The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


Chatham hosts discussion on faith in the 21st century

What is a “Biblical Marriage?” How catholic are most Catholics these days? What exactly does the bible say about homosexuality? Where do Science and Religion meet, if at all? What is the difference between God and the Church? Could Morgan Freeman be God? What does the Bible say about homosexuality? What does it say about women in the church?

If you happened to wander into Café Rachel on Tuesday, September 22, in addition to coffee or a cinnamon roll you could have been, and could be again, treated to an intimate discussion about faith and spirituality in the twenty-first century by and for those who grew up in the twenty-first century.

Statistically speaking, Millennials are less religious than previous generations. Having lived through 9/11, war, and a recession, most would say it’s natural for this generation to be more skeptical than those who came before them.

However the statistics also say that millennials are not necessarily more godless, but a bit wearier of religious institutions in the individualist culture they have grown up in.

The discussion was lead by Will Forest of the East Liberty Presbyterian Church. Forest, who co-lead the LGBT and the Bible discussion series a year ago and sits on Chatham’s Multi-Faith Council, is no stranger to Chatham University.

“I was asked last fall to come in and talk about homosexuality and Christianity in a series of discussions,” he said. “This fall I was asked to come and step back into broader issues that college aged people may struggle with.”

“It’s hard for any one person to become an expert in the area of religion because there are so many religions and they are so personal and the way they are embodied can be as different as the person they are worshiping next to,” he added.

Forest asked the intimate group to start the discussion by describing their image or images of God. Those in attendance were able to look at an eclectic group of images from a variety of different cultures, pick which image best represented how they imaged God, and explain why.

Attendees were of different majors and at different points in their time at Chatham.  As they explained what they felt their idea of a higher power was and was not, they were asked to reflect on what it said about them.

Reminiscent of last fall, the topic of homosexuality and the church came up.

“I guess biblically, I really don’t know what the bible says about homosexuality,” said junior Allison Ablitz.

Will Forest who spoke candidly about his own journey to reconciling his faith with his sexual orientation answered questions with ease.

“It says a lot,” he said matter of factly, “But it says nothing.”

He deconstructed what he called the “clobber passages” and the history behind them and how they have been interpreted and used overtime.

When asked what he hoped that attendees would get out the discussion series Forest responded by saying that he would like them to get a free exploration of their beliefs.

There will be another discussion in Café Rachael on the Monday, September 29 at 7 p.m.

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