Campus refreshed during Winter Awakening
by Cali Carpenter, class of 2017
As spring semester gets back in session, it’s easy to get distracted by the busyness of school and all that comes along with being back on campus—friends, homework, campus events, the list goes on. Each year, NNU's Office of Spiritual Formation works with the SGA Campus Ministries Coordinator to plan Winter Awakening—a time devoted to getting back on track during this crazy period in students’ lives. This week-long emphasis and three-day chapel series not only brings the campus community together but also gives everyone a much needed spiritual refresh.
This year’s Winter Awakening focused on activating different aspects of students' lives. Tracy Wilde, a Los Angeles pastor and writer, spoke on empathy; Dr. Ed Robinson, NNU professor and Vice President for Academic Affairs, hope; Jordan Verner, lead pastor at River House Church in Boise, courage; and Rev. Dr. Constance Cherry, professor, author, worship leader and pastor, closed the series on worship.
“...to see us all come together and pray for our campus community was a really powerful experience.”To begin the week, a group of students, staff and faculty participated in 24 hours of prayer to prepare hearts and minds and to seek God’s blessing on those who would attend the week's events. “Being able to come together and worship with fellow students has always been an incredible blessing and to see us all come together and pray for our campus community was a really powerful experience,” said Kraymer Lorig, a senior studying Christian ministry and worship leadership.
At TimeOut on Wednesday evening, Dr. Robinson shared a personal account of how he dealt with heartbreak going into his senior year of college and how he felt like he was walking into the valley of dry bones from the book of Ezekiel. He challenged everyone to come to the place where hope lives despite the pain, discouragement or distraction they may be feeling.
Robinson’s message was particularly encouraging to McKinley Anderson, a sophomore biology major. She said, “The words he spoke over us directly impacted my heart, as well as many others. The semester is about to get a lot busier, and I don't think there could have been a better message given than this one! It reminds me to lean on God even when I feel like there is so much to deal with, and that He's got this even when I don't.”
The 2017 Winter Awakening energized students through its emphasis on empathy, hope, courage and worship. These messages have given the campus community time to reflect and refresh—and created space for a new mindset going into the remainder of the semester.