March 29, 2021
On Friday, March 19, Student Activities was able to host Q Union for the fourth time. Q Union is an event unlike many others, as it happens on both a national and school-wide level. On the 19th, groups of young adults from around the country gathered to hear national speakers and leaders Gabrielle Odom, Annie F Downs, and Curt Thompson. Here at Liberty, we also heard from student speakers Zane Richer, Taylor Murray, and Joe Carson. This year, Q Union allowed presenters to speak on a wide array of relevant topics with the hope of having conversations about difficult aspects of today’s culture. Q was created by author and Liberty alumni Gabe Lyons, who hosted the national broadcast.
All the speakers, national and local, chose unique topics to speak on. Locally, we were able to hear from Zane Richer who argued that there is not only danger in relative truth, but also neutral truth, since no truth is really neutral. He pointed out that truth cannot be neutral because it is a person: Jesus. Instead of looking for neutral truth, we ought to filter information by seeing if it aligns with the grain of reality that God has created.
Our second student speaker, Joe Carson, shared about engaging in Christian community in a time where physical gathering is restricted. He derived his vision from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who operated an underground seminary during Nazi-run Germany when the church was state-controlled. His two main points were that believers can remain connected through vicarious representative action such as prayer for one another and finding unity in the reality of Christ.
Finally, we heard from Taylor Murray about the authenticity gap. She spoke in light of a time in her own life where she was portraying one image to the world but was feeling another way, and shared what she had learned from her experience. She pointed out how we often gravitate away from authenticity in search of it, but that we can find where we have gone wrong by evaluating our perceptions of ourselves, God, and how we think God views us.
As a part of the national broadcast, Curt Thompson had a sit-down conversation with Gabe Lyons about anxiety, and Gabrielle Odom delivered a speech on the importance of the Bible. The session that struck me the most was Annie F. Downs’ talk on how to use social media well. Social media is so new, and believers often struggle with how to use it in a way that is glorifying to God. So often, believers end up either using social media in the same way as everyone else or abandoning it altogether. Downs challenged both these notions by proposing there is a way to use social media in a meaningful way through sharing with the world what we are learning. While it is not wise to share too much about one’s private life, the speaker argued, “for social media to flourish it HAS to be personal”. Vulnerability makes social media meaningful.
All in all, Q Union was a night full of learning and good conversations. We cannot wait to see what next year’s speakers have in store!
Written by: Courtney Stone
Courtney is a Business Administration: Digital Marketing and Advertising major. She enjoys writing for the blog as a way to explore relevant topics and grow in written communication.