Cal Lutheran’s Delight Ministry offers a digital ‘safe space’ amid COVID-19 closure

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Maria Barragan, Reporter

California Lutheran University’s transition into social distancing in response to COVID-19 put clubs in a unique position regarding hosting their typical social events. Delight Ministry, however, has adapted and emerged as a fully-digital presence. 

“We really want to grow a family of women who are chasing after the heart of God together. We want to foster motivability and transform stories for everyone,” first-year student and worship leader for Delight, Gbemi Abon said. “We want to be a purposeful club that still reaches out during this difficult time, that is super important to our mission.”  

Abon said she believes it is important for Delight to continue to offer a “safe space” where all of the girls involved in the organization can still maintain a supportive and spiritual relationship with one another.

Delight Ministries is a “Christ-centered community for college women,” as described on their website. 

Prior to the official announcement of campus closure, Abon along with the seven other leaders of Delight brainstormed a few new methods for communication that would allow them to continue promoting the “authentic experience.” 

Through the use of FaceTime and Instagram, Delight has transformed to digital Delight, with the support of the national-level organization leadership doing the same.  

The Cal Lutheran team of Delight women have organized their digital Delight community to continue following the same club meeting routine, meeting every Wednesday at their designated time to maintain some normalcy.

Similar to in-person meetings, leaders split up with their own group of four to five women, using FaceTime to share the screen within their desired group. Instagram TV has also allowed the women to come together and feel unity through video in case someone misses a meeting.

Colleen Windham-Hughes, an associate professor in Religion and Public Life as well as the director of the Theology and Christian Leadership program, who works with organizations such as Delight, and said she is working to achieve some normalcy in this unprecedented time, as well. 

“My family is fine…We have a family meeting everyday to talk about people’s technology needs and schedules. And, like many people, we’ve chosen a couple of series on Netflix and Amazon Prime to make our way through,” Windham-Hughes said. 

Sarah Wright, a sophomore Delight leader, also said these implications challenge the notion of what being a leader looks like during this critical time.

“I think as a leader we really need to be people that are flexible at all times so this is kind of a little test for us,” Wright said.