I’ve been going to the Newman Center (the on-campus Catholic church) since the beginning of the school year, and I really like it there. I’ve settled into a Sunday evening routine for Mass and I’ve been going regularly. I really like the Newman Center because it offers 4 services each weekend, one of which (the Sunday evening Mass at 6:30 pm), which is known as the Student Mass, is directed right at UB students. It’s not in the morning, for one, so I still get to sleep in on Sundays (a big change from last year when I was waking up at 7 on Sundays to get to work, but much appreciated). Also, there’s a special bus for the Newman Center that drives around campus to pick us up and bring us to church, and the 5 minute drive is a lot easier than a 20 minute walk, especially now that it’s getting dark really early. I really appreciate that there are a lot of local families who attend the Newman Center, too, so it’s like I’m part of a church community that isn’t just UB students. And on top of all this, Father Pat is very wise and very hilarious at the same time, so I generally look forward to going to church.
There are numerous Christian groups that get together each week (I know of at least three that all meet on different days and times). The one that I’ve become a part of is the Campus Ambassadors, which is basically a lot like the youth group at Grace, but a little smaller. Every Tuesday night we get together to sing and talk and pray and listen to a speaker (and then eat, too). Meg and I usually go together but I’ve made some new friends through the club also, as well as gotten to know some adults whose faith and advice I trust; the CA people are people I know I can turn to. And they’ve gotten me involved in way #3 to keep the faith…
3. Bible Study
CA started a women’s Bible study group that meets Thursday afternoons earlier in the semester, and I’ve been going every week for a month or two now. I’ve built this into my routine, too. Every Thursday I leave World Civ at 2 and make it to Bible study by 2:30. I really like the other girls there and I love being able to take an hour every Thursday to center my heart on Jesus and talk about life and basically just emotionally/spiritually relax and refocus. That is priceless.
4. No Shave November
Wait, what? That’s not wheat I meant to say. I could never ever do No Shave November (that would just be gross), but I am celebrating the month by making it “No Bible No Breakfast” November. The idea of No Bible No Breakfast is that you don’t eat breakfast in the morning until you’ve read your Bible. It’s something I’ve heard about before so I decided to finally try it, and it’s not really difficult at all; I just took the chunk of time when I normally do my daily devotionals (bedtime) and stuck it right in front of breakfast. Food (or lack of) is a good motivator. Most mornings, this means I grab my coffee and fruit/muffin from the Capen Café (when I’ve been getting breakfast nearly daily) and carry it to class so I can read my devotional in the 10-15 minutes before class actually starts, and then I chow down. I’ve had a day or two where I have completely forgotten, but I’m working on preventing that. I like doing No Bible No Breakfast because it starts my day off on the right foot, with the right mindset, and I plan on extending the practice beyond just November (they say that it takes 21 days to make a habit so this should be no problem).
In terms of keeping myself focused on what’s important and keeping a hold on my faith, this is what’s worked for me so far. I’m pretty proud of myself because it’s common for high school grads to leave for college and fall out of faith. I knew this going in and I’m still facing every day knowing God’s by my side (instead of ignoring Him, which I would not recommend).
Going Home Countdown: 10 days!!!
Sending lots of love back to Liverpool,