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. As students, you are also welcome to stop in the Chapel to sit quietly, pray or meditate even when worship services are not in process. There’s a place where you also may leave written prayer requests.
The chapel staff members also work in partnership with St. Teresa’s Catholic Student Center. You can learn more about St. T’s student ministry here.
Christian organizations offer Bible Studies and more
Note: We attempt to keep information up to date, but some meeting dates and places may change without notice.
Sisters in Spirit (SIS) – Women’s weekly discussion and service opportunities. Wednesday Bible study at 7 p.m. via Zoom. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 are via Zoom. For info on the upcoming meetings, join the Google group at tinyurl.com/valpolcmsu. Pastor Jim also leads a weekly Bible study on Thursdays at noon at Founders. Discussion centers around Scripture readings for upcoming Sundays. LCMS-U also invites you to a service of Compline for the end of the day each Thursday starting at 9:30 p.m. in the Chapel.
LuMin, an ELCA affiliated student ministry, provides a safe and inclusive environment for ELCA students and all others seeking a faith community on campus. They meet Mondays 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Helge Center. LuMin is structured around four pillars: community, learning, service, and reflection. As Community Chair Kaitlyn Jedrzejowski explains, “For Community, we find fun and exciting ways to grow and build new relationships with others involved in LuMin. For Service, we reach out into the community to find ways we can do God’s work with our hands. For Reflection, we want to look within ourselves and see how God is working through us. For Learning, we come up with ways to grow in our understanding of our faith and grow closer to God through deeper knowledge. We rotate through these pillars each week and come up with a diverse number of ways to help people engage and grow in their faith.” Other leaders of LuMin include Lili Gramza and Derrick Minnick..
Intervarsity Christian Fellowship Intervarsity is a multi-ethnic student-led organization that aims to form witnessing communities and reach every corner of campus with God’s love. Whether a student wants to begin, return to, or grow in their faith journey, all are welcome here! Visit their website for more info about getting connected.
FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) email@example.com Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) is a student-led Christian organization, open to all students. FCA strives to develop men and women who aspire to grow closer to Jesus Christ through fellowship and serving others while glorifying God through athletics. They meet Wednesdays from 8 to 9:15 p.m. in the ARC.
For info about Orthodox worship, contact Fr. Jacob VanSickel.
Young Life Valparaiso University firstname.lastname@example.org
Valparaiso Chinese Christian Association (VCCA) meets for Bible study Friday from 7 to 9 p.m. and for Sunday worship, 9 to 10:30 a.m. Both are via Zoom.
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 9:45 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.