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Students Cheer on Classmates at Nexus

By Kayla Bartsch, Yale '20

A low hum of energy thrummed through the room in anticipation of the Spoken Word competition at the Nexus Conference in New Brunswick, New Jersey. In a darkened ballroom-turned concert hall at the Hyatt Regency, nearly 300 attendees from Penn, Princeton, Cornell, Yale, Dartmouth, Brown, Harvard, Columbia, and Stanford gathered to listen to and cheer on fellow students.

Spoken Word participants weaved together memorized passages of Scripture into moving narrations. Click to Tweet Some teams choreographed their performance as well, adding a visual dynamic to the words their souls were pouring forth.

Themes of the broken being restored, the marginalized being embraced, and the grieving being consoled permeated the performances, keeping true to the theme of the conference, “Turn the World Upside Down.” Each team competed before a panel of judges, which included Christian Union staff members. While the judges deliberated, a trio from Princeton provided a beautiful, a cappella rendition of “The Doxology.”

SpokenWordMag

The results were in. A duo from Harvard University was crowned first-place winners. Juniors Angie Torres and Eunice Mwabe presented a striking parallel of the rules for unclean women in the Old Testament with the feeling of entrapment by sin, and the redemption which ensued through Christ’s blood, through His new law.

A group of four students captured second place for Yale with a moving performance of renewed hope in God. Dressed in black, three souls crumbled in anguish, crying out to God; above and behind them all, dressed in white, the Lord affirmed His love for His children, and each rose again with strengthened faith. Columbia came in third place with a clever presentation of a cynical commentator slowly coming to Christ upon the observation of His redeeming power in the lives of two believers.

Now a Nexus tradition, the 2018 Spoken Word performances raised the bar for performances in years to come.