Easter: for Uni students, this holiday is a time to take a well-deserved break from study, binge watch the latest Netflix series, and catch up with family and friends – all while sinking into a week-long chocolate-induced food coma.
For many cultures around the world, including our own, Easter is an important religious celebration, based around a weekend. It begins with a Friday – Good Friday – in which the crucifixion of Jesus as a sacrifice for humanity’s sins is remembered. And it ends on Sunday celebrating His resurrection from the dead, this resurrection being the eternal life he brings to those who turn to God through Him. It coincides with, and is related to, the Jewish Passover and northern hemisphere spring festivals that celebrate new-life.
This Easter, Imaginations, a Bible Fellowship group on the Newnham Campus in Launceston, worked alongside the TUU to put on a celebratory Easter Brunch. The event was held on the 13th of April, Maundy Thursday. A significant day on the Christian calendar, Maundy Thursday is remembered as the day Jesus and His Disciples shared their last Passover meal together before His betrayal and Death.
The brunch explained and celebrated the Christian significance of Easter with the community through music, worship, prayer, testimonies, scripture readings and even a few games. After the more formal section of the event, the group moved indoors to continue their fellowship and celebration over some food.
Approximately 30 UTas students from a variety of faiths and denominations, both international and domestic, attended the Easter Brunch. Many were curious to learn a little more about the significance of the holiday for people of the Christian faith.
2017 is the first year the Easter Brunch has been held at UTas. Dan Probert, TUU North President, was one of the initiators of the new event. He said he was aware of a number of Christian students on campus who were international students, many of whom were unable to spend Easter with their families overseas. According to Dan, it was important that these students had the chance to celebrate their holy holiday with their Church family in Launceston.
“The TUU is proud to support students from all faiths and cultural backgrounds in celebrating their holy days,” said Dan. “The TUU has worked with the Muslim Student Association Launceston (MSAL) to help them celebrate their holy days, such as organising dinners for Muslim students throughout the month of Ramadan, to allow students to gather and enjoy fellowship. We thought it would be special to run a similar event for the Christian community over Easter.”
The Imaginations group and other Christian groups at UTas were excited to have this opportunity to celebrate Easter with each other and the community.
“Easter celebrates the most important event in human history – the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. This event [Easter] demonstrated that Jesus was, in fact, who he said he was, and paved the way for those who believe in him to have new life through a relationship with God,” said Liz Goodacre, Ministry Equipper at St Barney’s Church, a key partner of Imaginations. “We at Barney’s are keen to share this miraculous news with our local community and celebrate this time of year, as we as individuals have experienced the transforming power that a life lived with Jesus brings.”
“Christians don’t just celebrate Easter once a year; every Sunday, and in fact every day, we remember the death and resurrection of Jesus for our rescue and renewal,” explains Mikey Lynch, director of the University Fellowship group on the Sandy Bay campus. “Easter is not just the high point of our calendar, where we mark a solemn anniversary: it is the central, living tenet of our religion.”
“All in all, I’m really happy with how the event went,” said Dan. “It was a great way to start the Easter period, and I hope this and similar events become traditions that are repeated every year. Once again, the TUU is proud to support students from all faiths and cultural backgrounds in celebrating their holy days, and we urge anyone with ideas for events and celebrations to get in touch with us!”