February 09, 2010

The Nation’s Third Oldest College Newspaper

Volume 80, Issue 9

Niagara University gives students a LIFT

If you're interested in talking about your faith, asking questions, and sharing issues with other students, consider joining LIFT, or Living in Faith Together, one of Campus Ministry's new student-facilitated communities.

LIFT communities are small groups that meet on campus to discuss any topic relevant to faith life. Campus Minister Kristina Schliesman decided to start the program to provide opportunities for students to be more active in their faith, to be able to openly talk about their faith without being judged by friends.

"They are open to every student of every background who is interested in open, honest dialog," Schliesman says. "They are not a Catholic thing. They are not ultra-churchy. They are just a place to come and be real and share your joys and struggles, and to learn from and grow with your peers."

The group provides opportunities to meet more people with common interests. If enough people are interested in your friend group, you may think about starting your own LIFT group.

Schliesman says, "Part of being in college is learning how to think and do for yourself. It's up to you to prioritize, decide what is important, and how you want to spend your time. Only you know what you need. If a LIFT community is something that could address a need for you, you would be doing yourself a huge disservice to ignore that."

Since the LIFT communities are student-run, they will ultimately be what the students want them to be. Group coordinator Anna Hoffman, a sophomore, plans to incorporate

Scripture, music, articles and other activities to facilitate sharing among group members.

"As group leaders, we're not there to give lectures, but to engage the members of the group in a variety of discussions," Hoffman says.

Coming up later in the semester will be a service project, but the LIFT communities meet at least once a month for dinner and an event, like a movie or game night. There are three groups currently formed that meet at the following times: Mondays at 8 p.m. in the Alumni Chapel with Lizzie and Karin; Tuesdays at 8 p.m. in the Rare Book Room with Pat and Ashley; and Wednesdays at 8 p.m. in the Alumni Chapel with Anna and Lauren.

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