By STEVE EIGHINGER
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
CANTON, Mo. -- Culver-Stockton College will be the July 22-25 home to a four-day festival-type gathering planned and led by youth affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
The Christian Regional Youth (CRY) Festival -- or CRY Fest -- is open to teens who have completed eighth through 12th grades. This year's theme is "Agents of Change."
Organizers say the goal of CRY Fest is to afford teens the opportunity to have fellowship with their peers from different areas of the region in a Christian-focused atmosphere. More than 50 teens are expected to attend CRY Fest.
"We feel fortunate to be part of these young people's faith journey," Culver-Stockton chaplain Amanda Sorenson said.
Organizers said one of the goals for the four-day gathering is to help teens increase their understanding of what it means to be a Christian, plus learning more about how faith helps them to be responsible for their actions and decisions.
"One of our top priorities is staying connected with the broader church and building relationships with disciples from all over the country," Sorenson said.
CRY Fest has been an annual event since it began on the Culver-Stockton campus in 1976. The event has rotated between the four Disciple of Christ colleges in Missouri: Culver-Stockton, Columbia College, Drury and William Woods. Culver-Stockton has hosted the event at least six times, the most recent being in 2009.
"The faculty and staff are excited to have the CRY Festival back on campus," Sorenson said. "I have spoken with multiple alumni who chose to pursue their higher education at Culver-Stockton because of their experiences at (CRY Fest)."
The keynote speaker for the event is the Rev. Micki Pulleyking, the minister for high school and college students at Brentwood Christian Church in Springfield, Mo. She is also a senior instructor of religious studies at Missouri State University.
Registration for the event is still open. To register, go to Christianregionalyouth.com. The cost is $225.
For more information, contact Heidi Lanier at (573) 288-6312 or firstname.lastname@example.org.