Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Religions expo: a window on the world

3/23/2018

Religion major Jay Williams discusses the tenants of Judaism with Brady and Bryan Tener
The first floor of Oklahoma City University’s iconic Gold Star Building will bustle with life April 15, filled with music, exotic smells, art, and perhaps even a little dance. That Sunday afternoon, churches’ youth groups and other guests will gather there to view displays and learn about the world’s major religions from members of the OCU community and religious presenters.

For the World Religion Expo, held each spring, students in OCU’s World Religion and Bible and Culture service-learning courses create presentations about major faith groups across the globe. The students develop visual displays, backdrops, handouts, and talking points that they share as they interact with those who attend the expo. The public is invited to the free event, 2-5 p.m.

In preparing, a student chooses a religious tradition on which to report, visits a religious leader in that tradition, and enlists that person as a sponsor. They attend at least one worship service in order to give firsthand perspective. Students may work individually or as a group. They research a religion over the course of two months before sharing what they’ve learned.

The expo has been popular with youth groups and Confirmation classes. Previous programs have introduced junior- and senior-high students to some 20 religious traditions. Each participant gets a passport of sorts stamped at each booth, and most booths offer activities to especially engage younger guests. No event registration is required.

OCU Religion Students
An OCU student shares information about Confucianism and Eastern Religions at the 2017 expo.

 

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