After Class: Daily Chapel

January 22, 2008

Today we spent one last time with Linda, Nalini and Friends. We sang many songs, but one in particular we sang in the Navajo language. It took a bit of work, but when chapelgoers got it, the sound was beautiful. At the end of the time, Chaplain Andy De Jong asked us to thank the Interim Sacred Songs band for the wonderful job they did leading worship.

January 21, 2008

In today's Sacred Song's chapel, Linda, Nalini and Friends led us in singing lively renditions of traditional spirituals and other songs in celebration of Martin Luther King Day.

Chapelgoers were welcomed to the sound of everyone's childhood favorite, "This Little Light of Mine." Other songs encouraged perseverance in the faith, with lyrics like "Ain't gonna let nobody turn me around, I'm gonna keep on walkin', keep on talkin', and "I must go with Jesus anywhere, no matter the roughness of the road, I must go, I must go."

January 18, 2008

Today film professor Daniel Garcia shared with us the film Nostalghia directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. We reflected through the film on the promise that God is always there, even when we feel alone—God's love is perfect. In these two promises we can find peace and a way of overcoming fear no matter what our circumstances.

January 17, 2008

"Find the quiet place within to match the sacredness of the space without," said chaplain Andy De Jong today during another "Sacred Spaces" service.

The focus of chapel was on conviction of sin, confession and restoration through quiet meditation and prayer. At the end of the service, chapelgoers were reminded that they, indeed, are the apple of God's eye and can find shelter under his wings.

January 16, 2008

Today education professor Jan Simonson told the story of Eustace Scrubb from C.S. Lewis's Voyage of the Dawn Treader to show how each person needs to experience the kind of transformation that only Christ can effect.

Eustace is a difficult character on the Dawn Treader. It takes becoming—and unbecoming—a dragon for him to be changed into a new person. He doesn't change himself, of course. Aslan must come to tear off his dragon scales, revealing a renewed person underneath.

January 15, 2008

Students entered into a quiet space to make quiet within during another “Sacred Spaces” chapel. The community remembered Karen Muyskens passing in silence and reflected in prayer and Psalm 86.

January 14, 2008

Today the Calvin community gathered in the chapel to mourn the unexpected loss of Karen Muyskens, professor of chemistry. We sang songs of lament, listened to Psalm 121, a cry for help, and heard more about Professor Muysken's life from Provost Claudia Beversluis. The service ended with "In Christ Alone," a song that reminds us where we can go for strength during these times of grief.

Learn more about Karen Muyskens >>>

January 11, 2008

Linda Naranjo-Huebl, Nalini Suganandam and Friends led their second "Sacred Songs" chapel with a lively and worshipful songs of praise.

"Those who trust in the Lord will not be moved...Though the world moves like mad, you, oh Lord, are faithful."

"So I pause at your gates once more, As my heart and my spirit soar, And I wish I could love you more, My God and My King."

"Your Kingdom shall reign over all the earth—sing uto the Ancient of Days."

"Santo, santo, santo! Mi corazón te adora."

January 10, 2008

Today Ready for life student Paul Buursma shared about his life struggle with cerebral palsy, a disease that keeps him wheelchair-bound and without acute motor skills. Framed by Psalm 139 that says of God, "You knit together my innermost being," Paul's story told of God's faithfulness to provide people to love and care for him, successful surgeries to improve the quality of his life, and most of all, the hope needed to get through the struggles he faces each day. "Without God my life would be empty!" he declared. Paul invited people to talk to him personally if they would like to know more about the hope Jesus has given him.

At the end of the time, chapel-goers sang, "Great is Thy Faithfulness," rejoicing in all that God has provided for Paul and indeed everyone there.

January 9, 2008

During another "Sacred Spaces" chapel, Chaplain De Jong reminded students that sacred space is not just external surroundings, but also the inner space in each person, the soul.

January 8, 2008

"Almost everyone loves to hear a good story..." ~ Worship Apprentice

In the first "Sacred Stories" chapel of Interim, Marilyn Farley offered a mimodrama based on a Chinese interpretation of the parable of the talents found in Matthew 25.

In it, the four daughters of a king each receive a single grain of rice as a gift upon his deparature from their land. They are each told to use the gift to learn how to take care of the kingdom while he is gone. The first two daughters hide the grain of rice to keep it safe until he returns. The second daughter doesn't believe the grain of rice has any use and hastily throws it away. The fourth and youngest daughter spends a year studying the grain of rice, then plants it in the ground, harvests the crop of seeds and continues to plant the seeds until rice fields cover the kingdom.

When the king returns many years later having gained much wisdom in his travels, he asks each daughter where her grain of rice has gone. Each of the first three daughters produces a grain of rice (the third hastily takes a grain of rice from the kitchen since she had thrown hers way). The youngest daughter cannot produce her grain of rice, but then explains why: she has used her grain to produce food for the kingdom. When the King hears this account, he takes his crown and places it on his youngest daughter's head, making her the ruler of the land.

Chapel-goers responded the story they took in by singing the hymn, "Take My Life and Let it Be."

January 7, 2008

"Silence is one of the hardest disciplines for us and sometimes we need outside nuances like candles, images and music in order for us to move from outside inward to meet God." -Andy De Vries

Soft, chant-like singing, candles and stillness marked today's chapel, the first "Sacred Spaces" service in this Interim's chapel series on sacred spaces, stories and songs. Chapel-goers sat and participated in a pre-recorded Taize prayer and meditation session that focused on passages from 1 John.

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears,we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is." (1 John 3:1-2, NIV)

January 4, 2008

Songs led by Linda Naranjo-Huebl, Nalini Suganandam and Friends led the packed-out chapel full of students, staff, faculty and visitors in worship.

Let the glory of the Lord rise among us...Let the praises of the King rise among us...Let is rise!

Lord you are good and your mercy endureth forever...

When we seek his face, Glory fills this place...

Your love, oh Lord, reaches to the heavens...Your faithfulness, stretches to the sky!

January 3, 2008

Today chaplain Andy De Jong offered a few words to introduce the three-week chapel series, "Spaces, Songs and Stories: What's so Sacred About That?" A poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, "Afire," a quote from Annie Dillard and a Scripture passage from Exodus 3 helped to illustrate the idea that everything in the earth—ordinary things included—can be sacred places wherein worship is the only appropriate response. By the end of Interim, chaplain De Jong wonders how many feet will be, as Moses' feet were before the burning bush, bare.

Go to the Faith Web site to learn more about the Interim Chapel Series, "Spaces, Song and Stories: What's So Sacred about That?"



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