Calvin Seminary Holds Online Chapel Service

President Medenblik Encourages Live-Streamers to See Where God is Turning Burdens into Blessings

This article appears in the News edition of the Calvin Seminary Forum

Calvin Seminary always hosts chapel on Wednesdays.

But this wasn't like other Wednesdays.

For the first time last week, Calvin Seminary held weekly chapel online. Chapel services have been recorded for a number of years, but this was the first one streamed live, allowing participants to "attend" the service in real time. Students, faculty, and staff accessed the service through Zoom, a popular video-meeting software.

The chapel, which was still held on-campus in the Calvin Seminary Chapel, had the same feel of a traditional service, complete with music, a welcome, and a message. Even the anticipated text remained the same, so fitting for this time: Matthew 6-19 -34, a portion from the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus reminds his listeners to not worry.

"Today is full of trouble and lament," President Jul Medenblik plainly stated to his live-streaming congregation. But Medenblik reminds us that we still worship a creator who cares deeply about his creation, including humanity.

This live chapel was recorded and you can "attend" for yourself (see below). Stay tuned for future chapel services. To stay up to date on Calvin Seminary's respond to COVID-19, visiting the Health and Safety Update Page.

In this service, President Medenblik used a prayer adapted from a “Prayer for a Pandemic” by Dr. Cameron Wiggins Bellm of Seattle, Washington:

Dear Father, Son and Holy Spirit:

May we who are inconvenienced

Remember those whose lives are at stake.

May we who have no risk factors

Remember those most vulnerable.

May we who have the luxury of working and studying from home

Remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.

May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close

Remember those who have no options.

May we who have had to cancel our trips

Remember those that have no safe place to go.

May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market

Remember those who have no margin at all.

May we who settle in for a quarantine at home

Remember those who have no home.

As fear grips our world,

Let us choose love.

During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,

Let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of you God to our neighbors.