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May 20, 2004

Calvin Names Worship Apprentices

Calvin College has announced its 2004-2005 student worship apprentices.

The 11 students chosen for the program (which is principally funded by Calvin's Lilly Vocation Project) will serve the college as musicians, dramatists, liturgists, artists, dancers, hosts and technology coordinators in a variety of campus worship contexts.

The goal of the worship apprentice program (entering its third year) is to foster students "who both understand and value healthy and deep worship experiences," says Shirley Roels, the Lilly Vocation Project's director.

The 2004-2005 Worship Apprentices are:

Scott Beahm (Great Bend, KS/Great Bend High)
Jon Bergman (Orono, ME/South Windsor High)
Bethany Cannon (Willoughby, OH/Cornerstone Christian Academy)
Aaron Einfeld (Columbia, MO/Columbia-Rock Bridge High)
Eunbee Ham (Warrenville, IL/Aurora Christian)
Martinus Geleynse (Chilliwack, BC/Hamilton Christian High)
Christin Gordon (Grand Rapids, MI/Potter's House Christian)
Kent Hendricks (Lynden, WA/Lynden Christian)
Bethany Keeley (Holland, MI/Holland Christian)
Joanna Kooyenga (Evergreen Park, IL/Chicago Christian)
Courtney Schutt (Worth, IL/Chicago Christian)

Next year's apprentices (see below for bios) will train for two weeks in August, prior to the start of the 2004 fall semester. The apprentices will then assume leadership roles in chapel, Living Our Faith Together (LOFT) and residence hall services, and at jazz vespers, campus-wide celebrations and other events.

The team will also participate in Calvin's annual Symposium on Worship and the Arts, sponsored in January by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.

Worship apprentices commit to one semester of planning and leading worship, with the expectation that they will continue in the position for a year or more. Each apprentice earns a $1,000 stipend per semester.

"When Calvin College first dreamed of the worship apprentice program," says Roels, "we hoped that it would improve the consistency of the campus worship while nurturing students for church service. Yet we did not yet know how powerful this program would be in shaping campus worship and students who joined it.

"We have all expanded our worship horizons because of the topics, art, graphics, music and litanies the student teams have introduced. Every week, worship is biblical, contemplative, engaging, global, heartfelt and theologically-informed."

The worship apprentice program is one component of the Lilly Vocation Project, which is funded by a $2 million grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. The project provides a host of service opportunities for Calvin students and faculty, each of which centers on the concept of vocation.

"The big thing we're trying to do with the Lilly grant," says Roels, "is say Christian vocation is not just about what you do as paid employment. It's about, 'Who does God call you to be?'"

Members of the 2004 team, like those of years past, were chosen for the diversity of their gifts and their worship backgrounds.


Bergman, a sophomore music and worship major now from Maine but formerly from Windsor Connecticut, is the son of a church planter and a member of New England Chapel CRC. He has played bass in churches all over the U.S., and, since coming to Calvin, for chapel and for the Sunday-evening worship service called Living Our Faith Together (LOFT). His interests as an apprentice, however, are to serve outside the sphere of music: "I'm especially interested in worship in terms of fellowship and prayer, and I hope to organize some sort of big fellowship-driven prayer time for after LOFT next year."

Cannon, a sophomore from Ohio, will focus on prayer ministries and hospitality during her apprentice tenure. A communications and rhetoric major who wants to work in pharmaceutical sales, Cannon was encouraged by student leaders to join several prayer groups during her first year at Calvin. "I can't wait to see how the Lord can use me in creating a strong community of prayer on Calvin's campus," she says.

Einfeld, a senior from Missouri who carries double majors in psychology and music theory and composition, has played in several praise bands since high school. He brings a strong jazz background - including a two-year involvement in Jazz Vespers - to his worship apprentice experience. "Music has always been a large part of my life, and this is a way that I can use it to give back to God and his community here at Calvin," he says.

Geleynse - a junior music major from British Columbia and member of Calvary CRC - has already led several musical worship and discussion groups as well as written and directed many dramas. Geleynse, who professes an interest in eastern orthodoxy, hopes to use his gifts as a musician and dramaturge to create communal worship experiences between different age groups, schools and traditions and "to promote genuine beauty and reverence in communal worship - not just doctrine and emotion."

Gordon, a sophomore from Grand Rapids and member of Oakdale Park CRC, has previously served on both the worship committee as a student at Potter's House Christian School and the worship team at Madison Square Christian Reformed Church. "I remember a couple times at Madison, our teen worship team was given the opportunity to lead the whole church congregation to worship," she says, "and that was such a rewarding experience. I now know that it was definitely the Lord's hand that has led me to where I am now."

Hendricks, a senior from Washington and member of Third CRC, is making a return engagement as a Worship Apprentice and will apply himself once again to music in worship. "I've found that working with and leading a team of musicians or planners has taught me to be a follower and to stay humble," the piano-playing pre-seminarian says. "When you're in this position, you learn quickly that your strengths become amplified, and so do your weaknesses. But, ultimately, the goal is that the work I do points beyond itself to something greater."

Ham - a native of South Korea and a member of Westmont Alliance Church - is the daughter of missionaries and a senior majoring in Spanish and theology. At Calvin she has played guitar and piano and danced on several worship teams. "When I came to Calvin, the chapel and LOFT teams encouraged and challenged me so much in my faith," she says. "I always looked up to them so much but never considered applying until God brought so many friends and faculty to encourage me," she says.

Keeley, a junior English major from Holland and member of 14th Street CRC, has "worked on the poetry end" of Calvin's unique Jazz Vespers service for two years. She says: "I'm really interested in the way the arts intersect with worship and faith, and that's what I hope to explore more deeply as a Worship Apprentice next year - and what I hope to continue to explore and connect when I go on from Calvin."

Kooyenga, a Chicago-area native and member of Evergreen Park CRC, transferred to Calvin from Illinois Wesleyan University and is a junior who plans on majoring in English secondary education with a minor in music in worship. She says: "I have a passion for incorporating a wide variety of the arts into worship, and hope to find new ways to do so at Calvin."

Schutt, also a junior from the Chicago area and a member of Park Lane CRC, was involved with an area-wide youth meeting and coordinated her church's young adult group while in high school. A communication arts and sciences major in mass media with a minor in music in worship, Schutt looks at the worship apprentice opportunity as preparation. "After graduating, I see myself taking one of two paths," she says. "The first would be getting involved in the Christian media industry and the second would be getting involved in a church youth program or worship-leading position. I feel that the experience I will gain working as a Worship Apprentice will be beneficial to both possibilities."

~written by media relations staff writer Myrna Anderson

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Contact Phil de Haan
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