A personal devotional life is always a blessing. At the Chapel, we’re ready to help you maintain your present devotional life or make a fresh start on one. Here are just a few resources that are available to every member of the University community. You are also welcome to stop in the Chapel to pray even when worship services are not in process.
The chapel staff members also work in partnership with St. Teresa’s Catholic Student Center and you can learn more about St. T’s here: https://saintt.com/
The university offers a series of retreats throughout the year that lead participants in the disciplines of prayer and spiritual discernment, especially in the area of life vocation.
The Church Vocations Fall Retreat was Oct. 19-20, 2018. Open to ALL students.
Watch for information about upcoming retreats.
Note: We attempt to keep information up to date, but some meeting dates and places may change without notice.
BRO meets Sundays for dinner & discussions starting at 5 p.m. at the Helge Center. Contact Matt Korus (email@example.com) for more info on BRO.
SIS meets at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays at the Helge Center. Contact Abigail Dykema (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more info.
In addition, a Bible study with free breakfast is offered each Friday at 7:30 a.m. at the Center for Diaconal Ministry, next to Beacon Hall. Questions? Email Valerie Webdell.
LCMS-U Valpo is a student group that meets regularly to pray and to discuss topics of theology of interest to college students. Main sources for these conversations are Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions along with statements of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS). University Pastor James A. Wetzstein helps facilitate the discussion. Meetings for fall 2018 are on Sundays all from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Helge Center multipurpose room and include a meal. This fall, LCMS-U will be meeting monthly; dates vary. For info on the upcoming meetings, join the Google group at tinyurl.com/valpolcmsu.
LuMin, an ELCA affiliated student ministry, provides a safe and inclusive environment for ELCA students and all others seeking a faith community on campus. LuMin is structured around four pillars: community, learning, service, and reflection. They meet Mondays 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Helge Center. Contact Kurtis Arndt (email@example.com) for more info.
A Greek Life co-ed Bible study, “Alpha Omega,” is being offered 9 p.m. Mondays in the Union’s Shield Room (basement).
In addition, the Valpo Chinese Christian Association meets Friday evenings, 6:30 p.m. for VCCA dinner and Bible study at Open Bible Church, 1401 W. Porter Ave., Chesterton.For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their page.
Intervarsity Christian Fellowship holds weekly Bible study on Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. in the Lankenau Hall Blue Light Lounge. For more info, contact Advisor Stan Zygmunt (Stan.Zygmunt@valpo.edu).
FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) has weekly meetings Wednesdays at 9 p.m., ARC McGill Room.
CRU (Campus Crusade) has weekly meetings (Bible study, worship and Christian fellowship). For more information on CRU, contact Advisor Ron Rittgers (email@example.com).
The Resurrection Labyrinth and “I AM” Garden
Outside the Chapel on the east end of the building you will find the Resurrection Labyrinth and “I AM” Garden, given in memory of Nicole Unrath, class of 2003, by her family and friends.
A labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness. It is not a maze, because a maze is like a puzzle to be solved. Rather, a labyrinth has only one path, from one continuous line. The way in is also the way out. You are welcome to visit the labyrinth at any time. Our labyrinth includes markers along the way with “I AM” statements of Jesus, for Christ is our journey and our destination.
Some general guidelines for walking a labyrinth are:
- Focus: Pause and wait at the entrance. Become quiet and centered.
- Experience: Walk purposefully. Observe the process. When you reach the center, stay there and focus several minutes. Say a prayer. Leave when it seems appropriate. Be attentive on the way out.
- Exit: Turn and face the entrance. You may wish to give an acknowledgement of ending, such as “Amen.”
- Reflect: After walking the labyrinth, reflect back on your experience.
You can also download a copy of the brochure that tells you more about the labyrinth.
Daily Morning Prayer
The single most frequent worship opportunity during the school year is Morning Prayer at 10 a.m. each class day. It’s just 20 minutes long. Worship styles change from day to day, season to season, with music ranging from ancient to contemporary. Morning Prayer is a time for students, faculty, and staff to gather as a community of faith, to hear God’s word, pray, and give praise.
Peer Ministers are students like yourself, who reside in the residence halls and are here to help you on your spiritual journey.
VU Prayer Book
In celebration of Valpo’s 150th anniversary, a new prayer book became available in August 2008 to members of the campus community. In Thy Light We See Light: The Valparaiso University Prayer Book includes prayers from Valpo’s outgoing and incoming presidents and traditional campus events such as Advent Vespers, as well as prayers related to faith and learning, stress and struggle, giving thanks, relationships, and sorrow and loss. Also contained in the book are examples of varied ways of praying and how one can practice these different approaches. Pick up a copy for free at the Chapel.
Some Thoughts on Silence
Silence has been highly prized as a Christian discipline because as one attends to God’s voice, spoken during private prayer, worship service, the proclaiming of scripture, in solitary walks, etc., one’s inner being becomes focused and intent on receiving life, blessing, and spiritual riches from the One who is the source of life. The Taize Worship Around the Cross service offered during the Morning Prayer rotation makes good use of silence.
One needs to grow used to being in silence, for we tend to become uncomfortable when there are no sounds to distract us. Many of us struggle to still the chatter in our minds in order to pray and to create a space to receive God’s word to us in prayer.
Silence may be considered simply a peaceful attentiveness to God’s presence, a time to be quiet and let your soul breathe deeply once again. It may be a time for reflection on the words and music heard, a time for personal prayer and confession, a time to rest in God’s peace from the busyness of life. Silence can be a means of being in touch with feelings and thoughts, as well as an invitation to discern with God’s eyes and ears what needs to change in us for us to better reflect the image and likeness of God in whom we have been created.