Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Religious Life Groups Adapt, Foster Community

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A (Duke) Chronicle article explores how campus Religious Life groups are persisting and adapting during the COVID-19 pandemic. The story includes comments from the Chapel’s director of Religious Life, the Rev. Kathryn Lester-Bacon, about how the groups are fostering community among students:
“‘There are a lot of different theological understandings, but community and gathering are key to so many religious life groups. Who are you gathering with around this spiritual and faith commitment?’ Lester-Bacon said. ‘It is an individual discernment that’s happening right now, but people [are] wanting to do it with other people.’”
“The unique nature of religious communities—it often lasts longer than a semester, there’s no grade attached to it or resume-building—allows for a space compatible with total engagement in questions of purpose and hope, as well as challenge, despair and grief, all of which are elevated during this time, she explained.”
“‘People are wanting to engage and wrestle with those questions. ‘What is the point of this time? Who am I when so many things have been stripped away?’ Lester-Bacon said.”