To create a stronger community, Simpson Religious Life Community has held two virtual events each week of Lent: Meaningful Mondays and Faithful Fridays.
The two events began on Ash Wednesday—the start of Lent—and have been conducted each week of Lent since then.
Meaningful Mondays are held on Instagram Live at 12:40 p.m., where the goal is to “find meaning in scripture, story or song,” according to Chaplain Mara Bailey, who leads the events.
“The point is taking a few minutes to think about where we find meaning in our lives and where we can tune in more intentionally to find meaning all around us,” Bailey said. “The hope is, being on Instagram live, it is there in the moment but also accessible later if people cannot tune in.”
The event usually only lasts between five and ten minutes, making it an accessible event to catch while students are scrolling on their phones while they are between classes. This lets students think about their faith and things that they hold meaning to in the middle of their day.
Faithful Fridays are held on Zoom at 12:40 p.m. and last around 20 minutes. The last one is approaching this Friday.
Unlike Meaningful Mondays that work in a broadcasting manner, Faithful Fridays create a space for more open dialogue between participants.
During each event, people connected to Simpson appear with Bailey on Zoom to share their faith and faith practices. Bailey has a set of questions that she asks each guest to create conversations about faith experiences.
Questions include content relative to students such as “life is hard in a pandemic, what has been keeping your faith alive,” or “is there a faith practice you believe every college student should try,” and others that give students prompts to ask questions back.
The Zoom link to Faithful Fridays can be found in the Campus Pulse, on Simpson RLC social media, and the events calendar at Simpson College’s website.
Bailey said that these events both have the same goal, to create community during a time where many feel alone.
Meaningful Mondays’ purpose is to push out to people, and Faithful Fridays are to bring people in.
“It is really thinking about how we can continue to foster spaces where people can think about their own faith and hear about the faith of others is really the big motivation behind these events,” Bailey said.
Simpson RLC president Riley Dykstra said that he hopes people take away from these events and continue to talk about what is discussed afterward.
“It has been very hard to connect as a community this year, whether that be Christian or not. This offers a great opportunity for us to come together and learn more about our own faith, other faiths, and why that’s important to us during this Lenten process,” Dykstra said.