Marriage matters to Ohio high schoolers
by Bob Brown
Posted 1/24/15, 04:43 pm
How improbable is this: Put the organization of a biblical worldview conference into the hands of teenagers. Trust these high schoolers to coordinate transportation from Mason, Ohio, to Washington, D.C., reserve hotel and conference rooms, and arrange speaking engagements with members of Congress.
This is precisely what teachers at Mars Hill Academy, a Cincinnati-area classical Christian school, did, as they handed the reins to 14 student leaders who spent nine months planning each and every detail of their three-day conference. A dozen chaperones and nearly 50 students from the school made the trip to the nation’s capital this week.
Today, many teenagers, even regular churchgoers, couldn’t be dragged to a 15-minute talk on topics such as biblical marriage. Yet, it was the Mars Hill students, not parents or faculty, who picked this year’s conference theme: “One flesh: Our faith, our family, and the future of marriage.” Convening each day at the Capitol Hill Club, just a late-afternoon shadow from the U.S. Capitol building, they learned biblical marriage apologetics from experts.
Three of the conference sessions addressed the cultural normalization of homosexuality, and how students could stand their moral and intellectual ground while showing compassion. “Just as preborn children are powerless to protect themselves, homosexuals also need a voice of truth,” noted 10th-grader Jolene Estruth.
Taking part in Thursday’s March for Life was a highlight of the trip, as Mars Hill students walked with tens of thousands of pro-life advocates—the majority of whom were fellow millennials—along Constitution Ave. to the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court building. These students understand that protecting biblical marriage also protects unborn children.
Mars Hill students are already thinking about next year’s conference, and may influence other schools in offering similar programs.
Bob is a graduate of the WORLD Journalism Institute’s mid-career course.