A Safe Place for Conversations During Omicron
By Kiersten Ekkens
In the changing landscape of COVID variants and social challenges, creating a safe space for discussion is key. ReNew, a student-led Sabbath School on campus, focuses on providing an environment that fosters conversation. Protocols are currently in place to keep students safe in this current spike of Omicron and each week’s meeting is a safe place to ask questions regarding faith and our role in our changing society.
“ReNew is the Sabbath School that gives you another option,” said Catherine Thomsen, ReNew co-leader and junior computer science major. “Instead of the big show, ReNew provides a place of connection that is more intimate than a speaker to a crowd. It is geared toward a more in-depth discussion where people can voice their thoughts on the Bible, talk through things with a group and explore things for themselves.” 
Like many of our other safe spaces, COVID has affected ReNew too. “It’s been challenging to figure out where we fit in all of this,” said Thomsen. However, through masking and social distancing in accordance with University policy, ReNew is able to continue finding community each week. 
ReNew meets from 10 a.m. to 11:30 in the Havstad Alumni Center. Following the campus guidelines and state mandates, attendees are required to wear N-95 masks covering their mouth and nose.
For more information about the University’s COVID-19 protocols, follow the link https://www.wallawalla.edu/news/covid-19-response-information/. Catherine Thomsen can be reached about ReNew at Catherine.Thomsen@wallawalla.edu, by phone (513) 673-6843, or on instagram @renew_sab.
- Interview with Catherine Thomsen.