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8,000 Celebrate New Year at Faith-Focused Event

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While most media focused on Times Square during New Year’s Eve, a different gathering far away deserved similar attention.

A large group celebrated the New Year just the same, but had their eyes fixated on vocations and God.

SLS20, a conference and event held at the Phoenix (Ariz.) Convention Center Dec. 30 through Jan. 3, is hosting a faith-filled 8,000 young adults whose mission is centered on Jesus Christ.

The premise of SLS20 is to help attendees live out the truth of Jesus in daily life and learn how to form missionary disciples wherever they are. It attracts a variety of college students, young adults and campus ministry professionals.

“Attending SLS two years ago served as a catalyst for how my husband and I view our role as missionary disciples — more specifically, how we enter into the mission field of parenting our children and in helping them develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ,” said Marilee Nordhus, of Wichita, Kansas, who attended SLS18 in Chicago

Along with keynote talks and impact sessions on various topics relevant to their faith, SLS20 includes training sessions about the basics of missionary discipleship and power sessions where attendees teach others what they learn in small groups.

Attendees also have daily opportunities for Mass, adoration, confession, reflection, discernment and fellowship.

A special New Year’s Eve party included musical performances from top Christian artists like Ndolo, Jeremy Camp and Matt Maher.

“Today’s young people need courageous adults who love Jesus and find strength in Him as we help change culture,” said Nordhus.

The event is presented by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), which has welcomed nearly 80,000 attendees since its inaugural National Conference was held in 1999.

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