Have you found your church home?
Sep28

Have you found your church home?

Published in the Sept. 28, 2016 issue of The Bells A study conducted by the Barna group shows that approximately 40 percent of college students do not retain their faith during their college years. The university not only wants to cultivate a student’s education, but also their faith. University Chaplain, Dr. George Loutherback, believes that finding a church that fits one’s needs is essential for a college student. “A local church connection is very important for community, spiritual growth, and for feeling connected,” Loutherback said. “A local church offers opportunities for ministry investment, a chance to be with peers in a worship experience, [and] a chance to learn and be taught by someone who is gifted in the ability to teach.” For students searching for a church, Loutherback suggests talking with other students, visiting several churches in the area, and picking the one that the student enjoys attending the best. Churches of all different denominations can be found in the Belton/Temple/Killeen area, most of them offering college groups for local students. First United Methodist Church in Belton even offers a home-cooked lunch on Wednesdays for college students in exchange for a small donation. Students can enjoy fellowshipping with peers and church members during this time. For those who don’t have a transportation method or simply want to worship close to home, Everyday Disciples Church has weekly services on-campus in the Bell Baptist Association. “The Bell Baptist Association uses their building as a church plant incubator for free, so we are taking advantage of the space and opportunity to be on-campus,” Pastor Rich Diaz said. Outside of finding a church home, students can grow spiritually through service opportunities through the university’s Baptist Student Ministry. Some of the ministries led by the BSM include Drama Ministry, Hospital Ministry, Helping Hands, Hope for the Hungry, Random Acts of Kindness, and Worship in the Quad. Other ministries include Cru Catholics, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Small groups, an on-campus Bible study organized by Temple Bible Church. “I think it’s important to get involved in ministries in college because you need to figure out how to stay rooted in your faith,” said Children’s Ministry co-leader sophomore Spanish major Rosie Sawatzki. “When you’re away from home the first time it’s easy to get distracted by all the things in the world, and we need to set aside time to be reminded who we are to Him and in Him.” Sawatzki believes that through Children’s Ministry she’s able to live out Jesus’ teachings about loving her neighbors. “Being with the kids helps me realize that I’m working towards something with real meaning,” Sawatzki said. “I get...

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The secret life of RD’s: The ins and outs of resident directors

Published in the September 14, 2016 issue of The Bells Most students know resident directors as the adult figures who enforce rules and make sure everyone is keeping their rooms spotless. But, Resident Directors are so much more than rule-keepers. “We manage the building, inform them of the rules, and try to make their [resident’s] experience as pleasant as possible,” Gettys Hall Resident Director Brian Street said. “I think it’s easy to view an RD as a law enforcer, but the conversations we get to have with the students are sometimes overlooked. I think our impact on the students is underestimated.” The university has a team of 13 resident directors who live on-site with the students to mentor them, answer questions, and ensure the overall health and safety of the students in their living quarters. College View Resident Director Rebeka Retta has spent almost 30 years as an RD at UMHB, including 25 years at Burt Hall and two-and-a-half years at College View. She has many memories of her residents and their exploits. “I’ve always thought I should write a book one day about just different things that happen in the resident halls and apartments… I could have a chapter on freshmen, a chapter on sophomores… because everybody does funny things.” Retta fondly recalls an incident with one of her RAs. While Retta was in Burt, one of her RAs made copies of the room check rules and slid the list under the residents’ doors. “When we got together after room check, I said, ‘How’d room checks go?’ and the one who’d slid the note goes, ‘mine went really good, but it was interesting when I went into the room, the papers were right there on the floor where I slid them.” “The next day she came to me and said, ‘I know why the papers are there. I took the sign down that was on the wall to make copies. Look at what the sign says.’ The sign said these are the rules, make sure you follow these rules, and do not remove this sign [from the wall]. When she made that copy, the girls looked down at the floor and they left that paper right there.” Street, who has been the resident director of Gettys for three years, enjoys the camaraderie shared between the male residents. “I think the funniest things are the pranks that the guys try to play on each other. The inside jokes are a lot of fun, especially when ping pong nicknames start.” But there are times when residents do not want to follow the rules, and according to 6-year Independence Village Resident Director...

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Have you heard of BEN-HUR?

Published in the August 24 issue of The Bells Two brothers stand at the starting line, waiting to begin a chariot race of a lifetime. From the moment Ben-Hur begins, the audience is thrown into action. Ben-Hur is a remake of the 1959, Oscar-winning film. Several reviewers, including Rolling Stone and CNN, believe the new film doesn’t come close to comparing to the original epic. As I have never seen the original, I went into the film as an uninformed moviegoer without any standards to compare the film to. While I do not believe this film will be 2016’s Best Picture, I was thoroughly impressed. Ben-Hur tells the story of the Jewish prince, Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), and his quest for vengeance against his Roman adopted brother, Messala (Tony Kebbell). Hur and Messala are devoted friends and brothers until Messala leaves Hur’s family to join the Roman army due to his insecurity over his birth family. A few years later, Messala returns to Jerusalem only to have Hur and his family arrested for treason against Rome. The film takes place during the period where Pontius Pilate (Pilou Asbaek) and his army were killing those who wanted freedom against Rome. Hur is sentenced to be a galley slave, while his mother and sister are supposedly jailed and crucified. Five years later, Hur finds himself back in Jerusalem thirsting for revenge. Huston plays a convincing Judah. The audience is able to mourn with him as he loses everything he has after being falsely accused by Messala. And the audience will find themselves cheering him on in the intense chariot race scene that will determine the fate of the two brothers. Love plays a huge role in this version of Ben-Hur, as well. Once Jesus teaches Judah about the importance of loving your neighbor, he is never the same. Judah’s story intermingles with the life of Christ. And the film portrays a biblically accurate depiction of Christ’s crucifixion that left more than one audience member with tears on their cheeks. Another notable appearance in the film is Morgan Freeman’s Ilderim who serves as Judah’s advisor/life coach/ trainer. Ilderim’s guidance saves Judah’s life more than once in the film. Ben-Hur combines biblical, fictional, and historical elements that when put together depict a moving tale of suffering and redemption. If you can sit through the two and a half hour film, Ben-Hur is a...

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Your voice counts: Why everyone should vote
Aug24

Your voice counts: Why everyone should vote

Published in the Aug. 24, 2016 of The Bells Two candidates have officially been chosen to run for the office of the presidency-Republican nominee billionaire Donald Trump and Democrat nominee Senator Hillary Clinton. But despite having devout followers, these candidates might not see very many people come to the voting booths this November. Due to Hillary’s email scandal and Trump’s notorious outspoken attitude, it seems like many Americans are contemplating whether or not they should vote at all. According to www.americancla.org, 40 to 50 percent of Americans are projected to skip the voting booths in November. Many of these apathetic voters are millennials But despite the statistics, it is important to vote, whether you’re a Hillary or Trump supporter. For this election you are not only electing the next president, you’re also deciding the fate of the Supreme Court. Half of the Supreme Court officials are expected to retire in the next four years. Currently, there is an even number of conservatives and liberals. But this could change once the new president chooses the new judges. And once the judges have been chosen they are in office for life. You may think your vote doesn’t count, but it does. It’s anybody’s race. According to the New York Times, as of this printing, Hillary leads Trump 43 percent to 38 percent. Those who don’t vote will determine the outcome of the election more than those who do vote. And if you are thinking of foregoing your right to vote, think about the generations before us who didn’t even have the chance to cast their ballot. Before 1920, more than half the population of America couldn’t vote simply because they were women. This means that the great or great-great grandmothers of today’s millennials (the same millennials who aren’t voting) weren’t allowed to vote for part of their lifetime. Today anyone can vote no matter their race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation. But even though we all have the opportunity to vote doesn’t mean we should do so blindly. It’s equally important to do your research and find out where each candidate stands. Don’t just vote the same way as your parents or friends. because it’s not their vote, it’s yours Even if you’re not too crazy for either candidate, one of them is going to be elected to be the next President of the United States for the next four years, so make your vote count. Whether it’s Trump, Hillary, or another candidate, it’s up to the American people to make the...

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FYC turns freshmen into leaders on and off campus
Apr20

FYC turns freshmen into leaders on and off campus

First Year Council is an organization exclusively for freshmen leaders. In FYC, students develop leadership skills, help other organizations on campus, and plan two major campus events. “FYC gives first year students on campus the opportunity to develop Christian leadership skills with a bunch of Christian backgrounds and Christian ethics behind it,” junior cell biology major, and FYC leader Thomas Middleton, said. “FYC has been one of the greatest experiences I’ve had. Being in it as a freshman as a member, and now being the head leader, I’ve gotten to see both sides of it. It’s opened up my eyes as to what it means to be a leader.” FYC meets every Monday at 9 p.m. to play games, discuss techniques to become better leaders, have devotional time, and build relationships. There are 45 total members in FYC. Every year the organization holds two main events: Date Auction and Spring Formal. These events take many hours to plan and execute, and helps these students put their leadership skills to the test. Date auction is held in the fall semester to raise money for the Spring Formal. Last semester, FYC raised $1500 to go towards formal. Date auction is an annual tradition that allows female students to bid on dates that male students have created. The highest bidder wins the date. This year’s auction included a day hammocking in the quad, dinner at The Gin, a trip to SpareTime, and various others. “[Date Auction] was a really fun experience for all of us. It was our first big event to work together on, and it was crazy to see the whole event come together,” freshman communication public relations major, Jenna Forrester said. While Date Auction is a fun event to plan, the Spring formal is the big event students look forward to all year. This year’s Spring Formal was held at Tenroc Ranch in Salado on Saturday, April 9. “[Spring Formal] is a time to come together, dance, have fun, eat a little food, and just be silly with our friends,” Middleton said. The theme was “Fly Me to the Moon,” and students had the option to pose with a moon at a photo booth. FYC hired DJ Jeremy for the entertainment, and students munched on sliders, pizza slices, and other various food items. If students didn’t want to dance, they could join in on a spirited game of giant Jenga or walk along the trails by the facility. FYC is devoted to serving the university and community in any way they can. Along with planning some of the university’s biggest events, FYC has also helped with football games and...

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