New chapel series seeks to spark conversations about life's deep struggles
Campus ministries is popping the Lee bubble this semester with a new chapel series called “Real Life @ Lee.”
This series will cover societal struggles and issues present throughout the world in an attempt to encourage dialogue in the safe, healthy context of chapel.
Campus Pastor Rob Fultz kicked off this new series Tuesday with the topic of racism and ethnic diversity, speaking alongside his father-in-law, Dr. Harold Bare.
Bare serves as long-time senior pastor of Covenant Church in Charlottesville, Virginia, with a background in counseling and social work. Covenant went from having a white, monocultural congregation to representing around 20 nations.
The “Real Life @ Lee” theme was the result of a collaboration between Campus Ministries, Student Development and Lee students themselves.
Vice President for Student Development Dr. Mike Hayes explained that the goal of the series is to address topics that students want to talk about but are often difficult to navigate.
Hayes wants students to be able to explore these critical issues, preparing them to tackle whatever the world throws at them.
“At the core of the Lee University mission statement is the idea that we want to prepare students for responsible, Christian living in a complex world,” Hayes said. “A complex world includes racial issues, sexual addictions and mental health struggles.”
The topics set for “Real Life @ Lee” include racism and ethnic diversity, mental health, pornography and possibly a life-after-Lee segment.
Fultz hopes this series will foster discussions about these topics in a healthy, positive environment.
“Our hope is that, when we are done with the ‘Real Life @ Lee’ series, that students will simply talk, even if they do not agree,” said Fultz. “Let’s talk about what it means to struggle with mental health. Almost 35 percent of incoming freshman have a diagnosable mental illness. That is the challenge we are up against, even here at Lee.”
Junior psychology major Hannah Sullens said she is glad this chapel series is delving into topics that are often only addressed on the surface level.
“I think it is good that we are actually going to talk about topics that are mentioned at Lee but never really topics that we dive [deep into],” Sullens said.
However, the responsibility of further discussion does not just fall on students. Each of these chapels will be paired with events that have correlating themes, allowing students to receive different perspectives and reflect more on these themes.
For example, Tuesday’s chapel was part of a broader Martin Luther King Jr. emphasis, Worthy Now will correspond with the mental health chapel and the Tunnel of Oppression will cover a multitude of these topics.
The next chapel service in the “Real Life @ Lee” series will cover mental health and is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 19.
For more information about the series, contact Secretary to the Campus Pastor Becky Stevens at email@example.com.