The season of Advent has arrived, and with that comes an opportunity to connect with our faith and reflect on the season of waiting that lies before us. A way that some students are staying connected to campus and their faith is through The Well, a Campus Ministry program that serves students of the Christian tradition.
I spoke with Joshua Mayfield, a recent graduate of LMU and the Campus Minister for Faith and Justice, to discuss The Well, connecting over Zoom and ways to prepare for Advent this year.
The Well has gatherings every Wednesday for non-denominational Christians, but they pride themselves on being a space where all students are welcome. When talking to Mayfield about their mission and goals, he said, “Something that I always say is ‘do life together.’” The Well aims to go beyond their Wednesday night meetings to give students a place to feel supported by a faith community so that they never have to go through anything alone.
Moving to Zoom has been a challenge for them, but Mayfield says that it has given them a chance to become a closer community. It has also given way for new leadership roles to come about. He and the “Wegulars,” as he likes to call them, noticed that they have lost some members due to Zoom fatigue and other circumstances that were beyond their control, but it has given people a chance to get involved in new ways.
“There has been different opportunities for leadership, as we have had different small group breakouts, and opportunities for different [kinds of] worship," said Mayfield. "[We have had] people recording themselves playing instruments and submitting that. We’ve even got some freshmen involved in worship which is really exciting.” While Zoom has kept them apart physically, they are taking advantage of the chance to connect on a deeper level with one another.
The Well has also been given the difficult task of functioning in a time where there is so much chaos and uncertainty in the world. However, through their community, students have been able to integrate their faith into navigating with these times.
“I believe that faith and justice are twined inherently, so definitely [current issues] are brought up," said Mayfield. "When I am speaking, I will typically bring up relevant events to our faith and what we are called to do.”
Mayfield says that they are working to address injustice in a way that will remind students that God is still working in this time and that there is always hope.
In preparation for Advent, which began on Nov. 29, Mayfield encourages students to recognize that this time is a season of waiting and preparation.
“As we are also waiting and in preparation to get out of quarantine, get back to campus and all these other things, it is very relevant and practical how we also ourselves holding on to hope and waiting for Jesus’s birth. My encouragement is that we are kind of all in waiting and we get to choose what we do during this time. I would encourage everyone to take advantage of it a find growth.”