, admission counselor, spoke about preparing for college and opportunities at OCU, especially the American Indian Scholarship program. Each year, the university awards 15 scholarships to qualifying American Indian students who choose to pursue their education at OCU.
Several of the current scholarship students helped with the event. OCU Bishop’s Scholars assisted with games and led campus tours.
The day concluded in the chapel sanctuary with a worship service led by the OIMC Youth Leadership Team. After the congregation sang Native hymns, the sermon was given by Mike Svitak, pastor at New Hope UMC in Dewey.
Key coordinator for the day was Keith Bethell, junior, a religion major and Wesley Center intern, who worked with Josephine Deere of the OIMC Conference staff.
"It was another wonderful turnout," Deere said, "and I think the three-on-three tournament has really sparked an interest. Maybe one of these kids who play in the three-on-three will be playing for the OCU Stars! We look forward to planning for next year."