Cal U Students Transform their Saturday with Jubilee

Several members of STAND spent a Saturday connecting with their faith and strengthening their knowledge with other college students at Jubilee.


Group selfie taken on Feb.26. 2022, by Pete Ware

Sarah Seader, Staff Writer

On Saturday, Feb. 26, STAND members were able to participate in a virtual Jubilee conference in the North Wing of the Convocation Center. Jubilee is centered around helping college students stay in touch with their faith while learning how to grow closer to God. While the California University of Pennsylvania has been attending since the early 1990s, this is the 45th year of the Jubilee conference.

The 28 students who signed up had access to the Jubilee portal with links to interactive workshops, a bookstore, guides, and more. While the conference was not able to be held in person in Pittsburgh, Cal U students gathered at the Convocation Center. There was plenty of food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with meals provided by STAND and AVI Foodsystems. The worship team at STAND Cal U also provided inspiring music throughout the day.

Pete Ware who is a Cal U Campus Minister and the STAND Advisor stated his favorite part of Jubilee. “My favorite part of Jubilee is hearing students share pieces of how they learn about the goodness of God and the sweetness of what Jesus did for us.” Ware also said “Jubilee, in particular, helps students to think through how does the Christian faith and the full story of the Bible help one engage with all parts of their lives including future jobs and vocation. Jubilee is still more of a learning conference than just an inspirational conference; you really learn through it,” said Ware. 

One student, a current leader in STAND, Jordan Spisak, attended Jubilee for the first time. Spisak who is a Sophomore majoring in Secondary Education and Mathematics stated, “My favorite part of Jubilee was being able to get access to speakers that I would otherwise have never normally connected with. Being able to hear from people who are farther along in their faith journey is a great resource.”

Spisak spoke about the fact that he was an education major, but found a Psychology workshop by a neuroscientist to be the most interesting. He identified that he was able to relate mental processes to his relationship with Jesus and to others.

Kayla Witter, a STAND leader and Sophomore majoring in Communication Disorders, enjoyed the breakouts. Witter said, “I went to the main large group sessions, and I also attended two breakout groups.”

One of the breakouts she attended and found interesting was with Curt Thompson, which focused on Psychology and the neuroscience related to relationships. The second breakout group she attended was with Kent Chevalier, who is Chaplain for the Steelers team. “He shared a testimony of his and really touched on the idea of following Jesus and “doing it afraid”, which I also found very interesting and encouraging,” said Witter.

Witter touched on the importance for college students to attend conferences like Jubilee because it allows them to hear from many different perspectives. Kayla identified the opportunities to learn, while also growing in the community and having fun with others.

Bruce Neterer, a Senior majoring in Finance and current leader in STAND, attended Jubilee again this year. He attended the “Athletics, Glorifying God Through Sport & Competition ” and the “Do it Afraid!” workshops. Neterer said, “I think it’s important to go to Conferences such as Jubilee because it helps grow your walk with the Lord, and it’s an all-around enjoyable experience if you choose to go.”

Spisak also stressed the importance of the Jubilee Conferences as a great resource for students. He noted that students are able to grow together and have a sense of community. The speakers were from many different fields such as psychology, education, and criminal justice. Various students were able to see how their future field of work could relate to their field of worship and to Christ, allowing them to grow in community, academics, and spiritually.

The workshops provided opportunities for students to view a situation outside the scope of context. Broadening one’s view in all aspects of their life to include their faith was reiterated through the day. This idea also aligned with the theme for the conference, which was, “Transform Everything.”

If students are interested in learning more about conferences such as Jubilee or connecting with their faith, they should consider attending STAND, Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. in the Natali Performance Center. Students can also connect with STAND on Instagram via @standcalu. Cal U students can look out for Friday night socials and gatherings hosted by STAND throughout the semester.