Sophomore Kat Jamerson stood in front of PV101, cardboard sign in hand. “Homeless, Anything helps,” read the crude placard, so familiar to Salem’s off ramps and street corners. Jamerson volunteers with the group SALT, a Corban street ministry that works with the homeless in Salem, and participated in Reflection Chapel last Wednesday.
For Reflection Chapel, Corban students were given an opportunity to participate in four activities, one of which was by assembling “Homelessness Care Kits” with the campus ministries SALT and LIGHT (a craft ministry). The kits contained tissues, hand sanitizer, food, water, vitamins, soap and hand-written letters.
In the Emitte Center, TrueNorth Corps, a student mission organization, led a “Teaching Time.” The session focused on the topic of faithfulness, and several TrueNorth Corps members shared testimonies of their experiences from mission trips they participated in this summer.
Vince Rediger, TrueNorth president, shared his story of the sobering, yet empowering, trip he took to earthquake-ravaged Haiti. “I had to ask myself, ‘Would I be coming to church every week if I had to meet under a tarp?’ [The Haitians] showed me what it was to be faithful,” he said.
In the Psalms Center Jake Zufelt led a time of worship, followed by a testimony from Sara Swenson, who battled cancer last year.
And in the Prayer Chapel, students silently reflected on God’s faithfulness, as they studied through a guided devotional developed by Campus Pastor Dan Huber.
The Reflection Chapel was an endeavor to replace the Organization Chapels of previous years. In the past, one organization would arrange a chapel time across campus, with different activities for students to participate in. Often Organizational Chapels had low attendance, as students were unsure of where to go or how to participate.
The new Reflection Chapel format, which Huber plans to repeat monthly, is a way to provide students with a worship experience catered to their own spiritual preferences, as well as an opportunity for organizations to share.
“[We are] different people with different spiritual bents which cause us to worship differently,” Huber said.
Huber modeled the Reflection Chapel after a “Spiritual Pathways” seminar he attended at Messiah College. Outlined in the seminar were four different worship types: activists, those who enjoy “doing” something active to worship; scholars, those who want to be exhorted and taught; pietists, who enjoy traditional worship and reading of scripture; and lastly, contemplatives, who learn best from introspection and reflection. The Reflection Chapel provides an outlet for all four spiritual types, as well as an introduction to several campus ministries.
The Reflection Chapel is just one way that Corban is focusing on creatively meeting students’ spiritual needs. Next month, Corban will host its first Student Seminar. All over campus, selected students will have the opportunity to teach in small group settings, while the rest of the student body will receive a list of seminars. Like the Reflection Chapel, they will choose which seminar to attend. Student “teachers” can apply by filling out this survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MBZHDYL.
“There is so much wealth– of not just testimonies –but of insight among the student body, and we get so little time to express that,” Huber said. Starting Oct. 6, however, that will change. Corban’s chapel focus this year is building community, and little by little, opportunities are being made available for students to teach and share their own stories.