The suspended ceiling with its fluorescent tubes and the linoleum flooring, indifferent window shutters and lunchboxes brought from home do not suggest anything sacred. However, every two weeks a religious event takes place in an otherwise nondescript room in Building G. A few Christians gather to have lunch together, discuss a subject and pray.
In the words of Guido Berens, Associate Professor of Corporate Communication at RSM and coordinator of the meetings, “The event is intended for everyone on campus who identifies as a Christian.” Berens, himself a Catholic, is not aware of the denominations to which those who regularly attend belong. “We never deliberately discuss the matter. I think that most of them are of the Reformed tradition. We’re north of the rivers, so it would make sense.”
The number of participants varies each meeting. Sometimes there are around ten people and at other times there are only two. The structure remains the same, however. “A participant decides on a subject in advance. Usually it’s a passage from the Bible, but it can also be an inspiring film excerpt or an excerpt from a book.” Someone once showed a video in which a Christian approached others in a very positive way, for example. “We then discuss the subject. What do we think about what we hear and what does it mean in terms of our daily lives?” The meetings conclude with a shared prayer to which everyone may contribute out loud. According to Berens, the meetings are about “spending a few moments to reflect on our Christianity”.
The coordinator stresses that newcomers are welcome to join the group. “At present, most of the participants are members of the academic staff. It would therefore be great if students and members of the support staff joined.”
If you would like to know more, please send an email message to [email protected] for information about the dates, times and locations.
In this final period of the year, EM is focusing on all of the roles that religion can play at Erasmus University Rotterdam and in the university’s wider environment. Read all of the articles of this religion special here ->