Religious Life Community’s new theme this year: ‘Go Beyond’


by Maddie Travis, Staff Reporter

INDIANOLA, Iowa — The Religious Life Community is an organization at Simpson striving to help students find their faith and grow in it.

RLC hopes to help both Christian and non-Christian students grow in Christ while encouraging learning and building community.

Before the beginning of each school year, the RLC team, which is made up of leaders and undergraduate assistants, sets a common theme. This year’s theme is “Go Beyond.”

“We want to challenge ourselves as the Religious Life Community, the people at Simpson College and the world, to discover where they are in their comfort zones, wherever that is,” RLC President Christopher Hanson said. “Look at where you are, and then step outside of it. Find ways that you can grow.”

Hanson explained the thought process behind this year’s theme, relating it to more than just campus activities.

“I saw a lot of miscommunication. I saw a lot of people not building relationships with each other. That was kind of my idea. How do we build relationships? We decided to go with ‘Go Beyond,’” Hanson said.

With such a broad focus, RLC can go many directions with Interfaith activities, Bible studies and worship. The “Go Beyond” theme is designed to push students outside of their comfort zones to bring about maximum growth.

“It can take on many different themes; such as, go beyond love. Love is great, but you have to act too. That’s stepping out of your comfort zone as well,” Hanson said.

RLC recently formed a new mission statement for the group to follow in all areas of their ministry. Their mission is: “Form meaningful relationships, grow in faith and knowledge of God, encourage dialogue and learning, build community through justice and service and invite others to join in the journey of faith.”

Along with Bible studies and nondenominational worship services, RLC offers opportunities for students without a Christian faith to be honored and respected, as well as express their beliefs.

Because of this, students can take part in alternate services in the chapel’s meditation room. They are also encouraged to celebrate their own religious holidays.

“It is our goal to make sure we are providing as many opportunities for students to express their faith and to grow in their faith, whatever form that may take,” Hanson said.

RLC recognizes the different religions and beliefs of each student and also wishes to promote the Religious Life Community as one body with many parts. While some worship services are “unashamedly Christian,” other activities for different religions and beliefs are recognized and also promoted.

To do so, RLC has added more students to their Interfaith leadership team, challenging themselves to “go beyond” their own comfort zones.

“We want to make sure we stay core to the Religious Life Community’s commitment to individuals and how faith plays a part in their identity, or if they have no faith, how that plays a part into their identity as well,” Hanson said.

RLC offers Catholic Mass on Sundays, intentionally nonreligious meditation classes on Mondays, free Food for the Soul on Tuesdays and Bible studies followed by Campus Worship on Wednesdays. Each activity is strategically planned to cultivate and grow relationships with others.

RLC on Saturday will conduct a service trip to Second Chance Dog Rescue in Indianola for their annual “Picnic with Pooches.” For more information about this service activity or the Religious Life Community in general, contact Hanson at [email protected] or go to