Flourishing Together: A Reflection on Templeton Women’s Bible Study

In the first month of my freshman year, I remember gathering in Templeton alumna Anneke Lujan’s apartment with several other women who were members of the Honors College. It was a wonderful evening getting to meet new people, eating delicious food, and acquainting myself with the Templeton Women’s Bible Study. Being so new to the college and unfamiliar with the community, I was a little nervous. But when I experienced the kindness of so many people across the different cohorts, I felt peace and decided to make Bible Study part of my weekly routine. 

Grace Newman and Jamie Bressmer, leaders of the Templeton women’s Bible study, at the 2019 matriculation ceremony.

Jamie Bressmer, another member of the cohort of 2016, felt similarly. We both attended Bible study as freshmen, which occurred every Monday evening in the Fowler Great Room. Coincidentally, this was the room where our Templeton courses were held, such as The Good Life and Old Testament. These classes posed challenging, even uncomfortable questions to process as a group; and yet, the same room offered us a peaceful space to gather as women, sip tea together, hear the “highs and lows” of everyone’s week, and lift each other up in prayer. Jamie says, “The honors college encourages learning, of course, but it also prioritizes fostering good community.” 

However, we could not acknowledge the beautiful fellowship that has formed in Women’s Bible Study without offering our thanks to the willing alumni and Templeton faculty who have dedicated their time to guide us through conversations about Scripture. They have walked us through several different studies from the Psalms, to the gospel of Mark, to the book, The True Story of the Whole World: Finding Your Place in the Biblical Drama. Jamie adds, “The women who have led the THC women’s bible study since I have been a part of this community have always made sure that everyone who takes the time to be there feels welcome.” These leaders who have graciously invested in our lives–not to mention during the stressful years of college–have been such a blessing to the women of Templeton. 

We have given our share of bittersweet goodbyes to graduates, as well as leaders who have been called to serve new communities out of state. While losing them is incredibly difficult, it reminds us how immensely blessed we are to have known these wonderful people. In addition, Jamie and I look to these women as an example to follow. During this time of transition, the two of us are leading Women’s Bible Study for the 2019-2020 school year. As we consider the future of this group, we are excited and motivated to welcome returning and new members into this community of women. Jamie reflects, “When I was a freshman, going to Bible Study was always a relaxing, restorative time–throughout this next year, Grace and I want to sustain this environment and let it continue to be a place where our relationships with God and with other women in the Templeton Honors College flourish.” 

As you start making plans for your fall semester, consider carving out time to visit Bible Study and see how it might positively shape your time in the Honors College.

Grace Newman (’20) is an Education major in the Templeton Honors College. In her spare time, Grace is involved in the Templeton Women’s Bible study on campus, and enjoys spending time with her friends and family.

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