Campus churches allow students to practice faith, enjoy community

Jackie Elliott and Jackie Elliott

The University is a host to several religious organizations. Each organization offers students a chance to connect and also stay in touch with their religion while being away from home.

One of those organizations is h2o Church. They offer church services on Sundays for students. The services are located in the Union Ballroom; the first service is at 11 a.m. and the second is offered at 5:45 p.m.

Bryan Wiles is one of the pastors for h2o. He said that h2o offers a chance to engage with college students so that they can follow God while they are away from home.

“We want everyone to feel comfortable,” Wiles said.

He said that the church is interdenominational and that everyone is welcome to come worship and learn about God no matter their religion.

“We have a wide spectrum of people come to services,” he said. “We have people from atheists to people who have been attending church their whole lives.”

Throughout the week, h2o also offers life groups. The life groups are smaller communities that are run by students. They have around 20 different life groups, most of which are held on Thursday nights at 9 p.m., and are offered in every dorm.

Tony Simon is a member of h2o and has been involved for about a year. He helps with anything they need including greeting, setting up and tearing down. Simon said he enjoys serving the most.

“It’s like a family,” he said. “You can go to them with your problems and know there is no judgement.”

The campus church will also be celebrating its 30 year anniversary next fall.

h2o isn’t the only church students can attend; another campus worship group called Veritas is hosted by St. Thomas Moore Church.

Peter Range is currently the campus ministry pastor at St. Thomas Moore Church. He said that the group offers a variety of options for worship on the weekend.

One of the more popular services is held Sunday at 5 p.m. in the Union. He said that after the service there is a spaghetti dinner at 9 p.m.

Pastor Range said that they offer several other events throughout the week that allow students to connect with each other and God.

Veritas is also interdenominational and open to all faiths. They host a night of worship on Mondays at 9 p.m. in Prout Chapel. They also host a “truth night” on Wednesdays to discuss truths about the things college students experience.

“I enjoy having conversations and discussions with people of all faiths,” Range said.