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STUDENTS ASSEMBLE FOR PARADISE
DALLAS, Feb. 26, 2008 – Thousands of high school and college students from around the U.S. will gather in the middle of the nation on May 25 for PARADISE, a unique worship experience that will feature no publicized bands, speakers or products. The gathering will take place in a 600-acre remote field of La Cygne, a quiet, rural town approximately 40 miles south of Kansas City, Kan., and will center all attention on only one name – Christ.
“In 1969, Woodstock drew students from all over the nation to stand before Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin,” said Dr. Richard Ross, a 30-year veteran youth leader, seminary professor and one of the PARADISE organizers. “In 2008, PARADISE will draw that same age group from all over the nation to stand before God.”
Gathering from sunrise to sunset, students will spend the day solely focused on undistracted worship. The venue will be no more than an empty field with a representation of the “foundation of the throne” as described in the book of Revelation. The program of the day will feature music interspersed with moments of silence, deep prayer, group Scripture reading and unity with others.
While 60 members of Christian bands will lead the music, each will be hidden from the crowd, so as not to distract from worship. Jumbotrons will provide the words of Scripture and music of all worship styles, including songs written by students. In addition, no products including T-shirts, CDs or even food will be sold or advertised during the day.
“This generation of young people is surrounded by materialistic and self-centered messages that promote the existence of one – ‘me,’” Ross noted. “Yet among this age group exists thousands of students who seek to reverse this message. PARADISE is not about fame, money or causes. It is about bringing together this generation to experience God, stand in awe of His majesty, and perhaps awaken this nation back to Him.”
An interactive online “Journey Community” is available for students and ministry leaders of groups attending PARADISE. The community includes customizable weblogs, discussion boards about the day’s program and free “Journey Guides” that include 28 devotionals for each age group of students, leaders and parents to be used prior to PARADISE. These devotional guides include videos, discussion questions and interactive journal topics for community members.
“PARADISE is not just a one-day gathering,” said David Bryant, former chair of America’s National Prayer Committee. “PARADISE will be a spiritual pilgrimage for many that will start as soon as they choose to attend and will continue far beyond May 25. This journey will ultimately embolden a generation of young people to stand solidly for its values and convictions in an uncertain world.”
The concept for PARADISE was given to one youth leader in the fall of 2006 during a morning prayer time. Today, more than 130 national ministry leaders have become advocates for PARADISE, which is not associated with one single person, organization or denomination, paralleling the May 25 gathering.
To date, students from a total of 40 states – Washington to Florida, Massachusetts to California – have registered to attend PARADISE. Registration is available at www.Paradise08.com and required for attendance. Fees will be used to cover only the costs of the gathering. Any funds that may remain after all bills are paid and books are audited will be credited back to attending students. Adults and ministry leaders may worship with the students, join those interceding over the gathering, or volunteer to help with the day’s logistics.
Registration fees will increase on March 16, April 16 and May 24. Discounts are given to groups of 15 or more.
PARADISE is a 501(c)3 organization in the state of Kansas. For more information, visit www.Paradise08.com.
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NOTE TO EDITORS: To arrange an interview with a PARADISE representative, please contact Kristin Cole at 972.267.1111 or via e-mail at [email protected].
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