Religious Life Community prepares for LIFT off in 2018


by Blake Carlson, Staff Reporter

INDIANOLA, Iowa — The Simpson College Religious Life Community’s weekly worship service is undergoing major changes this semester in an effort to bring students closer together by making it accessible for them to attend Food for the Soul and campus worship in one evening.

Campus worship will now occur in Dirlam Lounge at 6 p.m. on Tuesday evenings following Food for the Soul, which begins at 5:30 p.m. There will be a transition period between Food for the Soul and campus worship.

The change comes after RLC noticed an increase in the number of students who are unable to attend both events because they happen on multiple nights of the week.

“It’s a hope to rekindle a sense of community. If Tuesday is our community night, it gives people more of a chance to know each other,” Simpson Chaplain Mara Bailey said.

The new group based format is called Living in Fellowship Together, or LIFT.

“We are changing the way we do worship. We are making it more focused on dialogue,” Bailey said.

Worship will be centered around the idea of togetherness and will focus on students working in small groups and discussing how their lives are affected by the lesson for the evening. It will also allow for an opportunity to discover how to approach current events and societal issues as a person of faith.

RLC President Val Wilson hopes the change will encourage students to take a break from their busy schedules and reflect.

“We are very goal-driven and ambitious, but it is good to slow down for a little bit and remind ourselves what we are doing and why we are doing it,” Wilson said.

LIFT will also offer communion every week as a way to return to the ancient practices of the church in a modern setting and as another method of bringing students together. Anyone in the campus community is welcome to take communion regardless of their faith background.

Chapel intern Lewis Cox hopes the new format will help students from all backgrounds feel welcome and comfortable as LIFT focuses on more of a casual atmosphere.

“We are changing the way we do worship. We are making it more focused on dialogue.”

— Simpson Chaplain Mara Bailey

“It is not like church; it is in a coffee shop. There is a meal beforehand. The emphasis is really on connecting people,” Cox said. RLC invites all members of the campus community to LIFT off with them as they move in a new direction and embark on a new year of programing.

“Living in fellowship together is not only a catchy acronym. It embodies what we hope this will become, an opportunity for people to live and do life together,” Cox said.

For more information on LIFT, find Simpson College Religious Life Community on social media or visit the chapel office inside Smith Chapel.