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March 30, 2015 / Whitworth University

Holy Week: Receiving the Gift of God’s Forgiveness in Jesus Christ

March 29-April 5

“Do not judge, or you will be judged.”
Matthew 7:1.

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Luke 23:34

This week we pray for…

  • the entire community as, during this Holy Week, we remember the sacred events of Jesus’ Last Supper, Crucifixion, Burial, and Resurrection.
  • our “Why Whitworth” admissions events on Monday and Wednesday, as prospective students and their parents visit our campus for an admissions presentation, lunch, a campus tour, a class visit, a parent seminar, a student panel and a residence hall tour. May each prospective student be guided to the right school for her/his college studies.
  • the grand opening, on Monday, of the Dornsife Center for Service Learning & Community Engagement, as the university celebrates this gracious gift to sustain our ongoing efforts to connect with the local community in order to promote the common good of the Spokane region.
  • Stephaine Nobles-Beans and those who convene to hear her Tuesday at Community Worship. Stephaine will speak from The Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 7:1-6, regarding the great gift of God’s grace in Christ and how that grace can flow through us to others who feel cut off from God.
  • Tuesday‘s Women and Gender Studies Program guest Andi Ziesler, who will lecture on the topic, “Don’t Change the Channel: Why Pop Culture Matters to Feminism, Activism, and Social Justice.”
  • Tuesday’s presentation by Jess Walter, Whitworth’s writer-in-residence for spring 2015. Jess’s works has been on the New York Times bestsellers list, and he has been a finalist for the National Book Award. As a part of our 125th-anniversary celebration, Jess’s presence provides a model for diligently exploring the gift of writing.
  • Maundy Thursday’s Community Worship, where we’ll remember Jesus’ final meal with his disciples, as he gathered with them around the table to celebrate the Lord’s Supper.

Lord, forgive us for the times we have failed to show mercy to others, even as we have been the recipients of extravagant mercy ourselves. We are sorry, because we know that you have so much more to be disappointed about in us than we do in others. Please remove any bitter or critical spirit that infects our character. Through your Holy Spirit, form in your people the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control that show your presence and your transforming presence in our lives. May the fruit of the Spirit be developed in our lives during this Holy Week. We pray in Jesus’ Name.

Lord You gave us an example to imitate. We celebrate the gift of the love of Jesus, given to us for our nourishment, given to us as an example of self-less love. This Maundy Thursday proves to us that your love is unconditional, your body broken for us, your blood shed for us. We are so grateful help us to remain faithful and to love others in the same way that we have been loved by you. Where charity and love are found, there is God.

March 16, 2015 / Whitworth University

Do Not Worry

March 15-22

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?”
Matthew 6:25

During this seventh week of the semester we pray for…

  • students, as they complete midterm exams, assignments, and papers before spring break; we ask that that they will have discipline in their studies and wisdom in their learning.
  • Tuesday’s community worship as Campus Pastor Mindy Smith preaches from the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 6:25-34, on the importance of trusting God in all circumstances.
  • the university’s Wednesday Endowed Poetry Reading, with Tod Marshall, professor of English at Gonzaga University. Marshall will read from his recently published third book, Bugle. May the Whitworth community grow in appreciation for the beauty of the written and spoken word through this presentation.
  • Associate Professor of History Patrick Van Inwegen’s Nonviolent Defense and Conflict Resolution class will open its public display on global military spending and alternative ways to use military funding. This presentation, open through April 2, will aid the Whitworth community in reflecting on the use of human and financial resources as tools for faithful stewardship.
  • Thursday’s Women’s History Month panel on significant women in the history of Whitworth will be presented as a part of the university’s 125th-anniversary celebration. May the community listen with open minds and receptive hearts as we honor those leaders who have contributed to the development of Whitworth’s mind-and-heart Christian mission.
  • Friday’s “Why Whitworth” Day, as more prospective students and their families visit the university. As the May 1 decision deadline draws near for final decisions about enrollment, we ask for each applicant to have clear discernment as s/he chooses the best school for him or her. May God guide them all.
  • the Whitworth University Choir as they travel along the West Coast all next week, March 21-28, on their spring concert tour. May they experience travelling safety, deepening community, and deep joy as they perform.
  • Spring Break travel safety for all the members of the Whitworth community as we journey in service to others and to seek renewal for our minds, bodies and spirits.

Note: There will be no On Bended Knee during Spring Break, March 21-28. Please look for the next posting on Monday, March 30. Thank you for your continued prayer for the Whitworth community.

Lord, we are so thankful that we can bring our worries to you. We are grateful that your promises are trustworthy and that you provide everything we need. Help us to trust you fully to take care of us, and let us never doubt that you are our loving Provider.

March 9, 2015 / Whitworth University

‘Treasures In Heaven’

March 8-15

“Store up for yourself treasures in heaven…For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Matthew 6:20-21

In this sixth week of the semester we pray for…

  • our students as they develop the skills of discussing the gospel, and the grace and truth of Jesus for the world, with great compassion for others and sensitivity to the leading of God’s spirit in those conversations.
  • faculty and staff who support and lead our students each day; we ask that their lives will communicate that same grace and truth of Jesus, especially for those who feel deeply burdened and alienated from God’s love.
  • Tuesday’s Community Worship as Stephaine Nobles-Beans preaches from Matthew 6:16-21 regarding the transformation of our hearts to value our relationship with God above all other human pursuits or temptations.
  • James R. Edwards, Whitworth’s Bruner-Welch Professor of Theology, as he presents his final lecture, on Wednesday, as occupant of the chair. Jim will explore both the changes and the continuities of the the first 75 years of Christian history as the early church moved from its roots in rural Jewish Galilee to the Greek-speaking urban world of the Roman Empire.
  • Thursday’s Faculty Scholarship Forum, as Associate Professor of History Tony Clark speaks about the ministry of the Franciscan order in China during the 19th Century.
  • Mabel Elsom, the anti-human-trafficking coordinator at Spokane’s Lutheran Community Services as she speaks Thursday on “Human Trafficking in the 21st Century,”
  • the Catholic Student Fellowship, which, on Friday, will lead the community in the Stations of the Cross, the traditional Catholic prayer service to commemorate Jesus’ journey to the cross.
  • prospective students and admissions representatives, as numerous student-recruitment events take place on campus Saturday and Sunday. Whitworth will host potential applicants for the M.A. in Theology Program as well as a large group of prospective undergrads who will be here for this academic year’s final Honors Colloquium.
  • the family, friends, colleagues and former students of Hugh Johnston, who died last week at age 95. Hugh was a longtime chemistry professor at Whitworth (1957-81) who was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Mary, a member of the Boppell family who also taught at Whitworth (1941-61). During his retirement, right up until a few weeks before his death, Hugh volunteered in the library, helping out each week in the archives. A memorial service for Hugh will be held in Seeley Mudd Chapel at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 14. Bill Robinson will officiate and Brent Edstrom will provide music.

Lenten Prayer:
During this Lenten season, we are deeply aware that our hearts are wayward, often distracted and too easily satisfied with “treasures” that, in the end, are as worthless as idols. We are so thankful that your spirit can and does mold our hearts to be attuned to your will. Teach us to seek not the treasures of the world but those things that are eternal, for true treasure lies within them. We make our prayer in the name of the One who loved us so much that he gave his life for our salvation, our Lord Jesus. Amen.

March 2, 2015 / Whitworth University

The Lord’s Prayer

March 1-8

“This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name….”
Matthew 6:9-13

This fifth week of the semester we pray for…

  • our students. As they face the challenges of each day, we ask that the word of God and the reality of Jesus’ presence will provide hope.
  • for the many members of the Whitworth community – faculty, staff, students, board members and their families – that continued healing will come to each one suffering with serious illness.
  • President Beck Taylor as he preaches at Tuesday’s Community Worship on the section of the Sermon on the Mount dealing with the Lord’s Prayer.
  • Tuesday’s meeting of The Whitworth Foundation’s board of directors. Please ask that each board member will have the wisdom to steward the resources entrusted to him or her to support the university’s Christian mission.
  • William H. Struthers, Professor of Psychology at Wheaton, who will lecture on “Digital Sexuality and Christian Faithfulness,” on Wednesday. Struthers, who is the author of Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain, will explore Christian narratives about sexuality that cultivate faithful relationships.
  • Thursday’s Community Worship, as Whitworthians gather for reflection and prayer and to celebrate the Lord’s Supper.
  • our Missions Fair, Thursday and Friday, as representatives of 24 mission agencies interact with students, staff and faculty about opportunities to serve the cause of the Gospel throughout the world.
  • Whitworth Theatre’s spring production, These Shining Lives. Please pray that our student actors will find joy and fulfillment in the expression of their God-given talents.

Gracious God, we are so thankful that we can come to you in prayer in our times of need. Jesus’ model of prayer guides us in our petitions as we seek your will to be done in our lives, in this community, and in our world, just as it is in heaven. We know that when we pray you will hear and answer according to your gracious will. Teach us to pray with humility and boldness as our trust in you deepens through the exercise of prayer.

February 23, 2015 / Whitworth University

Turn the Other Cheek

Feb. 22-March 1

“But I say to you, do not resist an evildoer. If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also….”
Matthew 5:39 (NRSV)

“If someone strikes you, stand there and take it…no more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.”
Matthew 5:39-42 (The Message)

During this fourth week of the semester, we pray for…

  • students to be disciplined in their use of time, resources, and relationships, especially in terms of their relationships with one another, as they pursue an education of mind and heart.
  • Monday’s Faculty Assembly and Friday’s Faculty Development Day: important gatherings for faculty as they hone their skills to help students develop intercultural competency based on our Christian mission.
  • Monday’s Simpson-Duvall lecture, with Yale University Professor of Religious Studies Kathryn Lofton presenting “Do not Tamper with the Clues: What Goldman Sachs Can Tell Us about Religion.”
  • Tuesday’s President’s Coffee, as Beck Taylor hosts a gathering to allow the community to meet new employees and honor current employees for years of service. Beck will also offer some Whitworth updates and share in a devotional.
  • Tuesday Community Worship as Kent McDonald (Theology) preaches from Matthew 5:38-48 on retaliation and reconciliation. Podcasts of the sermons are posted online at
  • Professor of History Dale Soden, as he speaks Tuesday on “The Civil Rights Movement in the Pacific Northwest.”
  • Thursday thru Saturday’s BELIEF conference, held on campus, where current students host high-schoolers and provide their guests with a vision for the possibility, opportunity, and importance of a college education.
  • Vadana Asthana, Ph.D., professor at Eastern Washington University, as she speaks Thursday from her recent book Water Security in India: Hope, Despair and Challenges of Human Development.
  • The second of our three Honors Colloquia, Saturday-Sunday, as students compete for scholarships while learning about the programs and experiences available through a Whitworth education.

Lenten Prayer:
Lord, we turn again to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, and we ask that you would convict and purge us of our appetite for retribution and retaliation when we’re wronged by others. We know that retaliation is the way of the world, not the Way of our Master’s cross. Yet we are prideful people who, when our inflated egos are wounded, return wrongs with words and actions fueled by hearts inflamed with revenge.
Lord, we desperately need your attitude, an attitude that refuses to cling to our self-centered claims of personal “rights” and submits to obedience through humility. This was your way – the Way of the Cross. Fill us now afresh with your Holy Spirit, that we might be filled with your attitude and might glorify your name. Amen!

February 16, 2015 / Whitworth University

Be Reconciled to One Another

Feb. 15-22

“First be reconciled to one another, and then come and offer your gift in worship. Come to terms quickly with your accuser…”
Matthew 5:24-25

During this third week of spring semester, we pray for…

  • our students. During the Lenten season, which begins this week, we ask that they will set aside time to reflect on Jesus’ deep love for each of us and to seek the Holy Spirit’s leading in their transformation to being more like Jesus.
  • Tuesday’s Spring Volunteer Fair. This will be a chance for students, faculty, and staff to meet with local organizations that need volunteers! The fair will provide great opportunity for interested students and others to find ways to serve the Spokane community.
  • Community Worship, Tuesday, as we continue the spring-semester series on the Sermon on the Mount. Pray for Campus Pastor Mindy Smith as she preaches on Jesus’s command to us to be reconciled to one another. May hard hearts be softened and broken relationship healed.
  • Tuesday’s Camp Fair, as representatives of various Christian camps discuss the possibility of our students serving this summer in their ministries. May each student receive specific guidance for his or her summer calling to serve others in the name of Jesus.
  • Tobin Schearer, a history professor from the University of Montana, who will present a lecture Tuesday on the topic “Why Ferguson Matters to Whitworth.” Tobin’s expertise is on the Christian foundations of the Civil Rights Movement. Please pray, too, that our community is willing to accept the challenges of seeking to be faithful to Jesus’s calling to love all persons – because each one is created in God’s image.
  • Ash Wednesday services will be held at 7:40 am and noon, with the imposition of ashes as a reminder of our need to enter into individual and communal repentance during this Lenten season.
  • Wednesday’s Study-Abroad Fair, which will feature information regarding all study- abroad opportunities for the 2015-16 academic year. May faculty, staff, and students be led by God’s Spirit to engage in educational opportunities in order to develop intercultural competence, a key element in Whitworth’s 2021 Strategic Plan.
  • Ben Lowe, who is with the Evangelical Environmental Network, as he speaks about his recent book, Doing Good Without Giving Up: Creation Care and Climate Action. May God’s Spirit prompt all who hear Ben to pursue creation stewardship as an expression of Christian commitment.
  • Thursday’s Student-Teaching-Commission Service, as education majors are sent out to teach this semester in schools all over the Spokane region. May they embody the love of Jesus into their classrooms as they instruct students.
  • Director of World Relief Spokane Mark Kadel, who has spent more than 20 years working with refugees and individuals experiencing persecution. He is currently overseeing the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Spokane. Mark will lecture on “The Untold Story of the Syrian Refugee.” Please pray, too, that the community will listen with hearts open to God’s leading them to support refugees in our community.
  • our Friday Catholic Student Fellowship, which will lead the community in the Stations of the Cross, a traditional Catholic practice of walking with Jesus on the road to Calvary. May the community be reminded of the immense suffering Jesus endured for our salvation.

Lord, we rejoice in the reconciliation brought about for us through Jesus’ death and resurrection. We know that reconciliation with others can be difficult, and for some it may even be impossible. But we are so thankful for the example your of your Son, who teaches us that we can forgive one another and be exemplars for the world. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

February 9, 2015 / Whitworth University

Salt & Light

Feb. 8-15

“You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world. Let your light so shine before others that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Matthew 5:13-16

In the second week of this spring semester, we pray for…

  • our students, as they begin spring semester. We ask that they will develop the rhythms of study, recreation, and rest that will help them to flourish intellectually, relationally, and spiritually.
  • Ronald Green and Nathan Palpant, as they conduct the Monday Seminar on Suffering and Bioethics. Ron is Professor of Ethics and Human Values at Dartmouth College, and Nathan is a Whitworth alum who serves now as instructor at the University of Washington Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine.
  • Tuesday Community Worship, as Stephaine Nobles-Beans preaches on Matthew 5:13-16, Jesus’ command to be salt and light.
  • Tuesday’s discussion with Brother Emile of the Taizé community in France, who will speak about the ways in which Christian worship shapes our lives to conform us into the image of Jesus.
  • Thursday’s worship service, at which Brother Emile will share with us in Taizé worship and we will gather around the table to celebrate the Lord’s Supper.
  • Thursday’s presentation by Stephen T. Davis, M.Div., Ph.D., a distinguished Whitworth alumnus and the Russell K. Pitzer Professor of Philosophy at California’s Claremont McKenna College. Stephen’s lecture title is “Happiness in Life: Epictetus and Christianity.”
  • the admissions staff throughout the weekend as they guide prospective students at a “Why Whitworth” Day on Friday, and then host the first Honors Colloquium for admitted students who are selecting the school they will attend next fall. May God give all these students wisdom in their selection process.
  • Friday’s Leadership Fair, as current students begin the process of pursuing student leadership positions available on campus.
  • Friday’s 18th annual Gospel Explosion in the Whitworth Chapel, as churches from the Spokane community gather for an evening of worship, Still Praising His Name After All These Years!

Lord, help us to remember that salt and light add to the human experience. When in proper balance, they do not draw attention to us: They enhance what is already there. We are thankful that living as people of faith does not require us always to speak, proclaim and announce, but that we can bring flavor and enlightenment to others by our attitudes and dispositions. Help us to follow Jesus as our lives communicate the good news of the gospel. Amen!

February 2, 2015 / Whitworth University

Listening to Jesus

Feb. 1-8

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 5:1, 10

This week, as spring semester begins, we pray for…

  • our students, as they begin the semester. We ask that that the Lord will give them peace, wisdom and guidance in their academic and vocational journeys.
  • the Monday Faculty Scholarship Recognition Luncheon, an annual event at which Whitworth faculty celebrate their scholarly accomplishments of the previous academic year, all done in fulfillment of Whitworth’s Christian mission.
  • New-Student Orientation, as freshmen and new transfer students enter Whitworth. May these new community members feel welcomed and supported in their transition to Whitworth.
  • Community worship, on Tuesday. This semester’s theme is The Sermon on the Mount, from Matthew’s Gospel. Pray for Kent McDonald (Chapel) as he preaches from the Beatitudes.
  • weekly campus ministry events, including morning prayer each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; Hosanna, the student-led ministry that seeks to create a comfortable place for students to worship each Tuesday night; and Awake, each Wednesday evening, where students seek to pursue the gospel, worship and fellowship.
  • Spring Convocation, on Thursday, with Provost Carol Simon giving the address, “Not Making a Distinction between Them and Us,” from Acts 11:1-18. May the Whitworth community receive this message as we listen and live its reality on this campus during this semester.

Lord, we are thankful for Jesus’ calling to follow him. The Sermon on the Mount teaches us to live in a manner that reflects God’s character. Jesus’ Sermon gives us hope that God’s reign will come. We want to make peace in the way we live every day, and we are grateful that in these Beatitudes we see the values that come straight from the mind of Christ. Our mission is to translate them into our lives and the lives of others.

January 26, 2015 / Whitworth University

God’s Plans for Us

Jan. 25-Feb. 1

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD: “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11

This week we pray for…

  • our students, who will conclude their Jan Term coursework Monday and Tuesday, with papers due and exams to take. May they complete the academic term with strength and confidence.
  • faculty members who bear the responsibility of grading Jan Term’s final requirements and who then turn to their final preparations for spring semester, which begins next week. This is the tightest transition in the entire academic year, and faculty members need strength to complete their multiple tasks well.
  • students and faculty who’ll return to Spokane from faraway Jan Term courses. We ask that their travels will be safe and that they will quickly and easily make the cultural readjustments to being back within the Whitworth community.
  • students who may be having academic or financial struggles; we ask that their needs will be met and that the stress they feel will be lifted from them. May they experience the support of faculty, staff and their fellow students.
  • new students who are traveling to Spokane this week to begin their studies at Whitworth. May they experience peace during this transitional week and may they feel a sense of welcome as they arrive on campus.
  • the Whitworth community. We ask that we may continue to be reminded of God’s presence in the midst of the significant challenges many people face during this time.

Lord, we know that you hold the future, and we are so thankful that your plans are for us to succeed. Sometimes we don’t know what success looks like from Your perspective, but we are grateful that you place a sphere of protection around each and every one of us. Because you love us, we have hope for a prosperous future, even when we struggle in our present circumstances. Thank you for always being with us by the presence of your Holy Spirit. We are grateful. Amen!

January 21, 2015 / Whitworth University

Following in the Footsteps

Jan. 21-25

God has shown you what is good, and what the LORD requires of you: To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

Let justice roll down like a mighty river,
Righteousness like an ever-flowing stream!
Amos 5:24

This week we pray for…

  • all of the people in the Whitworth community who join their minds, hearts, hands and feet throughout this entire week with those who marched for justice, righteousness, and peace during the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, especially those who paid the ultimate price for freedom.
  • the activities taking place to educate our community about the people and events of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, including the Tuesday-evening lecture by Kate Shuster on “Teaching the Movement: The State of Civil Rights Education in the U.S.,” the Wednesday-evening lecture by Julia Stronks on “Women and Civil Rights: Beyond Gender and the 1960s,” and the Thursday lunch discussion with Lawrence Burnley, “The Theological Vision and Evolution of Dr. King: From the Dream to Beyond Vietnam.”
  • the safety of students and faculty who are still traveling throughout the world on Jan Term trips as they finish their journeys and return home over the next week. These students include those who have studied in Hawaii, the United Kingdom, Costa Rica, Tanzania, New York, Washington, D.C., Spain, Italy, Germany, France, and multiple locations in our own state.
  • Saturday’s Alumni Night in the Fieldhouse, when alums and their families will gather for an evening of excitement and enjoyment as Whitworth’s basketball teams take on PLU.

Gracious God, we give You thanks for the faithful servants who have gone before in the struggle to make the world all that You intended it to be. They believed that all people are created in Your image, and with that firm belief they sacrificed everything in faithful witness. May we in our time be empowered to live and love for righteousness, justice and peace. Show us how to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, who gave himself for our salvation and true freedom. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!


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