“Growing Together” with Religious Life Community


Photo by Zoe Seiler/The Simpsonian

by Daria Mather, Staff Writer

This school year, Religious Life Community’s theme is Growing Together, Finding Common Ground.

Over the summer, RLC President senior Val Wilson, the other chapel interns and Chaplain Mara Bailey decided to focus on a part of their mission statement that says, “Forming Meaningful Relationships.”

They decided on this theme during a discussion where one of their main talking points was “Growth is essential to meaningful relationships.”

Another main idea was the need for growth on campus through dialogue and learning which is another part of RLC’s mission statement. Bailey said they wanted to focus on “the events that have happened across campus in the last year” and the campus’ need for growth.

Bailey said she and RLC also want to focus on the importance of “the need in the world today to build bridges instead of putting up walls or barriers, for understanding of people who might think or look or believe differently than us.”

The theme and the mission statement help RLC decide which events to host or to contribute to. They work with a number of on-campus groups, such as Campus Activities Board and Residence Life, on a regular basis and also host their own events.

RLC does programing for the campus community, such as random acts of kindness, volunteer opportunities and weekly programming.

One event RLC put on is an ongoing of Humans vs. Zombies, where participants get to play a weeklong game of tag around campus.

RLC is hoping to engage the campus community, try to help foster new friendships and inspire the community through fun activities.

RLC’s programming is largely student led, and the organization supports students who want to host a discussion group related to religious or non-religious topics. Groups can be led by interns in the chapel, but some are simply students who show interest.

The chapel and RLC not only want to support all students but also be a safe place where students can talk about anything and receive help.

Along with the new theme for the year, RLC has brought in a new, part-time leader to work with students.

Trevor Vaughn, a Simpson graduate, is the new director of student ministry. He is the pastor at Farmers Chapel United Methodist Church located northeast of Indianola.

Vaughn will primarily help with Tuesday evening worship and related Bible studies and will also work with RLC to create new programs and be a resource to students.

RLC is not only about faith and religion—it is also about community and helping students become leaders.