Easter weekend is a crazy time of family events, egg hunts, candy, traveling, and church functions. However, for Cornell University, Easter weekend is focused on community, worship, service and a 48-hour prayer tent, serving over 2,000 people. These events were put on by Campus On a Hill, an eight-member ministry that puts on united events at Cornell.
The weekend included the fourth annual “Worthy”, a worship event attended by about 1,200 people, with hundreds of students performing. Worthy took place atBailey Hall, the largest auditorium at Cornell, after it outgrew every other facility it had previously been at in the past. Its program starts with Jesus’ birth and focuses a large chunk on the heavenly throne room.
Joe Salvano, a director in the music department at Cornell, started Worthy. He hosts a worship class and wanted to provide an outlet for the students who wanted to use their talent for God, but played instruments that are not typically used in worship gatherings, such as violas, cellos and trombones.
“It’s really simply coming together as one family,” Salvano said, “as one voice to give thanks to the One who died for us – the One who gave His life to save us, and to tell Him we love Him.”
It took all year to plan Worthy, as well as for the performers to practice for it. It was non-traditional and every instrument imaginable was included in the performance.
“We really wanted to show that there are so many ways to worship the Lord,”Giovanna Cavagnaro, president of Campus On a Hill, said.
One of the main reasons for Worthy’s success was that Cornell’s music department actually advertised the event and a filmed it. Those who are not Christian on campus see the event as good and not as something religious.
“I really believe that when we come together and worship – stand shoulder to shoulder, beholding our savior, we have unity,” Salvano said. “The only one there that was famous was Jesus Christ.”
The weekend also included an Easter service on the Quad led by pastors from around the area, as well as a 48-hour prayer tent filled with people from different ministries praying together.
“People from different fellowships prayed together even though they’ve never met before,” Cavagnaro said.
Though ministries individually booked prayer times in advance, many stayed to pray with those from other groups. Furthermore, as the weekend approached many from various organizations jumped in to help ensure a beautiful and successful Easter weekend.
“There’s an inertia that happens as Easter approaches,” Cavagnaro said. “If someone asks questions, I tell them ‘you can help too.’ The people involved are passionate but being organized is not to be underestimated. It’s hard to do but easy when people are passionate. It’s so important to trust in the Lord. It builds up your faith.”
Janelle is a junior Journalism major at The University of Texas at Austin. After college, she hopes to become a foreign correspondent to continue sharing people’s stories. Janelle is involved with the Baptist Student Ministry, Austin Stone Community Church, and is a Campus Renewal Media intern.