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Members of DnR, from left: Kathryn Oostenbrink, Emma Hutchinson, Honour Temple, and Jonathan Sieswerda
Members of DnR, from left: Kathryn Oostenbrink, Emma Hutchinson, Honour Temple, and Jonathan Sieswerda
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Discipleship and Resistance group wrestles with uncomfortable Christian topics

What is money and how do you feel about it? What were you taught about it growing up and what does the Bible teach us about it? A rabbit trail of questions like these is a standard night for the Discipleship and Resistance group.

DnR isn’t a typical Bible study or small group, but it does contain aspects of both. It’s a place where students gather weekly to share their views on things that relate to the Christian life—often topics that are not discussed in polite company.

I think the main purpose of DnR is to be a space where students can come and discuss topics relating to faith and life, especially topics that don't get talked about a lot in faith circles or that are particularly relevant to university students,” third-year history student Emma Hutchinson says. As one of the group’s leaders, she is responsible for facilitating conversations.

Fellow student leader, second-year psychology student Jonathan Sieswerda adds, “The whole point is to learn about God, learn about the Bible, learn about what it means to live out our faith and apply it to our everyday lives.”

After a topic is introduced, the group breaks off into smaller groups to discuss before rejoining together to share thoughts and perspectives.

“When we come back as a large group, we dig a bit deeper into the topic and whoever is leading will guide the conversation using Scripture passages and insights from theologians. The idea isn't really to have consensus, but to engage deeply with whatever we're talking about, and especially to listen to each other well when we disagree,” Hutchinson says.

A safe space to challenge long-standing beliefs is what a university should be known for and DnR provides the space for that. Memorable topics include:"Who Are You, Really?" (about social media and identity); "Unity? With Them? Really?" (about living in unity with other Christians when we deeply disagree about many things); and "Does God Have a Plan for My Life?" (about God's will and how we can know it). 

“I find that I always leave DnR with a feeling of peace because I know that I’m in this together with other people and that there are always more things to learn,” Sieswerda says.

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