Dear Messiah Students, wherever you may be,
We simply cannot imagine the sorrow and frustration that so many of you have experienced at the disruption of your seasons, performances, trips and plans for this spring semester. We also realize that Messiah’s strategy to continue coursework online means a lot of solo work for most of you. Those of us in the Campus Ministries office are praying for you and for Messiah educators, that together we might engage in learning, prayer and witness with courage and grace.
As you may have already heard or imagined, the chapel requirement has been suspended for Spring 2020. No one will be placed on chapel probation or assessed any fines. We hope that those services that you have already attended contributed in some way to your ongoing edification.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of those who have been contributing to the programs of our office—student leaders on our ministry council and our worship community, Fiver leaders, colleagues in Campus Events and Conference Services and Facility Services who make our gatherings possible. And to all of you who sing with gusto, pray with sincerity, and seek wisdom and growth through the Word, thank you for contributing to the witness of God’s Spirit and the hope of Christ’s kingdom right here on campus.
We decided not to stream chapels in your absence. Many churches are streaming weekly messages, and we hope that you’ll be able to stream services and make use of some solid online resources. We are placing a couple of resources on our website (under While Away – https://www.messiah.edu/mcm) to encourage good reflection during late Lent and throughout Holy Week and on through April. There is also a Student Ministries blog where student leaders will be posting throughout this season of isolation:
Perhaps you’d be willing to join us in a little practice for the temporary diaspora of Messiah University. As best as you are able—let’s try to bend tweets, texts and posts toward hope and encouragement. After all, a day without sickness is coming; seasons without sorrow, when the faithful feast in celebration and the Lord’s glory multiplies creation’s splendor. Just you wait.
Pastors Don, Mina, Doug, and Joanna
Here is a brief benediction inspired by a prayer offered by St. Patrick in 433:
God go before you to guide you.
God go behind you to protect you.
God go beneath you to support you.
God go beside you to befriend you.
Be not afraid.
Let the blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Descend upon you, settle in and around you, and dwell in you.
Be not afraid.
Go in Peace.