Wednesday, January 13, 2010

IWU--New Chapel Opening

We were privileged to open a new chapel today at IWU. It is a magnificent building that will make graduations much easier. Although we are staying with two chapels, we were able to house everyone in one service today.

My favorite part of the service today, strangely, was the closing prayer of Joan Bardsley, wife of the late Rev. Harold Bardsley. She spoke vibrantly of her husband's enthusiasm for the ministry of IWU and his excitement about this chapel, which unfortunately he was not able to see opened.

I hope God will help us keep that spirit of spontaneity and spiritual vibrancy amid the professionalism and traditional academics that seem so much the new emphasis of our current phase of existence. May IWU continue to be a living, Spirit-filled, personable, exciting and entrepeneurial place to be, as well as a place of increasing respectability and traditional rigor!


Pat Hannon said...

Joan's prayer was one of my favorite moments as well.
And Kearsten Karrick's talk at lunch about the importance of chapel for our students was amazing!

Ryan said...

Kinda makes you wonder how far $22 million would go in Haiti..

Ken Schenck said...

That is always a good question with church buildings and such. If this chapel building will not catalyze lives devoted to Christ for generations, can we justify it? Remembering that stats show as much as a 70% loss of faith when high school kids go to non-faith-filled private colleges and 52% of those who go to public colleges stop identifying themselves as born again by the time they graduate, if the chapel services in this building somehow catalyze and perpetuate faith for tens of thousands, who then perpetuate and catalyze faith for hundreds of thousands, then perhaps it is justifiable for its long term benefit, especially if we can minister to the lives of the survivors of Haiti at the same time. The need of the world is inexhaustible and does not perpetuate itself. Give a fish and someone has a fish. Teach someone how to fish and they will have fish for the rest of their lives.

I know it sounds strange, but there is a time to anoint Jesus for burial rather than selling the ointment. The question is whether it is foolish to think of church buildings and cathedrals as truly lavishing praise on Jesus. I don't have the answer.