Mayfield’s SDA fosters discipline in community

Mayfield, the oldest, largest and exclusively girls’ dorm on campus houses over 200 girls each year.

Within the Mayfield community is the lesser-known community, the Spiritual Development Ambassadors, led by Natalie Caron, a sophomore majoring in family and human services. Allie Miller, the assistant resident director at the time, started the group two years ago. Miller handed it off to Natalie this year with the freedom to expand it and make it her own. About 10 girls, representing all six halls meet together each Monday night to intentionally pray for each other and Mayfield through requests submitted in the upstairs prayer room boxes. As well as starting worship nights in the Mayfield lobby, they are also responsible for the “word of the week” notes, taking turns each writing a verse and an encouragement to post in the hall bathrooms each week.

Another way SDA invests in Mayfield is through hosting Spiritual Discipline Saturdays in the basement once a month for brunch, worship and discussion time. Each time, a new topic is selected by the SDA members and a student or faculty member is asked to come and share insight about living that discipline. Speakers from the year include Gateway professor and coordinator of student success Austin Robertson, on the theme of service, and director of the Leaders Scholars Institute Rebecca Rothfuss, about Sabbath. Allie Miller also returned to speak a continuation on the topic of contentment after her talk at the Gathering the previous Sunday.

SDA is a somewhat anonymous group, taking on the tasks of sponsoring such events, serving the girls of Mayfield with the aim of humility and consistency in their service.

“It’s been a really good way for me to learn how to serve selflessly, to serve Him when no one is watching,” said Caron on her leadership “behind the scenes.” “Though naturally I’m a follower, through this I’ve learned how to step up as a leader and also being intentional with prayer for other people.”

This Saturday, the SDA team is hosting a girls retreat in the basement entitled “From duty to desire: delighting in God” in the Mayfield basement from noon to 5 p.m. Guest speaker Dianne Christensen, one Mayfield resident’s mother, will be sharing, addressing questions such as: “Do you feel like you disappoint God more than you delight Him? Is your spiritual life more characterized by duty and discipline than a deep love relationship?”

The retreat is free and includes brunch, worship time, crafts, a photo booth, games, a chocolate fountain and pizza for dinner.

“The intention of this time of fellowship is to recognize through fun activities the gifts and personalities God has given each of us and use them to glorify Him as well,” Caron said.

SDA requests students sign up beforehand, and all Mayfield girls are welcome to attend throughout the afternoon.