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February 2, 2015 / Whitworth University

Listening to Jesus

Feb. 1-8

Scripture:
“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.

Thanksgiving:
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

Scripture:
“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.

Thanksgiving:
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

Scripture:
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.

Thanksgiving:
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!

January 12, 2015 / Whitworth University

New Beginnings

Jan. 12-18

Scripture:
“If any person is in Christ, there is a new creation: Everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new.”
2 Corinthians 5:17

This week we pray for…

  • students in this second week of Jan Term. We ask that they will continue to stay focused on the intensive studies of this session.
  • faculty members who teach these intensive courses. We ask that they will have endurance during Jan Term as they teach for long periods each day.
  • staff members who sustain the operations of the university. We pray especially for our facilities-services personnel, who keep the campus open during the harsh winter weather. May they be safe as they serve the Whitworth community.
  • students who are going through a time of loneliness or crisis in their lives. We ask that they can find the necessary help and support, and we pray too for those who provide such care.
  • students, faculty and staff who are ill, especially members of the Whitworth community who are battling cancer. We ask God to heal and sustain them with loving care.
  • student-athletes, as they travel and compete on behalf of Whitworth. We ask for their safety as they journey several times to Western Washington and Oregon during this Jan Term.
  • Wednesday evening’s student-led campus worship service. May God’s light shine upon our campus community during this Jan Term.
  • the board of trustees and the president’s cabinet as they gather for their annual planning retreat. May God give each person wisdom as the board deliberates about the best ways to steward Whitworth’s Christian mission.

Thanksgiving:
Lord, we thank you for the gift of renewal brought to us through Jesus Christ. In and through him we are being recreated by the presence of your Holy Spirit. May each of us heed the prompting of your Spirit to be made new through the grace and truth we have in Jesus, in whose name we pray. Amen.

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

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.

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