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PUC Students Bring Worship to Sabbath Afternoons

Charla Candy
Sabbath afternoons have taken on a whole new meaning at PUC. Instead of taking a nap after Sabbath lunch, students are worshiping God. One night, near the end of winter quarter, students Tim Cress, David Moore, and Jason Decena tossed around the idea of having a 2 o’clock church service. A week later, they made it happen.

“The 2 o’clock service was formed from the desire to have a family atmosphere where we can seek God,” said Tim Cress, a senior theology major who was very instrumental in starting the service.

The first 2 o’clock program was held on Dec. 8 in Dauphinee chapel. “The first service was mainly just an experiment,” said Jason Decena, senior theology major and service coordinator. “We just decided to let God lead.”

Since the first service, the congregation size has grown from about 40 people to a consistent 150 to 200 people.

“I really enjoy the informal quality of the 2 o’clock service.” said Debbie Gorbencko, senior Public Relations Major. “I feel like the service is on my level and is is doing a good job in relating to the struggles that young adults have.”

“We wanted to create a service that was not so formal as regular church and to gear it more towards individual worship.” said Cress. “We hope that the service will help distinguish the common Christian cliches and bring them to a more practical level that we all can understand.”

An hour before the service, the student coordinators meet to pray for the meeting and all those who will attend. They ask for God to consecrate the chapel and to pour His spirit into the room to create an atmosphere of awe and reverence.

The program begins at the chapel door, when all who enter remove their shoes as a first act of worship. “The removing of the shoes at the front door is a way of showing respect.” said Cress. “It is each individual’s way of signifying that they want God with them and they are walking on holy ground.”

The service consists of a praise service and an intimate prayer time--both as a congregation and individually. There is also time for personal testimony, and a sermon offered by different students.

When asked what his goal for the 2 o’clock service was, Tim replied, “The service is still in its formation stage, and we are open to see where God wants it to go; but mainly we just want to create a place where individuals can feel comfortable to grow spiritually.”
Note: This is an archived article and does not necessarily represent current issues at Pacific Union College.