Posted on November 21, 2008 at 10:50 am
Vespers last week had a dynamic flavor added to the worship as RELIVE band took the lead and kicked off worship for the weekend, continuing into the Gathering worship service and then with an afternoon Musician Clinic. Campus Ministries organized the clinic for two lead singers of Christian bands to teach students how to create a worshipful experience when leading.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner. There are too many blessings to keep account for this quarter, but this year’s holiday season will be different as the tone of the campus changed overnight.
Four young men from Newton Hall were tragically killed in a car accident late Saturday night. The college and church responded quickly by providing news updates to all students, faculty and those families involved. They orchestrated many programs and opportunities throughout the week to allow for reflection and mourning during this arduous time. The following Monday professors facilitated discussion and prayer before starting the routine lectures.
Each dorm has taken its own response, as each dorm is unique to the persons within it. Because all the young men were from Newton, the focus of support has been on this dorm, with food from church members and the availability of counselors and deans. Many students who knew the men are seen wearing a green ribbon on the sleeve of their shirt or jacket in honor of their lives. Monday night was especially meaningful to the deans' staff, including me. At the end of RA inservice, the Newton RAs and deans were surrounded by the remaining deans' staff as Dean Halvy (as we call Grainger dean Johnny Halversen) prayed for their ministry, the residents and the families. It became a time of understanding the frailty of life.
The tragedy has hit home in the heart of the campus, and the campus had its own memorial service celebrating the lives of our four classmates during Thursday’s colloquy. Other memorial and funeral services will follow into the weekend. The four will be missed on campus, but we are thankful for their lives. Thanksgiving break may have an altered nature this year, but I know this year, I have a better sense of the value of life. This week has had an emphasis of celebrating life, but also a certainty in knowing we will see these four young men in heaven soon.
Senior Theology & Pre-Physical Therapy Major
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