RLC looks to expand reach to students

RLC looks to expand reach to students

by Hannah Pickett and Sarah KellerStaff Writers

The change in calendar year has sparked changes around the Simpson campus, particularly in the Religious Life Community. This semester’s changes premise around shifts in leadership within the group.

The RLC is undergoing staffing changes. Next fall, Chris Waddle, chaplain and director of church relations, and Angela Gafford-Asmus, chaplain and director of RLC, will not return. Waddle and Gafford-Asmus oversee the RLC and work with the students as mentors to give them a directional guide.

2009 will feature Kasey Peters as the organization’s new president.

“Kasey understands the visions of the program, what we do works, which is important for this transition,” Waddle said. “He has a good relationship with our leaders too. We need someone who understands the vision.”

This semester will also introduce three new chapel interns to fill the mission project, interfaith, and fellowship positions formerly held by Kasey Peters, Kelsey Johnston, and Courtney Lezanic, respectively. The interns are selected through an application process and ultimately chosen by the chaplain and the current president.

Peters said they are always looking to get more students involved in RLC activities.

“We’re an ecumenical organization for religious sites, so it’s for anyone of any faith religion of any denomination or faith,” Peters said.

The RLC offers many venues for students including Daybreak, Interfaith, Christian concert committee, spring break and mission trips and various Bible study groups.

Anyone can become involved in RLC by participating in one of its groups, volunteering as a student leader or applying for an internship position.

This semester, senior Chris Petrick has added a book club to the RLC called, “Emergent in Search of the Modern Christian.”

Petrick said the group was created out of what he perceived to be a necessity to explain the emergent movement to read Christian authors who influence the way young people view theology and God.

Daybreak is a contemporary campus worship held Wednesdays at 9 p.m., with different guests preaching each week. Peters said that Daybreak is a place where everyone can get together to worship.

Petrick helped create Daybreak his sophomore year at Simpson. It was created to be a stepping stone for the RLC program.

“We conceived the name with a little catchphrase that ‘the sun has come, break away’ to provide people with a place to kind of break away from the tedium of the things that were going on in their world with school and stuff like that,” Petrick said.

Interfaith is another RLC group on campus. The group is led by sophomore Louis Sachs, who said he is willing to take it any direction people want, as there are people who want to examine other religions, some that maybe don’t have concrete beliefs, and some who are trying to strengthen their own ideas and beliefs.

The Interfaith group is planning a spring break trip to Chicago with the goal of exploring the ethnic and religious diversity of the city.

Another venue of the RLC is the Christian Concert Committee whose goal is to bring a band to campus that not only creates great music but also has a great sense of faith.

“One thing I really want people to realize is that even though a band may have the word ‘Christian’ in their title, it doesn’t mean that music they create is going to be bad and boring,” senior Jasmine Crosser, CCC leader, said. “Many Christian bands sound just as, if not better, than the stuff one hears on the radio.”

Amidst the shift in leadership, Peters said one of RLC’s main goals is to provide support for students.

“I think the key thing is just to let people know that the chapel is always open. If people just want to talk, it’s always a good place to hang out and meet friends,” he said.