They’re all offered at Eastern! What’s your style of worship?
Four main opportunities for students to worship in their own ways are Act 2, Worship on the hill, Sunday night worship and chapel.
Act 2, lead by junior theology and Biblical studies major Joe Smith and his team of four other student chaplains, uses the following verse from scripture as guidance in its ministry:
“All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals [including the Lord’s Supper], and to prayer,” (Acts 2:42).
Act 2 is described by University chaplain Joe Modica as a “worship workshop” including singing, prayer, a speaker and communion.
This year, Act 2 plans to come to the different residence halls. Kea-Guffin is the kick-off on September 21, followed by Doane on October 12. Pennswood will be on November 9.
Worship on the Hill is led by senior Bryan Long, who is a youth ministries and communications major, and senior Josh Meyer, a communications major.
This is an opportunity for students to gather on the hill outside Kea-Guffin after sunset. The dark atmosphere allows students to come to the Lord more privately.
“Students are free to worship God in any style, way or form they’re comfortable with, and there is never a set way or schedule we keep,” Long said. “It’s student-led and Spirit-directed.”
The dates for Worship on the Hill vary, but signs will be posted.
Also offered is a weekly Sunday night worship service. Alumnus Brian Baker has been involved with this ministry for the past 6 years, and has seen dramatic change.
“One thing I appreciate is how it gives a student a chance to ‘quiet down my busy mind and find a hiding place’ right before the beginning of the week,” Baker said, quoting from the worship song “Unashamed Love” by Jason Morant.
Sunday night worship is a time for the self. Not offering speakers but only a worship band, a television with lyrics, and plenty of the student body, it is an intimate time to praise Him.
And finally there are Wednesday morning chapel services at 10:00 a.m.
“My goal [with chapel] is to create spaces of hospitality where outsiders do not feel pressured but feel welcomed,” Modica said.
He explained that he and Theresa Noye organize and coordinate the service each week.
Beginning at 10:00 a.m., one of two worship teams begins with a series of three to five worship songs. At this time, students are welcome to stand, raise their hands and praise the Lord.
Senior music major Kyle Herman is the worship leader for one of the teams.
“I’ve played the drums all of my life and wanted to get involved in Eastern worship,” he said.
“I always enjoyed chapel because I can worship God and hear people we know and people we don’t know share their hearts,” Herman said, referring to the weekly speakers, some of whom are from the Eastern family and others from around the nation.
Attendance averages 500 to 600 students each week, according to Modica. Speakers scheduled for this year include Matthew Rindge, from Compassion International and professor emeritus and social activist Tony Campolo.
“I’m not sure why our chapel is so successful, besides dedication,” Modica said.
Besides these four options, there are other chances to worship God through Bible studies and impromptu services.