FES NC18: To Affinity and Beyond
FES hosts a national conference for students from all sections and ministries of FES every two to three years. This year’s conference, NC18, was held from 28–30 September at Salvation Army, Praisehaven Retreat Centre. The committee conceptualised a fictional backstory for the camp, and had participants enter a fantasy world based on the idea of a virtual reality multiplayer video game. The commune and game world it consisted was named “The Oikos” (which means family or house), and registered campers participated in this world as “players”.
The camp’s backstory presents a dystopian parallel to our own world: a world where technological advancement had solved many of the world’s problems. Yet, there existed a phenomenon called “The Condition”, which affected everyone in the world and caused people to forget and neglect those who were left behind by the progress or were at the fringes of society. In a bid to combat “The Condition”, a special group of individuals created the “The Oikos”, with the purpose of recruiting and training “players” to then go out and fight “The Condition”. “The Condition” presents apathy and self-centeredness and the aim of NC was to bring students to a position of empathy and self-sacrifice. As such, its theme was To Affinity and Beyond!
Aided by social media interaction on the platform of the similarly named Oikos app platform, the training programme of “The Oikos” consisted of five key sessions or “Missions”.
Read more about these ‘missions’ in the other articles posted in this issue.
- Fes NC18: Mission 1
Reconnaissance: Participants interacted with multiple experiential stations aimed at revealing issues and neglected realities present in society.
- Fes NC18: Mission 2
Total recall: An intensive simulation where participants experience differential treatment based on social classes they are streamed into.
- Fes NC18: Mission 3
Transcendence: A talk by Rev. Dr Maggie Low lecturer at Trinity Theological College, on the book of Amos, expounding God’s perspective on sin and injustice, and our calling as Christians in society.
- Fes NC18: Mission 4
Equipping: Workshops on Food Wastage, Travelling, Social Media, Online Shopping, Coffee, and Fashion, offering a biblical perspective and practical suggestions pertaining to common lifestyle habits and behaviour.
- Fes NC18: Mission 5
Launching: Time given for campus fellowships to share insights from the conference and initiate follow-up action.