What do Cru, Intervarsity, and Pagan Path have in common? They are three of the well-known religious groups, here, at Parkside. While they have their differences, they have some similarities too. Each group strives to make Parkside a more diverse university and create an open-minded atmosphere throughout campus. While they may have religious differences, the core of each group is the same: changing students for the better and helping them lead a more fulfilled life. Cru (otherwise known as Campus Crusade for Christ) has the mission statement “winning, building, and sending”. What they aim to do is win people for Christ, build them up in the word, and then send them out to preach the word of God. “It’s important for people to see how Christians really are,” Matt Smanski pointed out, “it’s not always about the fire and brimstone.” Cru meets Tuesdays at 8 pm in the Oak Room.
Intervarsity’s mission statement is “our vision is to see students and faculty transformed, campuses renewed, and world changers developed.” They are more about the fellowship as a group rather than individual disciplinary. “It’s about establishing solid Christians and changing lives,” member Eric Zizich said of Intervarsity. As someone who is involved in both Intervarsity and Cru, he pointed out that, “Essentially [we] have the same message, with different approaches. One body with different parts.” They want students’ experience in the group to be something they take with them after college. Intervarsity meets Tuesdays at 6:30 pm.
Pagan Path is a relatively new group, as it was only formed last semester. One of the main differences with Pagan Path is that while Cru and Intervarsity focus on just Christianity, Pagan Path focuses on many different religions. “Pagan is an umbrella term for any religion that is basically not Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or Atheistic, which leaves a wide variety of religions left,” Michelle Sharpe of Pagan Path says of the group. “This is a group for people who don’t know their life’s path, but are willing to listen and learn about other religions that are out in the world.” Pagan Path meets Mondays in the Spruce Room at 6:15 pm.
If students wish to express themselves and learn more about a religion they either follow or are interested in, there are many ways to get involved here on campus. And, it is a great way to meet new people and learn new things!