Rez Week brings spirituality

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Participants of Rez, or Resurrection, Week sing a worship song performed by members of One Chapel Monday evening. Rez Week unites students from different Christian organizations before Easter and includes 24-hour prayer and evening worship at Gregory Plaza.

Photo Credit: Shannon Kintner | Daily Texan Staff

Students who identify Easter Sunday with deep spirituality more than dyed eggs and rabbits anticipate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ during the weeklong Christian festival Rez Week.

Rez Week, short for “Resurrection Week,” runs around the clock with 24-hour prayer, daily food and drinks, as well as bands and speakers every night, said Justin Christopher of Campus Renewal Ministries, the group that organizes the event.

Christopher said he expects large attendance and broad participation from many campus Christian groups.

“We estimate that 2,000 students participate in some way during Rez Week,” he said. “We have over 200 student volunteers from 40 different Christian student organizations involved. Each evening 500 to 700 students gather.”

The evening worship draws the largest number of students, said Plan II senior Sonya Chung. So many students participate, in part, because the event includes all Christian groups, she said.

“Things that are theological differences [among different Christian sects] usually are not preached upon,” Chung said.

The unity of different groups resonates with the Christian tenet of a unified church, said radio television film sophomore Ivy Chiu.

“The Body of Christ is not something that is fragmented in any sense, but something that is joined by the fact that Jesus saves us and his blood covers our sins,” she said.

The event also draws from a broad base of funding. Christopher said Christian Renewal Ministries raises about half the funds. The rest, he said, comes from other Christian groups and co-sponsors, including the University’s Events Co-Sponsorship Committee, the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement and Student Government.

“This event has been going on for 18 years and ECE sponsors us almost every year,” Chung said. “That committee sponsors us because we support diversity as a religious event.”

Yousup Lee, a radio television film and computer science sophomore, said Rez Week has gained a reputation of promoting Christian values, which gives the University another reason to support the event.

“The reason that [the University] would support us is that they see deeper into us,” he said. “They see the Christian values that underlie this, and I just hope we’re doing a good job of showing that.”

Sarah Grace Westmoreland, a petroleum engineering sophomore and sorority member, said Rez Week could be a redemptive opportunity for students that participated in a rowdy Roundup weekend.

“I mean it could be like a cleansing opportunity,” she said. “Jesus loved wine, so I don’t think there’s necessarily anything wrong with drinking, but I think that getting drunk is bad because it inclines you to do more sinful things.”

Printed on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 as: Rez Week prepares students for Easter