New ministry calls for transparent community

A recent sociology department chapel, hosted by Biola Broken ministry, addressed pain and suffering present in the Biola community.


Senior sociology major Lydia Rankin speaking for the recent sociology department chapel, hosted by Biola Broken ministry, addressed pain and suffering present in the Biola community. | Marika Adamopoulos/THE CHIMES

Jenna Kubiak, Writer

The sociology department chapel, “Dear Biola, We are Broken,” took place Tuesday evening. Senior sociology major Lydia Rankin led the chapel, which discussed pain and suffering within Biola’s campus.

The chapel is part of Rankin’s new student-run ministry, Biola Broken. The chapel was the first event for Biola Broken, and Rankin said the ministry will host different sessions in a talk-show format with themes on subjects such as depression and addictions.


“I had a desire to start something on Biola’s campus where students can basically gain an understanding that there’s a lot of pain, there’s a lot of struggle on campus and that for those people who are going through things, they aren’t alone, ” Rankin said.

Rankin said she has worked on plans for the ministry and chapel for the past two years. She realized many Biola students were dealing with pain and suffering and did not know how to deal with it. Rankin also said that students recognize that other members of the Biola community deal with being broken, but barriers prevent students from speaking about the pain they experience, creating a lack of cohesion in the community. She said that a recent Singspiration chapel and other events addressed the issue of feeling broken, but said that the community needs to come together to fully acknowledge these issues.

“The students are recognizing there’s something wrong. I feel like it’s time that we really come together and address it as a community instead of just as isolated events, isolated individuals thinking about these things,” Rankin said.

Rankin believes it is essential for Biola to come together as a community to address these issues, and hopes the ministry will foster vulnerable conversations and offer healing for students dealing with pain and suffering.

“Community and being open and vulnerable with one another is what allows us to move forward into healing — it allows us to move forward and to love. God made us to be in community,” Rankin said.


At the beginning of the chapel, Rankin had students link hands to symbolize coming together as a community to help each other.

Rankin discussed how suffering is present in the world due to sin. Using research, she described the different types of suffering the world experiences including mental illnesses and addictions. She then explained that members of the Biola community also deal with these issues but are fearful to speak to others about them.

Rankin said she felt that Biola students often do not acknowledge suffering present on campus due to the pressure of being perfect. She said that although students recognize tragedies that affect campus, they quickly move on from them. She also explained that brokenness on campus is often overlooked and students do not take action to address it.

“We see sad news, but we don’t do anything about it or recognize what is going on,” said Rankin.

During the chapel, Rankin also focused on suffering present on campus through posts on Biola Confessions. Through these posts, she explained that many students on campus deal with depression and suicidal thoughts and do not know how to deal with the hurt they experience. She said that these posts can provide insight on the issues Biola students deal with.

Rankin said that because, as Christians, Biola students feel pressured to be perfect and they often hide their pain from others, including friends and family, behind a mask.,

“There’s a lot of pain, a lot of brokenness on Biola’s campus,” Rankin said.

Rankin shared her own personal testimony and described the pain and suffering she dealt with. She told students that it is okay to endure suffering and that they can learn things in the midst of it. Rankin then explained how grief can cycle and explained the different stages of suffering. She also encouraged students who do not struggle with pain to reach out and help others who are hurting.

“I want to keep the conversation going,” Rankin said.


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