Religion at Iowa State: Building Relationships in Christ Soteria


BRICS focuses on building lasting relationships with the basis of faith.

Claire Hoppe

Editor’s Note- This story is a part of series that highlights religious organizations at Iowa State week-by-week. Throughout the year, religious organizations of all sizes, beliefs and values will be featured in an alphabetical order according to the Iowa State religious/spiritual organizations page.

Jesus and friendship- those are the two words that Heather Bolles, a teaching professor of mathematics at Iowa State, used to describe the on-campus organization Building Relationships in Christ Soteria (BRICS).

“There’s something about the life of Jesus that continues to be discussed today and continues to impact us today,” Bolles, who also serves as the BRICS adviser, and the other BRICS officials said. These officials include President Tamara McConnell and treasurer Anna Duhachek. “Having friends is a basic human need, especially in college where we need encouragement to keep going in the right direction,” the leaders said.

McConnell is a junior majoring in geology, and Duhachek is a senior majoring in meteorology. 

According to Article II in the BRICS Constitution, the purpose of the organization is to build lifelong relationships that foster relationships with God, to provide dialogue about and practice the Christian life together and to enjoy living.

The officials also touched on the importance of diversity to the BRICS organization. According to them, diversity within the ministry is especially important because Iowa State is a predominantly white institution.

“BRICS offers space for a variety of cultural expressions,” BRICS officials said. “BRICS’ values are connected with the values of our church affiliate Body of Christ Church (BCC) which has its roots in the Black Church.”

The Body of Christ Church’s website states four different focuses of the church: being Holy Spirit led, free in Christ, hospitable and multi-ethnic. Under the multi-ethnic category, the website has a link to the church’s vision and values on how to combat racism.

On the page, the church outlines 20 steps members can take in the fight to combat racism, including validating and listening to the experience of people of color, holding people accountable and praying for Christ’s help in ending systematic racism.

In light of this, the officials reminded that everyone is welcome to join BRICS.

“We really do welcome all people and work hard to make all feel welcome,” the officials said. “We strive to protect the space for multicultural students and those who do not feel they fit in other places.”

The officials said BRICS meets at 6 p.m. every Sunday night at 108 Hayward Ave., above Joy’s Mongolian Grill.

“We usually have some music, a testimony or art almost all directed by students and we talk about something from the Bible,” the officials said. But, the officials made sure to state that there will be no meeting on Nov. 21 and Nov. 28, nor during winter break.

Also, the officials said BRICS’ annual Christmas party will be held on Dec. 5. They also encourage students to keep an eye out for announcements about events during the last week of the semester.

“We love seeing young adults shine. We love hearing them explore their capabilities in singing, writing, and sharing what Jesus is doing in them,” the officials said.

For more information on BRICS, visit their organization page.