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December 15, 2014 / Whitworth University

Jesus, the Humble King, Born in Bethlehem’s Manger

Dec. 14-21

Scripture:
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6

“Mary gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.”
Luke 2:7

This week we pray for…

  • students in the university’s choirs (and the instrumentalists who accompanied them) who have just completed two weekends of performances in Seattle and Spokane, and who stayed here for the home concerts after the end of the semester last Friday. May God give these students, as well as all the staff and faculty who produced these magnificent concerts, rest during this third week of Advent as the reality of Christ’s birth takes deep root in their lives through the music they presented.
  • all of our students after Finals Week, the end of a long and arduous semester. Many students have faced intense academic, personal, and relational challenges in the past few months. As they emerge from those pressures, may they also know God’s rest and presence during this Advent season.
  • faculty engaged in the last few days of grading. May they have strength and wisdom to complete their tasks with the rigor required to evaluate each student’s academic performance fairly.
  • staff members who have carried the burdens of unprecedented challenges in our community this semester. The number of students with intense relational and psychological trauma continues to grow, and our staff employees have been faithful companions on the students’ journeys. May they also know God’s rest.
  • each of us as we have seen our nation challenged once again by the scourge of racism. Passionate conversations have taken place in the Whitworth community. Pray that God will guide us as we address racism and related issues during 2015. May there be a sense of healing as well as clear future direction as we seek to honor God, follow Christ, and serve humanity.
  • our world. The biblical Christmas narratives remind us that Jesus was born into a very troubled and violent world. For those who are followers of Christ, may this Advent season be a time of renewed commitment to do all we can to be faithful to Christ’s call upon us to be peacemakers.
  • those in the Whitworth community who are struggling with debilitating illnesses. Uncertain futures can create anxiety and fear. May God bring physical healing as well as that peace that passes all understanding, which comes only through Christ.

Thanksgiving:
Gracious, loving and merciful God, during this Christmas season, as the light of your Word penetrates our hearts, as we are reminded of the gift of life and faith, as the glories of the heavenly hosts are echoed in our churches, we open ourselves up to your Spirit and give you thanks. We are grateful, Lord Jesus, that your story has become our story, and we celebrate your birth.

December 8, 2014 / Whitworth University

“Rejoice!”

Dec. 7-14, 2014

Scripture:
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn, shout for joy before the Lord, the King.”
Psalm 98:4-6 (NIV)

“And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.”
Matthew 2:6 (ESV)

This week we pray for…

  • our students to have diligence, endurance, wisdom, and strength this week as they take final exams and finish their classwork.
  • our faculty as they complete the fall semester. May they be especially wise as they make decisions regarding students’ final grades in their courses.
  • traveling mercies for all the members of the Whitworth community as they journey to be with family and other loved ones during this holiday season.
  • our athletics teams as they travel during these weeks of break; we ask that they will feel a deep sense of belonging to the Whitworth community even as they are separated from loved ones.
  • Monday’s Faculty Scholarship Forum as Bendi Benson Schrambach presents “Toward the Abolition of Race.”
  • Monday night’s candlelight nativity service, an annual part of Christmasfest. In this service, the nativity story is told with candles and music. The Whitworth Men’s Chorus will lead in worship, and communion will be served. May all who attend have a deep sense of God’s Spirit present with them during this last worship service of the fall semester.
  • our vocal and instrumental musicians as they present the Whitworth Christmas Festival Concerts in Spokane on Saturday and Sunday. May our singers and instrumentalists be filled with hearts of gratitude for God’s sustaining grace throughout this semester as they lead the Spokane community in worship through their performance of sacred music.

Thanksgiving:
Lord, we are so thankful and so grateful that we can rejoice in you not only through this joyous holiday season, but each and every day. We are thankful that we can know the joy given to us in Jesus, our Incarnate Savior, Lord and King.

December 1, 2014 / Whitworth University

Advent Week No. 1

Nov. 30-Dec. 7

Scripture:
“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the LORD to prepare his ways… to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Luke 1:76-79

This week we pray for…

  • our nation in the wake of the decision made in Ferguson, Mo., last week. Whitworth alums who are now pastors in the area have been in Ferguson in order to provide support and to stand as witnesses for peace and reconciliation. Faculty, staff, and students have been deeply moved by the events there and the ongoing tensions created by the decision. May God’s peace be present in the midst of that trouble.
  • our students, as we enter the last two weeks of this semester and they deal with end-of-term assignments, papers, and exams. We ask that they may know God’s sustaining presence and wisdom as they approach the end of fall semester.
  • our faculty, staff, and students who are in the process of making important decisions about searches – especially for the theology department position and the dean of spiritual life position. May these decision-makers have the wisdom of God as they deliberate and make their recommendations.
  • President Beck and Julie Taylor as they host students, faculty and staff on Monday, Dec. 1, at the annual Christmas reception. May the entire community be filled with the spirit of anticipation for the birth of Christ, and may this celebration begin Advent with a call for daily reflection and prayer on the meaning of the Christmas season.
  • Wednesday’s Wisdom Talks, as instructors share with students their own vocational journeys.
  • the Whitworth Auxiliary’s Christmas Bazaar and Bake Sale, the group’s annual fund-raising event, in the HUB. Proceeds benefit Whitworth students, providing scholarship support and residence-hall-lounge refurbishment, as well as NW travel experiences for international students. May the community remember to express its appreciation for the faithful members of the auxiliary, who support the university with such dedication and enthusiasm.
  • the much-anticipated Whitworth Christmas Festival Concerts on Saturday and Sunday in Seattle, featuring the Whitworth Choir, women’s choir, chamber singers, men’s chorus and student instrumentalists. May every performer feel the joy of Christ’s presence as s/he sings or plays, and may all who attend be touched by the wonder of God’s grace in Christ’s incarnation.

Thanksgiving:
Gracious God, incarnate in Jesus, we give thanks for the depth of your wondrous love for us. This Advent season draws us into the mystery of your love as we contemplate Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem’s stable. We know that this event led to sorrow for many, and we bring to you those in our community who grieve over loss, personal and communal and national, during these troubling times. Please grant us the gift of your peace, through our LORD, Jesus Christ. Amen!

November 24, 2014 / Whitworth University

Gratitude for God’s Grace

Nov. 23-30

Scripture:
“Give thanks to the Lord, for God is good,
God’s steadfast love endures forever.”
Psalm 136:1

This week we pray with grateful hearts for…

  • the safety of our students, faculty and staff as they travel for the Thanksgiving holidays to be with family and friends. And for gatherings laced with feasting and meaningful conversations, we give thanks to God.
  • students who are unable to travel home; ask that they will find places and relationships during the long weekend that will nurture and encourage their lives.
  • Whitworth families, as they welcome their own students, and perhaps several others, into their homes. May each family express and feel a strong sense of welcome and hospitality as they celebrate together, with meaningful relational connections.
  • our faithful faculty, who teach with insight and passion as they lead our students into the experience of our Christian educational mission. Thank you, God, for these people who care so much about our students, their educations, and their lives.
  • our staff members, who serve with excellence and grace, caring for our community in countless ways as an expression of their commitment to Christ. Thank you, God, for these faithful Whitworth employees who are responsible to guide our students in the arts, athletics, forensics, education, and of the other expressions of Whitworth’s mission and our commitment to excellence.
  • our trustees, who give so selflessly of their time, talent and resources as they steward Whitworth’s mission. Thank you, God.
  • our alumni, who live out the Whitworth mission in their communities, their employment, their churches and the service they render. Thank you, God.

Thanksgiving:
Lord, may the service that we do come from our hearts. May we serve with joy, always mindful of your great grace to us in Christ as well as in your sustaining, steadfast love. Make us attentive to all the ways in which your blessings come to us so that we live with an attitude of gratitude. We give thanks in Jesus’ name.

November 17, 2014 / Whitworth University

Obedience to Jesus

Nov. 16-23

Scripture:
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
Ephesians 5:21

This week we pray for…

  • the entire Whitworth community in the aftermath of the death of current student Alexander Sengoba. We ask for your prayers, especially for Alex’s family, the students most directly affected, faculty members who taught Alex, student-life staff, especially those who knew and worked with Alex most closely, including those in the international-students office, resident directors, academic support services, counseling center, and campus ministry.
  • members of the Dean of Spiritual Life Search Committee as they continue to host candidates for this position during the next few weeks, and, then, as they deliberate upon the final appointment.
  • the Tuesday concert with Joe Jencks, an international touring performer, songwriter, entertainer, and educator, based in Chicago. His songs invite us to live inside of our passions and our beliefs.
  • Wednesday’s Awake ministry for student athletes, focused on three primary components of the Christian faith: gospel, worship, and fellowship.
  • Wednesday’s Wisdom, as faculty members and staff share their vocational journeys.
  • Community Chapel Service, on Thursday, as we gather around the table to celebrate the Lord’s Supper, and to enter into praise and worship through diverse worship styles. We will be blessed by the Whitworth University Choir during this service.
  • Friday’s International Students Banquet, as our students from across the globe share with us the beauty of their cultures in food, dress, and entertainment.
  • the family and friends of Trustee Emeritus Dick Leon, who was killed in a biking accident on Nov. 7. His memorial service is on Sat., Nov. 22, at 1 p.m. at Bellevue (Wash.) First Presbyterian Church.

Thanksgiving:
Gracious and Merciful God, we are so grateful that in times of need when we don’t have words to express all that is in our hearts, Your Spirit intervenes. May our hearts be attentive to the presence on Your Spirit when we are burdened by the sorrow of loss. Teach us how to revere and adore You in these moments, when we grow faint with grief. Help us to love You with all our hearts, souls, and strength, as You are ever present with us. In Jesus name, Amen.

November 10, 2014 / Whitworth University

An Attitude of Gratitude

Nov. 9-16

Scripture:
“Giving thanks always for all things unto God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Ephesians 5:20

This week we pray for…

  • our students. As the semester continues, may they be filled with joy and gratitude for the privilege of pursuing a mind-and-heart education at Whitworth.
  • students’ health, as the season is changing and colder weather approaches.
  • ROTC students in the combined battalion at Whitworth and Gonzaga. Please ask that they will be equipped to serve in our troubled world for the cause of peace and the well-being of all people in all nations.
  • the President’s Coffee, on Tuesday, as staff gather with Beck to meet new employees, listen to updates on the university, and share in a devotional.
  • our veterans. Tuesday is Veterans Day, and we pray that our employees and students who have served or are currently serving will feel support from the university in recognition of their sacrifice.
  • the search for a new dean of spiritual life and the candidates who will be on campus and preaching at our Tuesday Community Worship Services.
  • the Wednesday student symposium, which will be dedicated to enhancing the quality of intellectual discourse among students on campus. This event gives one selected student an opportunity to deliver a 20-30 minute lecture on a research topic of his/her choosing.
  • Ladies Who Lead, on Wednesday. This event will feature a panel discussion with women who have lived, served, and led their lives all over the world. While women account for 52 percent of the world’s population and 51 percent of the U.S. population, their presence still lags behind in classrooms and boardrooms. Our panelists will talk about what it has meant to live and serve in a variety of inspiring ways.
  • Wednesday’s Wisdom, as faculty and staff share their vocational journeys with the community.
  • the Provost’s Coffee, on Thursday, as Executive Vice President and Provost Carol Simon leads a discussion about how to expand and develop the academic programs of the university.
  • Thursday’s Community Chapel Service. We’ll gather around the table to celebrate the Lord’s Supper, and we’ll enter into praise and worship in diverse ways. We will be blessed by hearing the Whitworth Women’s Choir during this service.
  • Pirate Night 2014, which takes place Thursday night at the Spokane Convention Center. Ask that it will be a successful evening for our student-athletes, and pray that they will sense the deep support and appreciation of the university community.

Thanksgiving:
Lord, our source of all life and giver of all grace, we are so thankful for our blessings. We are grateful for the love of family and friends, for co-workers, for the food of this earth that nurtures life. May we continue to remember your son, Jesus, who is the greatest blessing to us all. For this, we give thanks always.

November 3, 2014 / Whitworth University

‘As God Has Loved Us’

Nov. 2-9

Scripture:
“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children, and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
Ephesians 5:1-2

This week we pray for…

  • students, faculty and staff as they face the long stretch until Thanksgiving Break. Ask that God will give them strength to persevere, wisdom to be good stewards of their bodies and their studies, and the love of Christ, through which authentic relationships are developed.
  • student leaders and student life staff who, together, carry the responsibility for the student community. Pray that they will be strengthened for their responsibilities as they also live out the love of Christ with grace and truth in the Whitworth community.
  • Monday’s Faculty Scholarship Forum, as faculty and staff gather together to hear from Janet Hauck, Whitworth’s archivist, as she presents “Christian Archivists and Their Publics.” These luncheons are an important way for the university to support the research efforts of our faculty.
  • Tuesday’s Community Worship Service, as Campus Pastor Mindy Smith shares with us from the Book of Ephesians 5:1-13. Paul calls Christ-followers to move into action in our communities, in our relationships, and in our lives. Hosanna, Awake, and the Thursday Communion Service take place weekly to enrich the spiritual lives of the Whitworth community.
  • voters who submit their ballots on Election Day, when the nation selects leaders to guide us at the local, state, and federal levels. May we all bear the responsibility to pray for those elected, and to ask for a strong commitment to pursue the common good.
  • Vange Ocasio, from the School of Business, as she shares her vocational journey into the profession of teaching at Wednesday’s Wisdom Talk.
  • Whitworth’s annual Seminary Fair, on Thursday, as representatives from many seminaries and theological schools across the country supply information about their institutions to attendees. Students will have the opportunity to explore options for postgraduate work in the fields of theology and ministry.
  • Arturo Sandoval, Dan Keberle, the Whitworth Jazz Ensemble, and members of the audience at Friday’s annual Whitworth Jazz Concert. Sandoval, who has won 10 Grammy Awards, six Billboard Awards and an Emmy, offers a fantastic opportunity for our student musicians to perform with a jazz immortal. May their gratitude for their Whitworth educations be nourished and heightened by this event.

Thanksgiving:
Lord, we thank you that in Jesus Christ you have loved us. It is through Jesus that we experience your love and learn to love others as Christ has loved us. May we display that love to others as followers of Christ in the Whitworth community.

October 27, 2014 / Whitworth University

Learning to Forgive as Christ Forgave Us

Oct. 26-Nov. 2

Scripture:
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you.”
Ephesians 4:32

This week we pray for…

  • members of the Whitworth community as they return after a few days of rest and renewal during Fall Break. November can be one of the most challenging times of the entire academic year, as daylight fades, colder weather arrives, and the pace of academic life quickens in the second part of the fall semester. May God provide strength and hope for all of us during this month prior to Thanksgiving Break.
  • Staff Fall Break Training Day, on Monday. The personal, professional and spiritual development of Whitworth’s employees is a very important priority for the university. May this be a day of insights and new skills that assist our staff in serving the Christian mission of the university.
  • Administrative Leadership Group, which meets Thursday morning. This group provides essential administrative guidance for the entire university, and, through its leaders, oversees every part of the university’s operations. May God give the members of this crucial group the wisdom to lead with vision and purpose.
  • Tuesday’s Community Worship Service, where Kent McDonald (Theology) will explore Paul’s charge to us to recognize our identity in Christ and to follow Christ faithfully. Kent will also discuss Paul’s challenge to us, from Ephesians 4:17-32, to engage our culture.
  • the majors fair, on Wednesday, as current freshmen and transfer students continue planning their academic careers through the selection of majors, minors, internships and certification programs. May God use our students’ conversations with faculty to inspire their passion and vision for the possibilities they can pursue through a Whitworth education.
  • Dr. Jim Shaw, whom the university will honor Wednesday evening. Jim has led his colleagues in the medical community in the integration of faith with the practice of medicine. He will speak on the ways in which his vision of how to trust in God can actually enhance the healing process for those who are ill or injured. Please ask that the university community will appreciate Jim’s work in Spokane and will gain from the wisdom he has developed over his career as a physician.
  • Friday’s “Why Whitworth” event, as prospective students and their parents visit our campus. May God inspire them as they attend an admissions presentation, sit in on classes, visit residence halls, and have the opportunity to ask questions about the college experience at Whitworth.
  • the musicians of the Whitworth Symphony Orchestra as they present the group’s fall concert on Saturday. This is the first of many recitals and concerts to take place through the music department over the next few weeks. May God give a spirit of joy to the students as they perform the music that they have rehearsed so diligently over the past two months.

Thanksgiving:
Lord, we are so thankful for your endless supply of forgiveness, made available to us through the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. May the Whitworth community continue to develop as a community that is known as a place of reconciliation with you, even as we learn to forgive one another. Your forgiveness has made us whole again. We are grateful for your compassion toward us. Please grant us that same compassion to allow us forgive one another. Amen!

October 20, 2014 / Whitworth University

Unity in the Body of Christ

Oct. 19-26

Scripture:
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love; make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
Ephesians 4: 3-4

This week we pray for…

the entire Whitworth community, as we complete the first half of fall semester. During this week, please pray for these needs, among others:

  • students facing the pressures of midterm papers and exams. May they have the strength to work long and hard to complete their assignments, and the wisdom to grow from their studies.
  • faculty who face the task of grading those papers and exams, encouraging those who do well and strengthening others who will struggle with academic performance.
  • student life staff who help prepare students to go home, some for the first time since the dorms opened in September. For freshmen students, this first visit can be an unsettling time, as they and their families are aware of the changes taking place in their family system.
  • parents and families who will welcome students into their home during Fall Break, Oct. 24-27. May they extend a spirit of welcome hospitality, engaging in significant conversations during this few days together
  • safety for all who travel during Fall Break, including our many athletics teams travelling to the West Side for competition
  • institutional advancement staff, who have led our 125th-year celebrations in Spokane and Seattle the past two weekends. May they find rest during Fall Break, returning to work next week ready to lead the university in our campaign to raise $100 million in the next few years to support students and programs.
  • Tuesday’s Community Worship Service as President Beck A. Taylor shares with us from the Book of Ephesians 4:1-16. Paul calls Christ’s followers to move into action in our communities, our relationships, and our own lives.
  • those participating in Wednesday’s Wisdom Talk, as instructors share with students their own vocational journey.
  • Faculty Development Day, on Friday, as regular faculty come together to develop programs for Whitworth students. James K.A. Smith, philosophy professor at Calvin College (Ill.) and author of Desiring the Kingdom and Inheriting the Kingdom, will speak on the intersection of academics and culture. May our faculty be inspired to apply the good news of Jesus Christ in their teaching and mentoring of students.

Thanksgiving:
Lord, thank you for showing us your humility and gentleness, for being patient with each and every one of us. You have showered us with your amazing love, so that we may love one another. Guide us by your Spirit to live in Christ’s unity as a witness to the gospel of Jesus’ grace. Amen!

October 13, 2014 / Whitworth University

Prayer Draws Us Closer to Jesus

Oct. 12-19

Scripture:
“…[S]o that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love…may know the love of Christ that surpasses all knowledge.”
Ephesians 3:17-19

This week we pray for…

  • our students. In these next two weeks, before Fall Break, exams, major papers and project assignments all come due, increasing the pressure on students to study diligently while balancing multiple priorities. May our students know God’s pace as they work.
  • our faculty and staff who have direct contact with students. They also feel increased pressure during this time. May they be able to prioritize the multiple tasks before them with a keen sense of discernment, and may they be attuned to the intellectual, relational and spiritual needs of students.
  • Tuesday’s Community Worship Service, as Campus Pastor Mindy Smith shares with us from the Book of Ephesians 3:1-20. Paul calls Christ-followers to move into action in our communities, our relationships, and in our own lives. Please pray also for Hosanna, as students gather for praise, fellowship, and authentic worship.
  • Tuesday’s General Education Forum, as professors Nathan King and Tony Clark discuss the benefits of our current general-education curriculum, as well as ways in which curriculum can be changed to address students’ education needs in the 21st century.
  • Wednesday’s Wisdom Talk, as instructors share with students their own vocational journeys.
  • Thursday’s Faculty Scholarship Forum as Fulbright Scholar Florin Mihoc, from our School of Business, presents research on the importance of strategic account management and relational marketing. May this gathering remind the faculty once again of the gifted teachers who serve our students with such wisdom, insight, and passion.

Thanksgiving:
Lord, we are so thankful that your love dwells within us through Christ. Help us to love one another as Christ loves us. As your love blossoms within us, deepen our resolve to be your faithful witnesses to the gospel on this campus and in the world. Amen!

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