Week of Spiritual Emphasis Q&A
The Next Normal: Developing Faith for Uncertain Times
Campus Chaplain at Loma Linda University
Our faith is a resource that facilitates our ability to flourish and cope in the face of adversity
In just over a weeks’ time, we’ll have the pleasure of bringing this Semester’s Week of Spiritual Emphasis to your home.
If there is one buzzword to have come out of what has been a trying year, it is community. The format of WOSE may be like one you may have never known – it’ll be fully digital, and unchartered territory for many who have only attended in person – but what will remain is that all-important sense of community, words that will both inspire you and resonate with you, and a virtual experience that will uplift you. Though we will be hosting the event on Zoom Webinar, we will also livestream these services on to our Facebook page – and this will give you an opportunity to really connect with one another. Please comment, share, discuss, encourage.
Ahead of the WOSE launch, we caught up with Dilys to talk about 2020, what the “Week of Spiritual Emphasis” means to her personally, and what you as an attendee can expect from the event.
Hi Dilys, thanks for chatting with us. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? How long have you been the Campus Chaplain at Loma Linda University?
I have been reflecting on my experiences at Loma Linda University as I recently celebrated a milestone anniversary. Fifteen years ago, I was invited to serve this community as the associate campus chaplain. My husband, Delroy Brooks, pastor of the Juniper Avenue Church in Fontana, CA, moved here after completing our seminary training at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University. We are blessed to be the parents of Micah and Matea. I have been serving our community as the Campus Chaplain for the past two years.
We look forward to having you join us at this year’s week-long virtual event. When you hear the title “Week of Spiritual Emphasis,” what does it mean to you?
WOSE communicates an intentional pause in the life of an academic institution to connect, pray, learn, and grow as a faith community. During this week, we recalibrate our priorities through the lens of Christian faith. This is a time to adjust the rhythm of academic pursuits to intentionally receive and respond to the leading of God’s Spirit individually and collectively.
This is a WOSE like no other – going fully digital is a first for all of us, but for those who have never attended a Week of Spiritual Emphasis before, what can they expect?
2020 has been quite a year! We have all had to make adjustments, remain flexible, and engage in a digital space for work/learning instead of casual entertainment or connections. This week we will be in conversation with the brother of Jesus, who was intimately acquainted with displacement and uncertainty. Despite the disruption to their “normal,” James maintained a faith that empowered, encouraged, and challenged followers of Christ to remain faithful.
The title for this year’s event is “The Next Normal: Developing Faith for Uncertain Times,” and we can guess where the inspiration came from. How have you found 2020 so far?
This year is one for the history books! I have been navigating these dichotomies – fear and hope; grief and joy; anxiety and trust. Overall I am grateful to be alive, healthy, and employed while being aware that is not the experience of so many.
Why is it so important to develop faith, now more than ever?
This year, 2020, has been one long, painful faith-building opportunity. Our faith is a resource that facilitates our ability to flourish and cope in the face of adversity. Faith is like muscles are torn to develop strength. We live in a world that daily reflects humanity’s fragility and inability to change ourselves on our own. Increasing faith isn’t always a pleasant experience, just like building physical strength. After muscles are formed, or we survive challenges, we see the purpose in the process.
What do you think the “Next Normal” looks like?
The “Next Normal” looks like living with expectancy grounded in complete trust in God. It’s living with the supreme confidence that God can and will reclaim, restore, redeem, renew, and repurpose all that 2020 has thrown our way.
Is there a particular talk that you are especially looking forward to delivering?
No, there isn’t one specific message. I am looking forward to spending this time digging into the treasure that is the scripture and discovering together what God has for us as we move towards the end of this year.
What are your 3 tips to give to those who are feeling anxious or unnerved about the times we live in?
- Acknowledge your feelings. They are valid, don’t try to avoid them. Talk them over with a trusted friend, pastor, chaplain, or therapist.
- Stay connected. Practice physical distance and remain socially allied with friends and family.
- Maintain healthy habits to build up your emotional, physical, and spiritual resilience.
What has been your go-to scripture this year, and why?
“Amidst my despair, if I just reflect on God’s faithfulness, I am not overwhelmed, and as Jeremiah names “consumed!” Each day we receive new mercies! God is faithful!” – Lamentations 3:19-24
What is the one thing you would like attendees to take away with them by the end of the Week of Spiritual Emphasis?
Faith grows under pressure. While these experiences have been extraordinary and novel to us, God has been and will continue to be with us.
The WOSE programme
To help you plan around the week, check out our schedule for this Semester's Week of Spiritual Emphasis.