Students, Staff, and Faculty Share Insights
Spring quarter Week of Worship was April 14-19
Each quarter, WWU puts on a Week of Worship. Each quarter, the speakers are different; Fall quarter has only one speaker for the entire week, winter quarter it is only students, and spring quarter students, staff, and faculty are all given opportunities to share their thoughts up front.
This quarter’s Week of Worship (WOW) took place April 14-19, culminating in a WOW speaker at vespers at the University Church on Friday evening. People from a variety of departments, majors, and backgrounds shared their views on this quarter’s topic, “Journeys.” A total of 13 speakers shared their personal journeys during WOW.
Peter McNabb, senior mechanical engineering major, shared with the audience an allegory he’d written about a boy growing up with a robotic best friend. His idea was to portray the idea that as humans we tend to over-anthropomorphize God and machines, not realizing that they both operate according to an entirely different set of rules than humans.
“I went out on a limb and tried something completely different from what we normally hear,” says McNabb. “I have been very encouraged by the responses I’ve received.”
Marlene Baerg, associate dean of engineering, shared biblical and personal views on four points: Preparation, Choices and Consequences, Giving Back, and Teamwork as an Individual Skill. Each point was supported with a Bible text and an applicable story from Baerg’s life.
“I have never spoken to a larger crowd,” admits Baerg, “so I was quite nervous. I just hope that sharing from my own experiences had a positive effect on students’ lives.”
Ken Vyhmeister, controller for WWU, spoke on the topic of, “Open Heart Surgery and the Narrow Artery (Narrow Way).” The basic idea was comparing the odds of dying from open heart surgery (1-2 percent for a bypass; 3-5 percent for valve repair) and the idea of spiritual heart surgery, where the goal is to completely kill the patient (self) and let Jesus live inside one’s heart.
“I wanted to emphasize that while ‘the way’ may indeed be narrow, Jesus’ arms are open wide, and He will help each one of us if we ask Him to,” says Vyhmeister. “With Christ, we can have a vibrant and abundant life starting today!”
Kirsten Archer, senior English and history major, shared her own personal journey with doubt and skepticism regarding the existence of God. She also shared the reasoning behind her choice to remain a part of the Adventist community.
Chris Drake, director of media design, shared the three key parts of his spiritual journey. One was God’s call for Chris to bless others. The second was the realization that God really, really loved him. The third part is the current and longest moment, which entails learning to live the ups and downs of a spiritual journey within a community of faith.
“Being asked to speak to a group of people that you admire and respect presents a daunting task,” Drake said. “In sharing my story about God’s amazing work of restoration in my life, I hope others were encouraged.”