I Believe in Growing Your Faith as a Young Adult, by Katherine Wright

I grew up as the ideal church kid, I went to Sunday school almost every Sunday, I attended all the church camps and mission trips, participated in the youth hand bells, and I was a dependable nursery worker. I took advantage of every aspect of the church and eventually found a calling to be a minister. However, soon after I graduated from high school, I felt a change in my church life. I was no longer relating to the youth but I was also uncomfortable sitting in the “adult” Sunday school class alongside my parents. I felt lost in one of the most familiar spaces I knew – so much that people were surprised to see me around.

Soon after coming to TCU, I found that there were so many different ways to live out my faith. While I am guilty of going to my roots and joining the Disciples of Christ group on campus, there were so many options for college students to grow their faith. There were opportunities to feed the homeless, mentor, worship, serve, learn, love, grow, and find your place and passion.

I believe in young adults’ faithfulness. I believe that they are looking for new ways to grow their faith. I believe that the church can be a place for that faith to grow. I believe that it’s pretty obvious that millennials are the future of the church, so we should begin treating them that way. I believe that the church is the best place for them to grow in their faithfulness in God.

I believe that God is working among the variety of faith groups at TCU. My prayer is that faith may continue to grow among other outlets for more young adults to find a spiritual growth. I believe that in order for your faith to grow, we must begin to look at ourselves as adults with so much potential growth instead of simply missing our past as a youth.  I believe that my experience at TCU has led me to find a passion that will continue throughout my ministry.

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GA TIB Book Katherine WrightKatherine graduated from TCU with a B.A. in Religion with a minor in Communication Studies and a Women’s Studies Emphasis. Katherine is currently pursuing a Masters of Divinity from Brite Divinity School at TCU and the Children’s Pastor at New Hope Fellowship (Disciples of Christ) in Fort Worth, TX. Katherine grew up on a family ranch in Melissa, TX where she was involved in her church and was a volunteer firefighter. In her rare free time, Katherine enjoys cheering on the TCU Horned Frogs.

I Believe in the Power of Connectedness, by Dr. Nadia Lahutsky

Because life is hard, I believe in the power of connectedness.  Not connection—suggesting a link between two items or things.  Connectedness, rather, implies multiple connections.  Think of many hubs each with many spokes, each spoke reaching out and making a link to one or more other hubs.

Life is hard.  Don’t let media images of the carefree college student life fool you.  Students today face enormous stresses.  Parents who demand perfection, faculty who seem to increase their work load each day, personal relationships that take more than they return.  And this doesn’t begin to include worry over their own personal stake in the mounting student debt load!

Life is hard.  Take the case of a former student of mine, a young man I’ll call Kyle.  In less than four weeks he went through a lifetime of grief.  He watched his friend and roommate attempt to take his own life; he went back to his hometown for the funeral of a close high school friend; he returned only to endure the death of another friend, this one from campus.  After the first two events, he was in my office to explain his absence from class.  I could offer him a tissue, some schedule relief on an upcoming assignment, and a sympathetic ear.  After he returned to class, I watched as his personal appearance slumped downward and his steps got more plodding.  Two weeks earlier, I would have been more hesitant on this next point than I was, but the time seemed ripe.  I then offered him my prayers and those of others.  I told him that, in fact, I had asked my congregation’s prayers for “my student who is having a hard time.”  This self-described (almost an) atheist nearly swooned in gratitude.  “Thank you.  I need them.”

Life is hard.  I was grateful in this situation for the people at the TCU Counseling Center, capable of doing so much more professionally for Kyle than I could, as well as other staff on campus, many of whom could both be another set of ears and help him maneuver through the bureaucracy in order to get the proper help.

The hubs and spokes are already all around us.  I believe that’s the kind of world God created for us.  Sometimes we’ll be the ones supported in the strong joint created by a spoke and a hub; other times we’ll join with additional hubs and spokes to become the support.

Life is hard.  Don’t let others do it alone.

Life is hard.  Don’t try to do it alone.

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GA TIB BOOK Nadia LahutskyNadia Lahutsky has taught for 34 years in the TCU Religion Department, where she is currently Chair.  A graduate of Hiram College and Vanderbilt University, she is an historian of Christianity, with a special interest in modern Roman Catholicism.  She has been married for nearly 40 years to Edward McMahon, New Testament scholar, and is the proud mother of Jean McMahon, a doctoral student in social psychology.