Over the Easter vacation, we gather with the wider church for an action-packed week of Bible teaching, worship and enjoying being God's people together.
Word Alive 2023
Lucy, Tom and Darcey from Plymouth CU report back from the Science Network Track at Word Alive 2023, held in Prestatyn from 1-6 April.
Word Alive is always a highlight of our year - gathering with thousands of other Christians from all around the UK from different churches and backgrounds feels like a little slice of heaven. It’s incredible to be united by Christ and learn from the Bible and sing praises to God.
There were lots of amazing tracks and talks on a multitude of topics such as mental health and the church, prayer and natural evangelism, which allowed us to reflect on our own lives of faith and understand how Christians can function best in the environments God has placed us. There were also lots of fun activities in the afternoons and evenings – our highlight being the silent disco!
One of the tracks we attended this year was run by the UCCF Science and Theology Networks – Christ and the Cosmos. Professor David Wilkinson, with his abundant knowledge in both science and theology, shared his wisdom and gave insight into creation whilst also focusing on Christ, with Colossians 1:15-20 at the heart of the series.
Something that really stood out for me (Lucy) is the Lordship of Christ in everything. I often find it easy to accept his Lordship in ‘Christian’ things such as being on CU committee or helping with things in church and tend to forget that he is also overseeing and delighting in my degree too. That means in my studies - God is in control. So, I can pray to him and glorify him through doing good science. We as scientists are invited into God’s garden to explore and God delights in us exploring and discovering what he has created. Science is a joy.
In session 2, we looked into the differences in theories of creation based upon the first few chapters in Genesis. We saw how this can be interpreted in different ways, but were reminded that God is the sole creator and sustainer of the universe. We also looked at how we have been made unique in creation as God seeks of an intimate relationship with humans, who are made in his image. I (Darcey) found looking through the various perspectives of how to read Genesis chapter one really helpful. However, I felt the key thing to remember amongst all the divides in thinking is that God is the only one that matters as He is the sole creator.
In the third session, we thought about the future of creation from both a scientific and biblical perspective, and how we can get excited about how God will form His new creation while still trying to care for and protect God’s creation now.
The last session was a Q&A! We were able to send in questions to David, Emma and Michael, which was a great time to ask wider questions on the topics discussed in the talks.
As part of the Science Network, we had the opportunity to attend a lunch with David Wilkinson and ask any big questions about science and theology that we had. There were around 15 of us around the table from a multitude of different subject areas in the sciences. Questions about David’s work in astrophysics and the universe were asked as well as questions of how the process of evolution coincides with the creation story and how Christians should care for God’s world.
I (Tom) was encouraged by this quote from Einstein: “The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible”. This to me feels like it directly points to a God who created the world and sustains it through the laws of physics! This gives me confidence that although I may not have all the answers about the exact ways the world was created or ever understand how my science works fully, I can trust in a God who created it all.
The Science Network at Word Alive provided a great opportunity to gather students from all over the UK together to connect and relate to others who are going through the similar joys and hardships of studying science subjects at university. Why not come along next year to be encouraged and equipped?
Join us at Word Alive!
Students can attend as part of a group from your CU, making the most of student-specific teaching tracks and time with a smaller Impact Group to pray and chat about what you're learning during the week. A limited amount of discounted accommodation is available on-site for CU groups to book. Find out more here.
Talk to your Staff Worker about coming to Word Alive with your CU!
We don't want money to be a barrier to people receiving this training and teaching, so bursaries are available for students attending the Science Network track. To apply for a bursary, email Emma at firstname.lastname@example.org explaining why you'd benefit from joining the Science Network at Word Alive.
Student booking for Word Alive 2024 will open in August.