Christmas Vespers: A Silent Night!
December is a busy month for college students. From writing term papers and preparing for finals week to shopping for Christmas gifts and packing to go home for break, students often feel overwhelmed by all the activity that accompanies the holiday season. Despite this hectic pace, however, some students at Geneva College still found time in their busy schedules to honor the true meaning of Christmas by organizing and hosting a very special Christmas Vespers service for the campus community.
“Christmas Vespers: A Silent Night,” provided an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to step away from the daily commotion for a few hours to focus on the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The evening included treats of cookies and hot chocolate, a carol sing, a special presentation of the Christmas story by professor of Biblical studies Dr. Terry Thomas and concluded with a candlelight service and the singing of “Silent Night.”
Micah Yarger, a student discipleship coordinator who helped organize the service and was the emcee for the evening, said the vespers offered a “time…to join together as a community and remember how amazing it is that Jesus came to redeem us.”
The event was coordinated through the Center for Faith and Practice (CFP) and made possible almost entirely through student involvement. In an effort to build a rapport and provide leadership opportunities for students on campus, the CFP trains student-leaders and encourages them to organize events like this throughout the year. Director Keith Martel says the role of the CFP is to “equip student leaders to envision, plan and implement a variety of all-campus programs. Sometimes staff are needed to help direct the development of the program, but most of the time the students have this under control.”
For the Christmas Vespers, student discipleship coordinators reserved the facility, scheduled the musicians and speaker, and directed the efforts of the volunteers. Students created a PowerPoint presentation for the program and handled all the audio-visual needs. They advertised the event through posters, e-mails, announcements in Chapel, Facebook and word of mouth.
“This event was so special because people from so many different clubs and departments were involved,” said Micah. “We had Lindsay York from the Genevans play piano and Sam Weaver of God Led played guitar and led the carols. Student volunteers baked all the cookies and a group of freshman men made the decorations.”
Developing students into servant-leaders is part of Geneva′s mission and the success of activities like the Christmas Vespers demonstrates that our students are being well equipped to assume leadership roles and share their skills and talents with the community. Despite all the demands of student life, Micah, fellow discipleship coordinator Meagan Bailey and the student volunteers organized the evening and provided the campus a spiritually meaningful Christmas service.
Well done to the students…and a blessed Christmas to all!
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