Every quarter at Walla Walla University, the Chaplain’s Office and Campus Ministries team choose a theme for the WWU vespers program, which is held every Friday in the University Church at 8 p.m. This theme sets the spiritual tone for the WWU campus—bringing students of all class standings and disciplines together to herald in the Sabbath. Vespers is one of the university’s most attended worship programs.
This year is special, however. For the first time, the Chaplain’s Office has teamed up with the University Church in this vision-casting process. Friday night vespers and Sabbath morning worship will be calibrated to the same theme each quarter. Also for the first time, this entire 2015-2016 school year has an umbrella theme: Do You Have the Guts?
Themes for each academic quarter will be “The Guts to Choose,” “The Guts to Dig Deep,” and “The Guts to Go.” The spring quarter theme will emphasize mission work and service.
“Our hope is that people will think about their personal integrity, character—who they are when no one is looking—and make good, albeit tough, decisions that help them to live healthy and balanced lives committed to Christ,” says Paddy McCoy, campus chaplain.
For fall week of worship, Oct. 5–10, Alex Bryan, senior pastor of the University Church, contributed to our current quarter’s theme, “The Guts to Choose,” with a powerful series entitled “No Guts, No Glory.” In a sermon on Sabbath, Oct. 24, Bryan spoke of this quarter’s theme as “a call to serious ethical living—the guts to be moral—the fortitude to live at a higher level in terms of holiness.”
At vespers on Friday, Oct. 30, Tommy Poole, associate campus chaplain, will speak to the student body about “The Guts to Choose.”
Though the language is colloquial, this talk of “guts” that university chaplains and pastors are getting excited about is actually quite biblical. In Matthew 12, Jesus tells us that it is from the “abundance of the heart” that our words and actions are born. This sort of inner aptitude is exactly what WWU wishes to cultivate this year as students and staff study and worship together.
Hoping to inspire students to live courageously, Bryan, McCoy, and Poole accepted a series of student dares and created videos that were played for the students each day during week of worship. The three pastors performed a variety of terrifying activities ranging from skydiving to eating live worms. These videos are available at the WWU chaplain’s office YouTube channel.
Posted Oct. 28, 2015