Last week in chapel, our theme was “Worship is Listening.” We worship as we listen to God, listen to each other and listen to ourselves.
Monday’s chapel started off our week with having quiet time. The time of silence provided two different kinds of opportunities. One was to recognize that over the weekend and the previous week, we had a lot of activity with the fall musical. A break seemed necessary from all the busyness surrounding that event. Also, the time of silence provided an introduction to our week. We have difficulty listening if we are not quiet, both with our words and in our spirits.
On Tuesday, we met together with our small groups.
Wednesday began our three days with Jes Buller from Goshen, IN. Jes works with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) as a peace education coordinator. Her emphasis for this week of listening was that by listening and really hearing one another, we can move forward in our relationships with each other. Jes used the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well as an example of how Jesus engaged in conversation. He crossed the various gaps of their differences and invited her into the kingdom of God.
Thursday’s emphasis from Jes was on high quality face to face communication and how using our cell phones can be a hindrance to us. Face to face communication is often the best way to communicate. This is expressed in New Testament times with 3 John 13-14: “I have much to write you, but I do not want to do so with pen and ink. I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face.”
Friday’s chapel was an opportunity to put into practice the practical aspects of listening to each other. We met in the gym and Jes led us in conversational exercises to help us deliberately carry out expressing needs and feelings and having the opportunity to hear others. We finished with the song “Together” by Nathan Grieser.